Tom Walsh produced the performance of the championships thus far after he launched the shot to an astonishing 22.31m championship and Oceanian record to successfully defend his title by an equally-impressive 87cm margin.
The 26-year-old, who captured the world outdoor title in London last year, was yet to compete indoors this winter but he threw 21.87m on home turf earlier this month, suggesting strong form as he prepared to defend his crown.
And the Olympic bronze medallist duly delivered, as his gigantic last-round throw moved him to fourth on the world all-time list, breaking the longest-standing championship record of 22.24m set by Ulf Timmermann in 1987 in the process, five years before he was born.
“I came here to win but I knew that I would have to throw well to beat these guys,” said Walsh, who also reached 22.13 in both the first and third rounds. “It was a crazy competition but I finished with a boom. I came here to retain my title and it is a good feeling to achieve that.”
“The crowd was awesome, especially the last 20 minutes with the crowd so close, and they pushed me to throw far.”
His 22.31m effort also eclipsed his 22.21m outdoor personal best.
Germany’s two-time world outdoor champion David Storl upped his game to register a 21.44m season’s best to claim his third consecutive silver medal in these championships.
The 2011 and 2013 world outdoor champion’s placing replicates his 2014 and 2016 event position, and the 2012 Olympic silver medalist should be pleased with his consistent series here, which also included throws of 21.15m, 21.08m and 21.18m.
The world indoor leader prior to this historic final with 22.17m to take the Czech title, Thomas Stanek claimed the bronze medal, courtesy of another fine 21.44m throw.
That equaled Storl but the advantage went to the German whose next best throw of 21.18m bettered Stanek’s second best by six centimetres.
Olympic fifth placer Darlan Romani of Brazil unleashed a 21.37m South American record on his final throw to finish fourth, following 21.23m and 21.09m efforts in the earlier rounds.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Mesud Pezer set a 21.15m national record for fifth, while US duo Darrell Hill and Ryan Whiting placed sixth and seventh - with a 21.06m personal best for Hill and a 21.03m season’s best Whiting, the 2012 and 2014 champion.
Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki will be disappointed with eighth position, the European indoor champion having to settle for a 20.99m best today.
Further back, European outdoor silver medalist, Michal Haratyk of Poland finished 10th with 20.69m, to round out the top end of the deepest competition ever. Before today, no competition featured seven men throwing beyond 21 metres and ten beyond 20.
Nicola Sutton for the IAAF