EUGENE, Ore. — One throw was all it took for Chase Ealey to make history on Saturday by winning the United States’ first women’s shot put title at the World Championships, robbing China’s Gong Lijiao of a third consecutive gold medal. .
The 27-year-old let out a roar as she threw 20.49 meters on her first attempt, a mark that proved untouchable in six rounds, although Chinese Olympic champion Gong closed with her fifth test, which missed only 10 cm.
“I was just trying to set the tone, but I felt like I could have thrown further if necessary,” Ealey told Reuters. “It was one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever had in my life. I don’t think I can think of a better time.
Jessica Schilder of the Netherlands produced a national record 19.77m to clinch bronze.
It was heartbreaking for Canadian Sarah Mitton, who tied Schilder’s mark on her final attempt but finished fourth in the tiebreaker.
Ealey hugged her teammates after the final pitch and feasted on the roars of the home crowd as she continued her unbeaten streak in 2022.
“I felt like I couldn’t control my last pitch with these emotions. Doing all of this at home…I hope it will change my life,” she said.
She was the first gold medalist for the United States as they host the world championships for the first time, with the American men sweeping the 100 meters just minutes later.
Ealey, with her fingernails painted red, white and blue, wiped tears from her eyes on the podium as the US national anthem played.
“I don’t think I can describe the atmosphere at the stadium today,” she said. “It will remain deep in my heart.”
Gong said she expected more of herself in Eugene.
“After the Tokyo Olympics, I took a break from playing for more than six months, but when I decided to start my preparation for these world championships, I knew that I had a huge responsibility as a champion ( title),” she said.
“I’m not so happy with this silver medal.”
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