Gong Lijiao of China at World Championships

JINAN, China — Two-time world champion Gong Lijiao of China opened her 2021 season with a comfortable victory in the women’s shot put at a national indoor invitational event here on Wednesday.

Lijiao, who won gold medals at the 2017 and 2-19 World Championships, cruised to victory after throwing 19.45 meters in the final round of the competition. The 32-year-old opened with a mark of 19.05m and went on to improve that mark to 19.12m and 19.16m in the next two rounds.

Gong, who owns a personal best mark is 20.43m from 2016, said she was happy to finally get her season underway, but admitted that she struggled to “find the right rhythm throughout” the contest and needs to compete more.

“I was very excited to take part in the first competition of the year. But I just can not find the right rhythm throughout the six rounds,” she said. “I think I need to compete in more events to get my best form.”

Gao Yang finished second on Wednesday with 18.61m, and was followed by Jiang Yue with a mark of 17.59m.

Meanwhile, Ding Bangchao secured first place in the men’s pole vault with a personal-best clearance of 5.70m. Chen Wenwen was second with 5.40m, the same height cleared by Song Haoyang.

Women –
Shot Put 17 March Indoor

1 Gong Lijiao CHN 19.45
2 Gao Yang CHN 18.61
3 Jiang Yue CHN 17.59 PB
4 Guo Tianqian CHN 17.06
5 Zhang Linru CHN 17.01 PB
6 Sun Yue CHN 17.00 PB
7 Yu Tianxiao CHN 16.52
8 Chen Xiarong CHN 16.22
9 Du Xinrui CHN 15.44 PB
10 Zhang Haoren CHN 14.49 PB

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