Feng takes bronze medal in women's discus throw

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Defending world champion Feng Bin bested her season's record four times, culminating in a throw of 68.20m to secure a bronze in the women's discus throw final at the 2023 World Athletics Championships on Tuesday.

Gold medalist Laulauga Tausaga (C) of the United States, silver medalist Valarie Allman (L) of the United States and bronze medalist Feng Bin of China pose for photos after the Women's Discus Throw final of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 2023 in Budapest, Hungary, Aug. 22, 2023. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

This achievement marked the first medal for the Chinese team in Budapest. Feng equated the value of this bronze to the gold she clinched at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon.

Last year in Eugene, she stunned the field to clinch the title with a first-attempt throw of 69.12m.

"It happened with some luck and that was really a big surprise. I did not expect that to happen, to be honest," the 29-year-old reflected. "But this time I won everything with my power and strength. I fought for it with every possible effort. I can feel that I could reach 68m. That's a fair result for me and will make me feel more confident."

Opening with a throw of 66.97m in her first attempt, Feng set her season's best. Initially, she believed she had achieved her goal. However, the competition intensified.

By her fourth attempt, Feng set another season best with a throw of 67.18m. But soon after, she was edged out by a mere 2cm by Dutch thrower Jorinde Van Klinken, pushing her to fourth place.

"I was so upset to see this because of the 2cm. I was thinking I must win the medal back," Feng expressed. "I don't want to end it like this."

Her determination paid off as a fifth attempt of 67.41m moved her back to third. Her final throw of 68.20m was yet another season's best, although it fell short of capturing silver.

"The tough competition pushed me to fight hard and the pressure can be somehow kind of encouragement, motivating me to finish the throws with better skills."

Li Weibin, China's discus throw coach, engaged Feng in a discussion after her fifth attempt.

"We agreed that I might have some chance to make some breakthroughs tonight since it looks like I'm in pretty good shape," Feng shared. "Nothing is impossible. I was hoping for some better results after securing the medal."

Looking ahead to the Paris Olympics, Feng is optimistic about her trajectory.

"I want an Olympic gold. My goal is 70m and I don't think it's a faraway target. I have good skills. I need more training, more inspiration, and more energy to boost myself. I have such a feeling that I can make it happen sometime in the future."

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