Series27 Dec 2023

2023 review: throws


Camryn Rogers in the hammer at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 (© Getty Images)

As the year draws to a close, we look back at the key moments of 2023 in each area of the sport.

The series continues with a review of the throwing events, and will be followed over the coming days by reviews of all the other event groups.


Men’s shot put

Season top list

23.56m Ryan Crouser (USA) Los Angeles 27 May
22.93m Joe Kovacs (USA) Eugene 17 September
22.69m Tom Walsh (NZL) Eugene 17 September
22.44m Zane Weir (ITA) Padova 3 September
22.37m Darlan Romani (BRA) Budapest 19 August

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Ryan Crouser (USA) 1552
2 Tom Walsh (NZL) 1448
3 Joe Kovacs (USA) 1437
4 Leonardo Fabbri (ITA) 1425
5 Payton Otterdahl (USA) 1392

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Ryan Crouser (USA) 23.51m CR
🥈 Leonardo Fabbri (ITA) 22.34m PB
🥉 Joe Kovacs (USA) 22.12m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Ryan Crouser (USA) 23.51m
Wanda Diamond League:
Joe Kovacs (USA) 22.93m
Asian Championships:
Tajinderpal Singh Toor (IND) 20.23m
South American Championships:
Welington Morais (BRA) 20.59m
Pan-American Games:
Darlan Romani (BRA) 21.36m
Asian Games:
Tajinderpal Singh Toor (IND) 20.36m

Season at a glance

Even the alarming late discovery that he had two blood clots in his legs could not prevent Ryan Crouser, the big shot of the shot put, retaining his world title in Budapest.

As things turned out, the 30-year-old Olympic champion and world record-holder from Portland, Oregon – wearing tights to protect his legs – never gave his rivals the ghost of a chance.

After taking a first-round lead with an effort of 22.63m that would have been enough to secure another gold, he added four centimetres to the championship record he had set in Oregon the previous year with a second-round effort of 22.98m.

A second-round personal best of 22.34m was the closest challenge made to him, earning Italy’s Leonardo Fabbri a silver. But just in case anyone was in doubt about who ruled the circle, Crouser finished with another championship record, this time 23.51m – just five centimetres shy of his most recent world record set in Los Angeles three months earlier.

The result was a triumph for Crouser’s recently developed throwing style involving an extra sidestep to provide greater traction.

“The last few days have been hard,” he said. “With all that has happened, it was a phenomenal throw.”

Bronze, with a throw of 22.12m, went to Crouser’s fellow US thrower Joe Kovacs, who beat him to the 2019 world title by a centimetre with his final throw in a contest that is still recalled as the greatest to have taken place in the discipline.

But this final was close to that level, with four throwers exceeding 22 metres as New Zealand’s Tom Walsh, the 2017 world champion who took bronze in that epic 2019 contest, finished fourth with 22.05m.

Kovacs was happy with a medal in his family’s historical homeland. His beloved grandfather emigrated to the US from Hungary. “I was lucky enough to travel with him back to his home town of Szentpeterfa,” said the two-time world champion, who finished fourth at this year’s US Championships and only made the team because of Crouser’s wild card.

After Fabbri’s home win in Florence, Crouser had won the three Wanda Diamond League meetings preceding the World Championships – in Lausanne, Silesia and London.

But Crouser had to surrender to his friend and compatriot Kovacs at the Diamond League Final in Eugene, finishing two centimetres adrift as the elder man won the trophy with 22.93m.

It was a boom year for the discipline as 11 men surpassed 22 metres – seven more than in 2022. But a total of 29 went beyond 21 metres, matching 2022.


Women’s shot put

Season top list

20.76m Chase Ealey (USA) Eugene 16 September
20.45m Maggie Ewen (USA) Los Angeles 27 May
20.08m Sarah Mitton (CAN) Budapest 26 August
20.06m Gong Lijiao (CHN) Shenyang 28 June
19.92m Auriol Dongmo (POR) Eugene 16 September

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Chase Ealey (USA) 1441
2 Sarah Mitton (CAN) 1416
3 Auriol Dongmo (PO) 1387
4 Maggie Ewen (USA) 1363
5 Jessica Schilder (NED) 1342

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Chase Ealey (USA) 20.43m
🥈 Sarah Mitton (CAN) 20.08m SB
🥉 Gong Lijiao (CHN) 19.69m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Chase Ealey (USA) 20.43m
Wanda Diamond League:
Chase Ealey (USA) 20.76m
Asian Championships:
Song Jiayuan (CHN) 18.88m
South American Championships:
Ivana Gallardo (CHI) 17.39m
Pan-American Games:
Sarah Mitton (CAN) 19.19m
Asian Games:
Gong Lijiao (CHN) 19.58m

Season at a glance

Two years after failing to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, Chase Ealey of the United States retained her world title in dominant fashion.

The 29-year-old may have become known for her adventurous face painting ahead of competitions, but her reputation is now lying in solid gold.

A year after becoming the first US woman to win a world shot put title – something she did in the home environs of Oregon – Ealey effectively completed a successful defence with her very first throw of 20.35m. Nobody could better it.

Canada’s Commonwealth champion Sarah Mitton produced a throw of 20.08m in round five but Ealey improved to 20.43m. Mitton was destined for silver.

The contest for the bronze was fierce, involving China’s 34-year-old Gong, world champion in 2017 and 2019, and world indoor champion Auriol Dongmo. Both threw 19.69m but the veteran Chinese athlete beat her Portuguese rival with a superior second-best throw and went on to secure gold at her delayed home Asian Games in Hangzhou.

“It's even more satisfying than last year because this year I've struggled to get my technique sorted and get everything right,” Ealey reflected.

“I risked this gold because I changed my technique to get better for Paris and the Olympics. That was what the change of technique was for. So hopefully in the future I will have more consistent throws like tonight.”

Dongmo, who won at the Wanda Diamond League meetings in Rabat and Paris, thought she had produced a throw in the final round good enough to earn a medal, but it was ruled a foul.

Behind the downcast Portuguese athlete, Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd finished fifth with 19.59m and Maggie Ewen of the United States sixth with 19.51m.

Ealey finished the season in exuberant fashion, winning at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels with 20.05m before finishing with a glorious flourish at the Final in Eugene, where she set a national record and world lead of 20.76m.

Four women surpassed 20 metres in 2023 – one fewer than in 2022 – but 16 managed more than 19 metres, five more than in 2022.


Men’s discus

Season top list

71.86m Kristjan Ceh (SLO) Johvi 16 June
71.46m Daniel Stahl (SWE) Budapest 21 August
71.00m Mykolas Alekna (LTU) Berkeley 29 April
70.68m Lukas Weißhaidinger (AUT) Schwechat 19 May
70.39m Alex Rose (SAM) Ramona 16 April

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Kristjan Ceh (SLO) 1467
2 Daniel Stahl (SWE) 1441
3 Mykolas Alekna (LTU) 1377
4 Matthew Denny (AUS) 1375
5 Andrius Gudzius (LTU) 1344

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Daniel Stahl (SWE) 71.46m SB
🥈 Kristjan Ceh (SLO) 70.02m
🥉 Mykolas Alekna (LTU) 68.85m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Daniel Stahl (SWE) 71.46m
Wanda Diamond League:
Matthew Denny (AUS) 68.43m
Asian Championships:
Tuergong Abuduaini (CHN) 61.19m
South American Championships:
Claudio Romero (CHI) 63.24m
Pan-American Games:
Lucas Nervi (CHI) 63.39m
Asian Games:
Hossein Rasouli (IRI) 62.04m

Season at a glance

At a World Championships notable for its dramatic turns of events, the men’s discus final fitted right in. For the first time ever in a world final, two throwers – Olympic champion Daniel Stahl of Sweden and defending champion Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia – surpassed 70 metres. In the final round.

And the winner was….Stahl. In what he described as his “best performance ever.”

The 30-year-old Swede regained the title he had won in 2019 thanks to his championship record of 71.46m with the final throw of the competition.

That came in response to Ceh’s final effort of 70.02m which had deposed the Swede – who had led through a fourth-round effort of 69.37m – from the lead.

Now that is drama.

Stahl’s final throw added 33cm to the mark of 71.13m that had earned Ceh the world title a year earlier.

Lithuania’s 20-year-old Mykolas Alekna – son of the two-time Olympic champion Virgilijus – became a two-time world medallist as his fourth-round throw of 68.85m earned bronze, adding to the silver he won in 2022.

Australia’s Commonwealth champion Matt Denny also made history as he set a national record of 68.24m to finish fourth – the best ever distance for that position at a major championships.

"This was my best performance ever," said Stahl, who set a national record of 71.86m in 2019 and has only thrown farther than he did in Budapest on one other occasion.

"I had so much focus; I would say 1000% on the last throw after I saw Kristjan throw 70.02m."

After 31 clashes, Stahl now leads 17-14 against Ceh; that career tally including an Olympic win for Stahl in Tokyo, as well as his two world title victories.

The 66.72m achieved by Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres earned fifth place, one spot above Alekna’s compatriot Andrius Gudzius, the 2017 world champion, who threw 66.16m.

"The competition was so strong," added Stahl. "We have five guys over 70 metres (this season) and eight with 68 metres, so you could never have predicted it. It was an amazing final and I'm really proud of the record."

Ceh had won the discus at the first three Wanda Diamond League meetings in which it featured, at Doha, Rabat and Stockholm, but Stahl won in London shortly before the World Championships began.

Denny, however, was the winner in the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene with a national record of 68.43m, with Ceh second on 67.64m and Stahl third on 67.36m.


Women’s discus

Season top list

70.47m Valarie Allman (USA) Berlin 3 September
69.49m Laulauga Tausaga (USA) Budapest 22 August
68.20m Feng Bin (CHN) Budapest 22 August
67.71m Sandra Perkovic (CRO) Zagreb 10 September
67.44m Yaime Perez (CUB) New York 24 June

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Valarie Allman (USA) 1445
2 Feng Bin (CHN) 1399
3 Sandra Perkovic (CRO) 1388
4 Laulauga Tausaga (USA) 1375
5 Jorinde van Klinken (NED) 1358

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Laulauga Tausaga (USA) 69.49m PB
🥈 Valarie Allman (USA) 69.23m
🥉 Feng Bin (CHN) 68.20m SB
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Laulauga Tausaga (USA) 69.49m
Wanda Diamond League:
Valarie Allman (USA) 68.66m
Asian Championships:
Feng Bin (CHN) 66.42m
South American Championships:
Izabela da Silva (BRA) 61.26m
Pan-American Games:
Izabela Rodrigues (BRA) 59.63m
Asian Games:
Feng Bin (CHN) 67.93m

Season at a glance

A top-level clash between Olympic champion Valarie Allman of the United States and China’s world champion Feng Bin proceeded as expected for four rounds of the women’s discus final.

But then 25-year-old Hawaiian Laulauga Tausaga changed everything by throwing a cat among the pigeons – in the form of an effort of 69.49m that improved her personal best by more than four metres. In fairness, she looked as shocked as anyone about what had occurred…

Heading to Budapest, Allman – still smarting from being beaten into third place at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon behind Feng and Croatia’s double Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic – was the only woman to have thrown beyond the 70-metre mark in 2023, thanks to a season's best of 70.25m set in April in San Diego.

That replicated the form she had shown going into the 2022 World Championships, when she had set a North American record of 71.46m – also in April.

Allman’s hopes of a world gold had risen thanks to her record of consistently surpassing 65 metres throughout the 2023 season, with eight victories out of 10, including the US Trials which she won with 67.66m.

She topped the qualifying round with 67.14m, showing her readiness to upgrade her world bronze from the previous year. But she could not afford any complacency given Feng’s record of six wins from seven competitions, and her performance in finishing just behind her in the qualifiers, with 65.68m.

Tausaga, in comparison, had recorded mixed results in the course of a long season which saw her make 12 appearances but only secure two victories, with her best result of the season, a lifetime best of 65.46m, securing her second place behind Allman at the US Trials.

She was not generally regarded as a medal contender.

Allman’s first throw landed at 68.57m, propelling her to the top of the standings, and when Feng responded, it was almost one-and-a-half metres shy, with the discus landing at 66.97m.

The Olympic champion extended her lead by 22cm in round three, and became the first woman in the field to throw beyond 69 metres with her fourth-round effort of 69.23m.

Feng, the Asian champion, was consistent in her pursuit, improving on her season's best with her last three throws, going from 67.18m, to 67.41m, and then 68.20m.

With fouls in her first and fourth attempts, and then a second-round throw of 52.28m, Tausaga, the 2019 NCAA champion, was at the bottom of the pile with the 65.56m PB she threw in round three.

Her destiny was about to alter as she entered the ring for the fifth time. The resultant throw, a lifetime best of 69.49m, took her into a lead she would not lose – 26cm beyond her compatriot. Tausaga was ecstatic, running across the track to celebrate her achievement with her team.

Allman gave everything to her sixth and final effort, but it landed at 68.61m to secure silver. Feng produced a season’s best of 68.20m with her final attempt. Bronze.

And so Tausaga became the first US woman to win a world discus title.

"I don't know if I have a fairy godmother or something, or my ancestors had some say in it, but I was able to do something tonight that I didn't think was possible yet," said Tausaga. "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 at the last two World Championships.

"I'm just so happy. No one was expecting me and I just showed up."

Two-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Perkovic was fifth with 66.57m.

Allman, who had won two of the Wanda Diamond League meetings preceding Budapest, finished strongly, retaining her hold on the Diamond Trophy with an effort of 68.66m in the Diamond League Final.


Men’s hammer

Season top list

81.92m Wojciech Nowicki (POL) Oslo 15 June
81.25m Ethan Katzberg (CAN) Budapest 20 August
80.88m Rudy Winkler (USA) Tucson 20 May
80.82m Bence Halasz (HUN) Budapest 20 August
80.26m Aliaksandr Shymanovich (BLR) Brest 1 July

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Wojciech Nowicki (POL) 1425
2 Ethan Katzberg (CAN) 1380
3 Rudy Winkler (USA) 1362
4 Bence Halasz (HUN) 1349
5 Mykhaylo Kokhan (UKR) 1337

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Ethan Katzberg (CAN) 81.25m NR
🥈 Wojciech Nowicki (POL) 81.02m
🥉 Bence Halasz (HUN) 80.82m SB
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Ethan Katzberg (CAN) 81.25m
Asian Championships:
Wang Qi (CHN) 72.13m
South American Championships:
Humberto Mansilla (CHI) 75.92m
Pan-American Games:
Ethan Katzberg (CAN) 80.96m
Asian Games:
Wang Qi (CHN) 72.97m

Season at a glance

Pawel Fajdek’s prospects of earning a sixth consecutive world hammer gold disappeared on a night when a new champion emerged – Ethan Katzberg of Canada.

At 21 he was the youngest ever winner of a title that, since 2013, has been in the possession of the mighty Pole.

The warning signs were there for Fajdek when Katzberg improved his national record from 78.73m to 81.18m to top qualifying. And a strong, consistent sequence of throws, peaking with another national record of 81.25m in the fifth round, was enough to earn the newcomer the top honours in the final.

While Fajdek failed to make the podium, he competed with honour to finish fourth thanks to an opening effort of 80.00m.

The first-round leader, however, thanks to an effort of 80.82m, was home thrower Bence Halász, the 2019 world bronze medallist.

You could feel the excitement growing in the stadium at the prospect of a first Hungarian medal at these home championships, maybe even a gold one, on the country’s National Day.

It was a huge ask for the home athlete, however, given the presence of the five-time defending champion and his compatriot Wojcich Nowicki, the Olympic champion. And the newly emerged Canadian…

In the second round, Nowicki shifted his teammate off the podium with an 80.70m, and in the next round an effort of 80.83m put him top, one centimetre above Halasz.

There was ferment in the National Athletics Centre as Halasz appeared to have returned to the lead with a third-round effort initially measured at 81.02m, but a video replay showed that his toe had dipped outside of the sector.

One round later, the local hero was in third place as Katzberg threw his latest national record. Nowicki improved to 81.02m with his own fifth-round throw but remained in silver position.

Neither were able to improve in the final round, but Katzberg's final 81.11m would have also won the competition.

The home nation was able to have something tangible to celebrate on its special day, however, as Halasz held on to bronze.

Through two days of competition, Katzberg had landed six legal throws, all of them more than a metre farther than he had ever thrown before.

“To throw a PB and become a world champion, that is absolutely a great feeling,” said Katzberg after becoming not only the youngest ever men’s hammer champion at the World Championships, but the youngest ever medallist in the event. “It hasn’t hit me yet.”


Women’s hammer

Season top list

80.17m Brooke Andersen (USA) Tucson 20 May
78.62m Camryn Rogers (CAN) Los Angeles 26 May
78.18m DeAnna Price (USA) Eugene 9 July
77.10m Hanna Skydan (AZE) Budapest 23 August
76.60m Janee' Kassanavoid (USA) Tucson 20 May

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Camryn Rogers (CAN) 1416
2 Brooke Andersen (USA) 1386
3 Janee' Kassanavoid (USA) 1367
4 DeAnna Price (USA) 1338
5 Bianca Florentina Ghelber (ROU) 1288

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Camryn Rogers (CAN) 77.22m
🥈 Janee' Kassanavoid (USA) 76.36m
🥉 DeAnna Price (USA) 75.41m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Camryn Rogers (CAN) 77.22m
Asian Championships:
Zhao Jie (CHN) 69.39m
South American Championships:
Rosa Rodriguez (VEN) 68.12m
Pan-American Games:
DeAnna Price (USA) 72.34m
Asian Games:
Wang Zheng (CHN) 71.53m

Season at a glance

Camryn Rogers won the world hammer title with an opening effort of 77.22m to complete a surprise double win for Canada in the discipline following the earlier victory of Ethan Katzberg.

Rogers had arrived in convincing form, having thrown a national record of 78.62m in Los Angeles, where she beat 2022 world champion Brooke Andersen.

She also had six of the top 12 throws leading into the World Championships and had won eight of her 10 competitions.

That consistency was maintained in Budapest, where her three next best throws in the final would also have been good enough to win.

The event was sure of having a new winner following Andersen’s failure to qualify for the final, despite having become only the third woman to surpass 80 metres in the hammer earlier in the season with an effort of 80.17m that remained top of the world list.

Andersen managed only one valid effort, 67.72m, in qualifying. Also unable to progress – although by just one place – was the Pole who had won four consecutive world titles up until 2017, Anita Wlodarczyck.

The 38-year-old triple Olympic champion, who had missed the previous year’s edition in Oregon due to a thigh injury sustained while apprehending a thief who had broken into her car, missed progressing by eight centimetres after throwing a best of 71.17m.

Silver went to a hugely emotional Janee' Kassanavold of the United States, a member of the Comanche Nation. A third-round effort of 76.36m enabled her to become the first Native American woman to win a medal at the World Championships.

While Andersen was unable to impact the final, the woman who finished second to her at the US trials – 2019 world champion DeAnna Price, second on the world all-time list with 80.31m – earned bronze with a best of 75.41m.


Men’s javelin

Season top list

89.51m Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) Turku 13 June
88.88m Neeraj Chopra (IND) Hangzhou 4 October
88.72m Julian Weber (GER) Kassel 8 July
87.82m Arshad Nadeem (PAK) Budapest 27 August
87.54m Kishore Jena (IND) Hangzhou 4 October

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Neeraj Chopra (IND) 1432
2 Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) 1412
3 Julian Weber (GER) 1375
4 Oliver Helander (FIN) 1322
5 Anderson Peters (GRN) 1284

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Neeraj Chopra (IND) 88.17m
🥈 Arshad Nadeem (PAK) 87.82m SB
🥉 Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) 86.67m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Neeraj Chopra (IND) 88.17m
Wanda Diamond League:
Jakob Vadlejch (CZE) 84.24m
Asian Championships:
Genki Dean (JPN) 83.15m
South American Championships:
Pedro Rodrigues (BRA) 80.26m
Pan-American Games:
Curtis Thompson (USA) 79.65m
Asian Games:
Neeraj Chopra (IND) 88.88m

Season at a glance

Neeraj Chopra continues to be India’s history man. A second-round throw of 88.17m earned him his country’s only medal at the World Championships – and it’s only golden one.

The 25-year-old Olympic champion also became the first Asian athlete to win the men’s world javelin title.

Chopra’s runway to Budapest had not been without its difficulties as he worked on adaptations to his technique.

And he faced strong opposition in the form of the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, who had taken silver behind him in Tokyo and was making his fourth World Championship final appearance, and Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, who had won the previous year’s Commonwealth title with a Games record of 90.18m.

Chopra, 25, has yet to break the 90-metre barrier, but his early flourish in Budapest proved too much for any of his competitors, adding gold to the world silver he had earned in Oregon the year before.

Nadeem came closest with a third-round season’s best of 87.82m that earned him silver. It was a particularly impressive display by the 26-year-old given that he hadn’t competed all season as he returned after a long rehab process following elbow surgery late in 2022.

The consistent Vadlejch, who won world silver in 2017 and had arrived with a season’s best of 89.51m which still stood at the end of the season, brought his experience to bear as he earned bronze with a fifth-round effort of 86.67m.

Germany’s Julian Weber was fourth with 85.79m, with Chopra’s compatriots Kishore Jena and D P Manu making it a notable occasion for Indian javelin throwing as they finished fifth and sixth respectively on 84.77m – a personal best – and 84.14m.

“This was great,” said Chopra, who had become only the second Indian athlete to win a World Championship medal in taking silver the previous year behind defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada.

“After the Olympic gold, I really wanted to win the World Championships. I just wanted to throw farther. This is brilliant for the national team, but it was my dream to win gold at the World Championships.

"This has been a great championships for India, and I am proud to bring another title to my country. I wanted to throw more than 90 metres tonight but it needs all parts of the puzzle to be there. I couldn't put it all together this evening. Maybe next time.”

Peters, badly injured after being attacked by five crew members of a party boat, had managed to return to competition but failed to get through qualifying.

Nadeem’s silver was Pakistan’s first ever World Championships medal, making it an emotional night for the Olympic finalist.

“It's a really emotional day for me and my family and country,” he said. “I'm over the moon. I hope I could make my country proud. I was in very good shape and I was confident. This silver medal means a lot to me and it motivates me to earn a better result at the Olympic Games. I will do everything I can in order to be the hero of Pakistan at the Olympics.”

Chopra had won the first two Wanda Diamond League meetings in Doha – where he threw an early world lead of 88.67m – and Lausanne.

At this point Vadlejch took over with victories in Monaco, Zurich and Eugene, where he won the final with 84.24m.

Chopra finished the season atop another podium, however, as he won the Asian Games title in Hangzhou with an effort of 88.88m, the second-best throw of the year.


Women’s javelin

Season top list

67.38m Haruka Kitaguchi (JPN) Brussels 8 September
66.50m Sigrid Borge (NOR) Halle 20 May
65.70m Mackenzie Little (AUS) Lausanne 30 June
65.47m Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (COL) Budapest 25 August
64.78m Lina Muze-Sirma (LAT) Valmeira 29 July

Full season top list

World Athletics rankings

1 Haruka Kitaguchi (JPN) 1432
2 Mackenzie Little (AUS) 1351
3 Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (COL) 1309
4 Victoria Hudson (AUT) 1279
5 Lina Muze-Sirma (LAT) 1259

Full rankings

World medallists

🥇 Haruka Kitaguchi (JPN) 66.73m
🥈 Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (COL) 65.47m AR
🥉 Mackenzie Little (AUS) 63.38m
  Full results

Major winners

World Championships: Haruka Kitachughi (JPN) 66.73m
Wanda Diamond League:
Haruka Kitachughi (JPN) 63.78m
Asian Championships:
Marina Saito (JPN) 61.67m
South American Championships:
Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (COL) 61.82m
Pan-American Games:
Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado (COL) 63.10m
Asian Games:
Annu Rani (IND) 62.92m

Season at a glance

Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi earned her first global javelin title with a dramatic final flourish to match that of Yulimar Rojas in the triple jump at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23.

The 25-year-old from Asahikawa, a world bronze medallist the previous year, moved up from fourth to top place with a last-round winning throw of 66.73m, sending her into a world of delight.

Until that supremely competitive response from the woman who had arrived leading the season’s world list with 67.04m, it seemed gold was destined for Colombia’s 32-year-old Flor Denis Ruiz Hurtado, who – just as Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk had in the triple jump – produced a dominant opening effort of 65.47m, a South American record.

Having failed to reach the javelin final at her three previously contested World Championships in 2013, 2015 and 2017, Ruiz Hurtado finally got things very right in 2023. But the ultimate reward, still the best of her career, was silver.

Final-round drama also attended the winning of the bronze medal, as Australia’s Mackenzie Little earned that position with an effort of 63.38m, effectively displacing Latvia’s Anete Kocina to fourth place with a season’s best of 63.18m.

For Little’s compatriot Kelsey-Lee Barber, who had kept her chances of earning a third consecutive world title alive by claiming the 12th and last qualifying place, the required spark never came and she finished a resigned seventh with a best of 61.19m.

Ruiz Hurtado encouraged the crowd to applaud as she prepared for the final throw of the competition – but her effort fell at 60.97m and gold was Japan’s.

Kitaguchi continued in the same vein as she won the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels with a national record of 67.38m that remained as a world lead. Next up was the Final in Eugene – which she won with a best of 63.78m.

Mike Rowbottom for World Athletics

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