Gold medalist Tatyana Lysenko of Russia competes in the women's hammer throw final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 2011. Lysenko won the final with 77.13 metres.
DAEGU, South Korea, Sept. 4 -- Russia's former world record holder Tatyana Lysenko defeated the current holder Betty Heidler from Germany to claim her first world title here on Sunday with a 77.13-meter effort in the women's hammer throw final.
The 27-year-old opened the final by improving her seasonal best mark by three times out of three attempts to 77.13m, which brought her the first ever gold medal in a global major event. The mark is also the second longest in the world championships history, just behind Anita Wlodarczyk's winning mark of 77.96m in Berlin 2009.
"Until the last attempt, I was not sure I will get gold," said the Russian. "My throws were very solid and stable but hammer throw is the event in which you can never be sure about your victory until the last throw."
Lysenko made a below par start to the season but her form has taken an upward trajectory in recent weeks. The European silver medalist clinched the Russian title with 73.26m on July 24 before recording a then-season's best 75.70m at her final pre-Daegu competition in Moscow.
The 2006 Euro champion served two-year doping suspension to July 14, 2009 after failing an out-of-competition test on May 9, 2007. Her world record of 78.61m on May 26, 2007 and her European Cup win for that year were annulled.
Heidler, the 2007 world champion who smashed the world record with a stunning 79.42m in Halle in May 2011, got the silver with 76.06m from her penultimate throw.
"I do not know what was wrong with me today, why I did not get it today, why I did not get it together today. There was just no rhythm. It was not a good competition," said the 27-year-old. "I am not happy about this competition and my result. But at least I still got a silver medal because until the fifth attempt I was only third."
"Today's championship is a good motivation for me for 2012. Because I know that I am the best in the world this year and also the world record holder," she added.
China's Zhang Wenxiu won her third bronze medal in major global events by throwing the hammer to 75.03m in her first attempt. The 25-year-old Asian record holder landed world bronze in 2007 and the same color medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
"I achieved my second best throw of the season and managed to return to the medals after missing the podium in Berlin," she said. "The gold and silver medal winner were very strong today and I wanted to achieve my best result in the first round. I am satisfied with my performance coming back from a long injury last year."
Cuba's twice world champion Yipsi Moreno managed to record only twice out of six attempts and finished fourth with her seasonal best of 74.48m.
"This is the first time I finish fourth at a major championship since 2001 and I am not unhappy," said the 30-year-old veteran. "I did not compete against the top girls this year and I only saw them here. Lack of competition was reflected in a number of fouls and playing safe to score a valid throw. Despite all this, I fought and produced my season's best."
"I feel I can improve today's result before the end of the season. The motivation is there and I will continue to pursue my Olympic dreams," she added.
Defending champion Wlodarczyk followed Moreno with this year's personal best mark of 73.56m.
"After many injuries, I only managed to do physical conditioning before coming here. I wanted 75m, but I am satisfied with my season's best and the fact that I did not commit many fouls," said the 26-year-old Pole.
Tatyana Lysenko of Russia competes during the women's hammer throw final at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, on Sept. 4, 2011. Lysenko won the final with 77.13 metres.