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Reuters Photo Verifies David Storl Shot Put Victory

posted 17 Aug 2013, 05:27 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Aug 2013, 05:27 ]

Reuters photographer Kai Pfaffenbach's photographs prompt the judges of the men's shot put competition at the world championships to overrule their decision to disallow German David Storl's winning throw.

 MOSCOWRUSSIA (AUGUST 17, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Germany's David Storl retained his world shot put title in controversial circumstances on Friday (August 16) when his winning throw, originally ruled a foul, was allowed to stand after judges consulted Reuters photographer Kai Pfaffenbach's camera.

Storl was trailing favourite American Ryan Whiting when he launched an obviously big effort in the fourth round, only for it to be ruled a foul as they judged that his foot had edged over the rim of the circle.

A long discussion with the judges followed, and after consulting the photographs taken by Pfaffenbach, a measurement was allowed and it proved well worth the trouble for Storl as his season's best 21.73-metre effort was enough for gold.

"I didn't win the gold medal and I didn't secure (it), it was David (Storl) who did it himself, who got the best attempt in the shot put competition," Pfaffenbach said inMoscow on Saturday (August 17).

"It was a very tight competition, both American and Canadian were very strong.Poland's Majewski, he didn't have a very good night last night at Luzhniki, but David certainly had. And it was just pure luck that I caught, like, five or six images of his fourth attempt sideway while all the rest were shooting from a different perspective.

"And those pictures could prove basically that he didn't do foul which the referees decided first, and then he was granted a good attempt. And that was the attempt making him the world champion again, the second time after Daegu two years ago," Pfaffenbach added.

If the Storl's fourth attempt had not been allowed to stand, he would have ended only third, behind Whiting and Canada's Dylan Armstrong.

But as Pfaffenbach's pictures managed to convince judges to overrule their decision, Storl's fourth attempt was enough to win gold as Whiting could not improve on his opening round 21.57 and had to settle for silver ahead of Armstrong who took bronze with 21.34.

Storl hugged Pfaffenbach before starting celebrations with a German flag.

"He really was thankful, and you could really see it. And I could actually feel it when he hugged me as a 120-kilogram colossus - and I'm not tiny and lightweight as well, but he is certainly a big man. I actually got the feeling it came from his heart that he was really thankful," Pfaffenbach said.

Storl will be awarded the gold medal at a ceremony later on Saturday.