Round one saw four automatic qualifiers led by Belarussia’s 2005 World Student Games champion, Natalya Khoroneko, 19.33m, chased by Russian World outdoor silver Olga Ryabinkina, 19.01, World outdoor champion and favourite, Nadezhda Ostapchuk of Belarus, 18.98, and Germany’s 2004 Olympic silver, Nadine Kleinert, 18.57.
“The circle is very quick, but OK,” said Ostapchuk. “I gave about 50 percent. That was enough.”
Both Germany’s 2005 European Under-23 champion, Petra Lammert, and Cuba’s Olympic champion, Yumileidi Cumba, waited until the third round to go through by right, throwing 18.24 and 18.78, a season’s best for the Cuban.
The USA’s much improved indoor champion, Jill Camarena, who switched from the glide to the spin technique in the autumn, struggled on 16.23 and a foul before finding her form and pushing out to 18.25 in round three.
Into the top eight to contest the final went Trinidad’s Cleopatra Borel-Brown with 17.92.