Chase Ealey, who retained her world shot put title in Budapest with a winning fifth-round throw to finish ahead of Canada’s Sarah Mitton, did likewise here in the Place de la Monnaie to win the honours at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels on Thursday (7).
After her triumphant, penultimate launch, the amiable US thrower stood with both arms aloft, twirling, after what she knew was a competition-leading throw. She wasn’t wrong: 20.05m.
Her final effort – the first of three final throws – was big. A big foul, unfortunately.
Mitton ended her series with 19.64m, which, when Maggie Ewen’s final throw of the competition bounced up and away on the bright green artificial throwing area and registered as a foul, left her in the same position she had finished in Budapest…
Ewen finished third, courtesy of her opening-round throw of 19.64m.
“It took me a little bit of time to warm up,” Ealey said. “I couldn’t quite feel the ball, I haven’t trained in a while. So it just took a little longer.”
What had earlier been referred to by world 200m champion Shericka Jackson as “Jamaican weather” did its bit to encourage a sizeable crowd of onlookers to the competition area laid out at the end of one of Brussels’ main pedestrian shopping areas.
Unlike in Budapest, where Ealey led from the first round, this time Mitton began as if she had a point to prove, taking a first-round lead with 19.69m and extending it to 19.76m in the next round.
Ewen (19.64m) and Auriol Dongmo (19.25m) occupied the two other podium places in the early stages.
A first-round 19.20m, meanwhile, kept Ealey in touch in fourth place.
Mitton’s fourth effort, which produced some noise, looked big – but the judge at the circle was already waving a finger in the air to indicate a foul.
Meanwhile, the two-time world champion was fully engaged, but still free to offer a big hug to her US teammate Jessica Woodard, whose third and final effort of 18.82m was not enough to elevate her from ninth place, but was a season’s best with which she was transparently happy.
Ealey pushed on to the podium with a fourth-round effort of 19.51m.
The best was still to come.
Credit: World Athletics