Xue Juan set new standards for javelin throwing this morning in a final of the highest calibre.
Three times Xue forged new championships records, with her 52.63m first-round effort followed soon after by 54.16, and neatly rounded off with the best of all, 56.82, with the very last throw of the competition.
Xue needed to exceed her first-round mark because of the fine effort of Shin Bo-ra, from Korea, who sent her spear soaring to 53.74 in a thrilling fifth round that set up a tense conclusion to the competition.
Maria Abakumova, from Russia, had moved up from fifth to second with her 51.41m fifth-round lifetime best effort, bringing the response from Shin, who had been in the silver medal position since throwing 51.13 in round one.
Then, in the last round Germany’s Vivian Zimmer, who had two efforts of 50 metres-plus but was now facing the possibility of going home empty-handed, managed to summon up an extra effort to throw 52.20 and reclaim the bronze.