As the old saying goes: it’s not over until it’s over.
For the first time since 2010, Valerie Adams was beaten to a major title as Michelle Carter produced a last-gasp effort of 20.21 to take the USA’s first senior global title in the women’s shot put.
Adams – who had surgery at the end of 2014 and consequently missed the majority of the 2015 season – opened her series with 18.49m to take an early lead. Carter then responded in the next round with 18.90m to move into pole position.
Hungary’s European indoor champion Anita Marton, a consummate championship performer, then enjoyed a brief spell in the lead after a 19.01m effort in the third round. But it was soon surpassed by Adams with 19.25m and then Carter with 19.31m.
Carter backed up her leading mark with a 19.28m heave in the fourth round, while Marton improved to 19.08m in round five but remained in third place.
With just the top four athletes being given a sixth attempt, Marton saved her best for last and unleashed a national indoor record of 19.33m to move into the gold medal position.
Adams was up next and was unable to improve on her best mark, meaning she would take bronze. It’s the first time since 2004 that the New Zealander hasn’t been in the top two at a global championships.
It all then came down to Carter and a final opportunity to retake the lead. Having just seen teammate Boris Berian win the 800m, Carter stepped into the circle and hurled a winning throw of 20.21m, smashing the North American record.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel, the oldest woman at these championships, achieved her highest ever finish at a global championships. Just one week after turning 37, she finished fourth with 18.38m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF