‘All the feels’: USA’s Laulauga Tausaga obliterates PB for shock discus gold | World Athletics Championships [wafact]

Laulauga Tausaga obliterated her personal best by more than four metres to take a stunning world discus gold on Tuesday just as her USA teammate Valarie Allman had been seemingly cruising towards the title.

Tausaga, who finished last in the previous two world finals, came into the showdown with a best of 65.46m but somehow found 69.49 with her fifth throw, before sprinting into the crowd to celebrate with her supporters.

“I don’t know if I have a fairy godmother or my ancestors had some say in it, but I was able to do something tonight that I didn’t think was possible,” Tausaga said.

“I was confident if I was on my A-game I could sneak through into a medal place and not be 12th like I was in the last two world championships … I have a gold medal, I can’t believe it, it’s so unreal. When I saw my distance I just couldn’t get to my coach fast enough to give him the strongest hug of my life.”

Olympic champion Allman owned the top six throws of the season, the best almost three metres further than anyone else in the field, and was determined to avoid a repeat of last year when she was hot favourite but managed only bronze behind surprise winner Feng Bin of China.

Unlike in Eugene, Allman stamped her authority on the Budapest competition with a first round throw of 68.57 – further than any of her rivals had managed all year. She improved that to 68.79 in the third round and 69.23 in the fourth and seemed comfortably set for gold until her teammate intervened.

Hawaii-born Tausaga had managed a personal best of 65.56 but that was barely noticed as it kept her in sixth place at the halfway point.

After Tausaga’s final throw, Allman had a final chance to reclaim the lead but came up short, leaving her compatriot to take a victory throw, which she did with tears streaming down her face.

“I can’t tell you what it means right now because I still can’t believe it,” said Tausaga. “I have all the feels and no words. It’s amazing.

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Allman was clearly disappointed but also paid tribute to her teammate.

“I wanted to be the champion tonight, it is not a secret,” said Allman. “I have been training very hard, putting everything in for the victory. It’s tough when you are in a good form and you cannot reach the gold medal. But I feel so proud of being on the podium and a one-two for USA is also so special, to stand together with Laulauga.

Feng claimed bronze with a final round throw of 68.20.

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