09 JUL 2011 Report Lille, France

Girls' Discus Throw – Vasquez claims first gold for Cuba

Rosalia Vazquez of Cuba wins the Girls' Discus Throw in Lille (Getty Images)Rosalia Vazquez of Cuba wins the Girls' Discus Throw in Lille (Getty Images) © Copyright

Rosalia Vasquez lived up to her world leader credentials after her convincing victory in the girls’ Discus Throw.


The 16-year-old Cuban, who arrived in Lille as the season’s best thrower with a 54.00m effort from early March, spun and threw 53.51m in the fourth round to collect the second-ever Discus Throw title for the Caribbean island nation, and the first at these Championships.


“It’s not my personal best, but it was good enough to win,” said Vasquez, who’ll celebrate her 17th birthday on 11 October. “It’s my first victory in a major world championship, the first medal for Cuba. I’m very proud.


Shelbi Vaughn of the USA set the tone with an opening round 52.89m toss, an effort that would have been good for gold at all but two previous editions of the Championships. Vasquez opened with a 51.95m effort to sit in second after the first round.


Third after the first three throws, Yan Liang of China shook up the order in the round four thanks to her 52.89m throw, a new personal best by more than a metre. But her reign on the roost didn’t last long.


Clearly motivated, Vasquez responded with a 53.51m toss to take control, ultimately for good.


Yan Liang closed her competition with solid 50.97m and 52.28m efforts to seal her runner-up spot, adding the first silver medal in the event for China which already had three gold and a bronze from previous competitions.


My performances were good today, but I can surely do better,” Yan said through an interpreter, adding that she’s thrown beyond 53 metres in training.


Vaugh, who again breached the 52-metre line with a 52.23m in round five, held on for bronze, the fourth medal in the event for the USA.


Rounding out a quality competition, Bin Feng of China (51.25m) and Filoi Aokuso (50.38m) also threw beyond the 50-metre line.


Germany’s Katinka Urbaniak, the bronze medallist in the Shot Put three days ago, finished seventh here with a 48.77.


Bob Ramsak for the IAAF