The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
World leader at 68.44 Alexandra Tavernier took command of the contest in round 1 thanks to a 66.14 release to better her French team-mate Alexia Sedykh’s 65.29 while America’s Shelby Ashe, the second placed on this season’s list (68.12) fouled.
The second round heat up the competition as no less than three athletes reached the demanding 67m barrier. The European Junior bronze medallist Sedykh moved to the top spot in 67.34, Belarus’ Alena Navahrodskaya managed a PB to heave 67.13 and New Zealand’s Julia Ratcliffe made a massive three-metre improvement on her career best to take provisionally third place with a 67.00 toss, also a new junior record for Oceania. Tavernier fouled on this occasion.
Surprisingly, Ashe remained out of the first eight only one round before the cut as her second effort was measured at 58.62 and the American finally came out of the top-eight as she fouled again in round 3 which didn’t produced any improvement among the top places.
Tavernier killed the contest with a powerful heave in round 4 when she achieved 70.62 to take a never ending list of accolades: a three-metre lead, a new massive career best (previous 68.44), the third place on the all-time World junior list and a new Championships record.
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe kept on having a brilliant series of throws as she threw 65.90 in round 3 and 66.63 in round 5 but she was still in fourth 13 centimetres off the podium. No further throws were recorded in the closing round and so Tavernier landed the first gold medal for France at the event, ahead of team-mate Sedykh, who is the daughter of World record holders Yuriy Sedykh and Natalya Lisovskaya with Navahrodskaya capturing bronze.
To give an idea of the stunning quality and depth of today’s event suffice to say that the gold medal in the previous edition in Moncton was taken in 66.01m only enough to place fifth here.