Nadzeya Ostapchuk unleashed a 20.85m competition record to take gold in Doha (Mark Shearman) © Copyright


Valerie Vili's twoandahalf year unbeaten streak was ended by Nadezya Ostapchuk of Belarus, who set two Championship records during a high-class competition.

Ostapchuk, who had thrown the longest throw in 22 years indoors or out with a mighty 21.70m last month, went into the event as favourite and a sixth round effort of 20.85m inside a defeaning Aspire Dome secured gold.

For Vili, the defending champion and the reigning Olympic and World outdoor champion, a best of 20.49m was only good enough for silver with Ostapchuk's team-mate, Natallia Mikhnevich, the 2006 champion, taking the bronze (20.42). Her husband, Andrei won the silver in the men's shot yesterday.

Yet this was Ostapchuk's hour, who lived up to the pre-event billing to add the World indoor title to her World outdoor title in 2005.

"I really was not thinking about gold today, said Ostapchuk in the wake of her success. "Even if I was thinking about a medal, gold was like a dream to me. It is great to win here and the championships record is the added value to the victory."

A philosophical Vili said: "A couple of years ago it was always me behind Ostapchuk, then we kind of swapped positions and now she's coming back again. Competition is competition and today was not my day."

Ostapchuk opened the competition and struck early with an impressive 20.24m. Vili followed as the next thrower, but responded with a disappointing red flag. However, Mikhnevich registered 20.42m to take a shock first round lead. 

With her second throw Ostapchuk was a little over-exhuberant and slipped out of the front of the circle. She appeared to roll her ankle and was furiously taping her wrist after the mishap. Vili the most nuggety of competitors, though, launched the metal ball out to an Area record 20.45 in round two - 0.03 in advance of Mikhnevich to move into podium top spot.

The medal positions did not change in round three, although the way Vili held her head in her hands after a 20.41m effort suggested she thought there was more to come.

The competition exploded into life in round five when Ostapchuk promoted herself from the bronze to the gold medal position with a mighty 20.68m - 0.13 in advance of the Championship record set by Irina Korzhanenko in 2003.

Vili responded with her best yet, a 20.49m, but time was running out for the Kiwi.

In the final round, though, Ostapchuk, 29, gave herself more breathing space as she powered the shot out to 20.85m - extending her own Championship record. Vili had to settle with 20.29m and the longest unbeaten streak in the sport - some 28 successive final victories spanning two-and-a half years was over.

Steve Landells for the IAAF