The automatic qualifying mark of 18.30m proved easy work for the three standout performers in the women’s shot put - all of whom were undoubtedly pleased to qualify with their first throw on an unseasonably cold evening in the British capital.
Third in the throwing order in the second pool, perennial minor medallist Gong Lijiao from China was the first thrower to make the cut with 18.97m - the longest mark of the evening - followed by Anita Marton from Hungary with 18.76m and then Olympic champion Michelle Carter from the United States with 18.92m.
The Chinese throwers have already excelled in the throws with silver and bronze medals in the women’s javelin tonight, along with silver in the women’s hammer last night. Gong Lijiao is the only thrower to surpass the 20-metre line this season and having been an ever-present in global finals since 2007, this is surely the 28-year-old’s time to claim an elusive gold medal with Valerie Adams and Christina Schwanitz both absent.
Gong Lijiao will be joined in the final by her teammates Bian Ka and Gao Ya with 18.18m and 17.87m respectively. There will also be two American throwers in the final with domestic champion Raven Saunders surpassing the automatic qualifying mark on her second throw with 18.63m.
But third on the world lists - and second at the US Championships - Daniella Bunch was the most noteworthy non-qualifier, ninth in the second pool with 17.39m. Aliona Dubitskaya from Belarus - another thrower with a season’s best over the 19m line - also missed out on a place in the final with 17.68m after two no-throws.
Steven Mills for the IAAF