EUGENE, Ore.(Reuters) - Young gun Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia dethroned Sweden’s Daniel Stahl in the discus final at the World Championships on Tuesday, giving the performance of his life to win gold in his first major championship.
Olympic champion and 2019 winner Stahl very briefly held the lead with a 66.59-metre opener but was quickly overtaken by Lithuanian duo Mykolas Alekna and Andrius Gudzius, improving to 67.10 on his fifth try but never getting himself back into medal contention.
The 23-year-old Ceh sent roars through Hayward Field as he rocketed a 71.13-metre third attempt across the lawn in Eugene, Oregon, clinching the top of podium in a championship record.
“It was a fast circle here but everybody has the same conditions and you just need to trust yourself,” he said.
The 206-centimetre (6.76-foot) tall titan waved his hands to hype up the crowd after his final toss and later leaned down so that an official could place the gold around his neck.
“I knew t hat I have the ability for the big throw,” he told reporters. “But this was my first major championships and I had various feelings from the beginning.”
Ceh said he would turn his attention to the European Championships next month, eager to keep up the momentum.
“I want to be the best,” he said.
Alekna and Gudzius finished with silver and bronze, jogging along the track with their nation’s flag waving behind them, after producing throws of 69.27 and 67.55, respectively, in the fourth round.
“I am happy we got two medalists from our country. It is amazing and it could not be better,” said the 19-year-old Alekna.
For Gudzius, the third spot on the podium was as sweet as his 2017 world gold, after “difficult years” of injuries and training through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For the last three years I had some nasty stuff happening - lots of muscle injuries, torn muscles,” he said. “I do not care about the result but this medal is amazing.”