Tatyana Lysenko led from the front to cause an upset and defeat World record holder Betty Heidler in a high class final which witnessed three women throw beyond 75m for the first time in World Championships history.
This was, though, all about the Russian who thoroughly deserved her gold medal after registering the three longest throws in the competition and was never seriously challenged.
Heidler, who before today had not been beaten in a final since March, simply could not reproduce the form which took her to the World record of 79.42m in May and had to settle for a second World silver medal with a best of 76.06m.
Wenxiu Zhang plundered her second World bronze with a first round 75.03m in what was her fifth world hammer final. The Chinese athlete had also climbed the third tier of the podium at the 2008 Olympics.
Heidler opened with a nervy red flag after the hammer rattled into the cage for an underwhelming start. Meanwhile, Wenxiu – who had led the qualifiers – showed she was a force to be reckoned with throwing 75.03m, her second longest throw ever.
Yet the quality of the competition was soon to step up another notch as former World record holder Tatyana Lysenko powered the hammer out to a season’s best 76.80m – exactly 1.00m shy of her lifetime best.
The defending champion Anita Wlodarczyk – who has endured a troubled year through injury – hurled the hammer out to a season’s best 73.56m to take third. Cuba’s Yipsi Moreno - making a record equalling sixth world women’s hammer final - opened with a 73.29m for fourth.
Lysenko extended her stranglehold on the competition in round two with a mighty 77.09m.
Heidler also registered her first legal through of the competition a 73.96m effort to advance to third but the other lead contenders failed to improve on their opening efforts.
In the third round, it was all about Lysenko again as she marginally extended her lead this time hurling the metal ball out time to 77.13m – the 12th longest ever throw. The rest of the field continued to play second fiddle to the 27-year-old Russian. Heidler improving her distance with 74.70m, if not her overall position, to remain third. Moreno replaced Wlodarczyk in fourth with 74.48m.
At halfway it was Lysenko from Wenxiu and then Heidler occupying the medal spots.
Round four was a damp squib as none of the lead five improved. Even Lysenko brought her sequence of improving in each of the first three rounds to an end with a 74.51m effort.
In round five Heidler crept closer into the gold medal picture with her best of the day 76.06m to leapfrog Wenxiu into the silver medal position. Lysenko fired her fourth throw beyond 75m - with 75.05m.
The final round was also a slight disappointment as there was no change to the lead five positions, both Heidler and a triumphant Lysenko ending their competition with fouls.
In a further couple of historical footnotes; Zalina Marghieva finished eighth with a best 70.27m to secure a best ever World Championships finish for Moldova. Meanwhile, Jennifer Dahlgren in tenth with 69.72m bettered by one place a best ever World Championships performance in any event by an Argentinian woman.
Steve Landells for the IAAF