2023 World Athletics Championships

Laulauga Tausaga Lands Throw For The Ages, Wins World Discus Title

Laulauga Tausaga Lands Throw For The Ages, Wins World Discus Title

The story of the day on Tuesday was Laulauga Tausaga's shock win in the women's discus, which was a career-best throw by just over four meters.

Aug 22, 2023 by Cory Mull
Laulauga Tausaga Lands Throw For The Ages, Wins World Discus Title

Laulauga Tausaga's first two throws did not go well on Tuesday in the women's discus final. 

Perhaps that's putting it lightly. 

As her American teammate, Valarie Allman, the Olympic champion in Tokyo back in 2021, raced to the lead on her very first throw, marking 68.57 meters, Tausaga was out of the sector on her first attempt and then landed a meager 52.28 meters on her second throw. 

She was dead last going into her final attempt at the World Championships. 

But as do-or-die time came calling, she found one last-ditch salvo, marking 65.56 meters on her third throw to reach the final eight and earn the right for three more attempts. Maybe that was all it took. 

On her fifth throw, Tausaga, 25, bottled up a career throw, unleashing a mark of 69.49 meters, which was just over two decimeters better than Allman's best of 69.23. She became the first American to win a gold in the women's discus. 

Consider this: Tausaga's previous best, a second-place effort of 65.46m from USAs in July, was a full four meters shy of her gold-medal winning throw on Tuesday. She was ranked No. 8 in the world prior to Tuesday. 

Tausaga had won a world title on her fifth round throw. 

Her shock win was the story of the day. 

She said small adjustments and execution spurred her on, she told NBC's Lewis Johnson afterward, explaining she and her coach said, "maybe this is the time it hits and it happened." 

The performance instantly became Tausaga's career moment, surpassing 2019, which saw her win an NCAA discus title (60.28m) for the University of Iowa before she qualified for the World Championships in Doha. 

The win also forced Allman, 28, who was the prohibitive favorite, into second. Allman, who was the U.S. champion, had entered with a world lead of 70.25m from April. She had also finished third at worlds last year. 

She opened on Tuesday with the lead in 68.57m before raising it to 68.79m on her third attempt. But after increasing her advantage on her fourth throw to 69.23m, she could not net a mark over 69.5m on her last two throws to combat Tausaga's winning moment. 

Allman told Johnson later that she went for the win, but ultimately she left satisfied with the fact that if anyone beat her, it was her American teammate Tausaga. 

Related Links: 

Sha'Carri Richardson showcases brilliance in 100m final

Tobi Amusan has a message for her fans

Grant Holloway becomes three-time World champion

Hana Moll punches her ticket to World pole vault final