BUDAPEST: Haruka Kitaguchi of Japan won World Championships javelin gold with her last throw of 66.73 metres on Friday night, breaking the heart of Colombia’s Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado who had been on course for a shock victory from the first round.
Ruiz Hurtado arrived in Budapest with a best of only 63.84 metres – and that was seven years ago – and had never remotely threatened the podium in previous global events.
However, she somehow found almost two more metres with her opening throw of 65.47 for a South American record.
Ruiz Hurtado then endured a nerve-shredding night as her rivals tried, and failed, to match her going into the fi-nal round.
Australia's Mackenzie Little managed a last-round throw of 63.38, which eventually secured bronze.
Kitaguchi, who came into the competition with a world-leading 67.04, was also out of the medals until the pe-nultimate throw of the night secured Japan's first gold of the championships. Agencies