David Storl opened the Shot Put final with the two best throws of his young life.
But Ryan Whiting topped that, closing with the two best throws of his life to snatch the gold medal.
In between, Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski set three Polish national records in taking the bronze medal.
Reese Hoffa threw 21.55 for fourth, thus four men were over 21 metres, one short of the record five in Doha two years ago.
Storl, already the reigning World champion and a former World Youth and World Junior champion, looked likely to complete a ‘grand slam’ of major IAAF championships when he opened with a massive 21.88m. After a second round foul, he threw 21.86m in the third round.
But his more experienced opponents were not intimidated by this show of precocious talent (Storl does not turn 22 until late July).
Whiting opened with a 21.59m, his US teammate Hoffa threw 21.55m in the second round.
Majewski built into his work. His first throw was a Polish indoor national record 21.28m and he improved to 21.65m in the second round to move into second place.
Just as the Pole looked the biggest threat, Whiting really got going. The 25-year-old, noted mainly as a winner of collegiate titles till now, pumped out a massive 22.00m throw in the fifth round to take the lead and followed that up with a 21.98m final effort.
Hoffa meantime was having foul problems, highlighted by a fourth round effort which bounced off the top of the cage and rolled along the backstraight, harmlessly as luck would have it.
Faced with one throw each to snatch the gold, neither Majewski nor Storl could do it.
Majewski produced a huge throw in the final round. Storl, following him, did so too. Unfortunately, neither man was able to stay in the circle, leaving Whiting the winner.
Seventh in the final in Daegu last year, Whiting’s first major international medal was a golden one.
Len Johnson for the IAAF