Shanice Craft of Germany celebrates winning the women's Shot Put at the Barcelona World Juniors (Getty Images) © Copyright

Barcelona 2012 - Event Report - Women's Shot Put Final

Germany’s Shanice Craft captured a relatively unexpected gold medal to give Germany its first title since the year 2000. Craft, a renowned Discus thrower who bagged the European Junior title for that discipline last year in Tallin, had not competed this outdoor season in the Shot Put but her indoor credentials of 16.25 proved to be enough to be selected for today’s contest.

Although China’s Yang Gao was the only shot putter having exceeded the 17m barrier this season and also the quickest qualifier this morning she shared favourite role with her compatriot Ka Bian and Craft herself as the German had sent a clear message to her opponents earlier in the day by getting the farthest heave of the qualification round measured at 16.41 in round 1, a new career best.

Boosted by her brilliant advancement to the final, Craft opened with a 17.15 toss which would remain her best effort and good enough for the gold medal, setting a world leading performance in the process. The eventual winner couldn’t reproduce that kind of heave over the rest of the contest, her second farthest effort being 16.12.

Gao remained in the silver medal position for the whole contest; after her initial 16.45 she was unable to threaten Craft’s top spot although she strengthened her second place by unleashing 16.57 in round 4.

By then, the bronze medal belonged provisionally to America’s Christina Hillman thanks to a 16.27 third attempt toss but Bian managed 16.48 in round 5 to displace her from the podium and Hillman could not respond in the closing round.

In her quest for an unprecedented Shot Put-Discus double, the newly-minted champion Craft will now enjoy a two-day rest before taking part in the Discus qualification round which is scheduled for Friday morning.

Emeterio Valiente for the IAAF