Olympic champion Daniel Stahl won a dramatic World Championship discus gold with the final throw on Monday just minutes after Kristjan Ceh thought he had done enough to retain his title when his final throw edged him in front of the Swede.
“I thought, what the hell, now I’m going to answer directly,” Stahl told reporters. “It was just to dig in for king and country I’m very proud of how I handled it. This was my best throw ever. It’s very cool.
“It’s like I got a bit of ‘sisu’ in me,” he added, using a Finnish word for fighting spirit. “I’m not going to give up, instead I’m going to get bigger in the moments.”
Five men had gone beyond 70 metres this year but none of the field looked able to threaten it for most of Monday’s contest.
On a hot, sultry night Slovenian Ceh led with 69.27 in the second round before Stahl went 10cm further in the fourth.
With only two throwers left to go, Ceh finally crossed the 70 mark with 70.02 but showed only a muted celebration, knowing just what a competitor his big rival is.
Sure enough, Stahl launched the disc 71.46m – the second-longest throw of the year and a championship record – to take gold.
“The competition was so strong - we have five guys (who have thrown over) 70 and eight with 68 so you could never have predicted it,” 30-year-old Stahl added. “It was an amazing final and I’m really proud now of the record.
“After the throw I had the chance to let my emotions out. I’m a two-time world champion and I couldn’t be happier.”
Lithuania’s 20-year-old Mykolas Alekna, whose father won the world title twice, took bronze with 68.85.
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