“I thought, what the hell, now I’m going to answer directly,” Stahl told reporters. “It was just to dig in for king and country. I’m very proud of how I handled it. This was my best throw ever. It’s very cool.
“It’s like I got a bit of ‘sisu’ in me,” he added, using a Finnish word for fighting spirit. “I’m not going to give up, instead I’m going to get bigger in the moments.”
Five men had gone beyond 70 metres this year but none of the field looked able to threaten it for most of Monday’s contest.
On a hot, sultry night Slovenian Ceh led with 69.27 in the second round before Stahl went 10cm further in the fourth.
With only two throwers left to go, Ceh finally crossed the 70 mark with 70.02 but showed only a muted celebration, knowing just what a competitor his big rival is.
Sure enough, Stahl launched the disc 71.46 – the second-longest throw of the year and a championship record – to take gold and add it to the world title he won in 2019 in Doha.
“The competition was so strong – we have five guys (who have thrown over) 70 and eight with 68 so you could never have predicted it,” 30-year-old Stahl added.
Lithuania’s 20-year-old Mykolas Alekna, whose father won the world title twice, took bronze with 68.85.
Third in a row
Elsewhere, American Grant Holloway raced to his third consecutive world 110m hurdles gold medal in dominant fashion.
The 25-year-old, who won in 2019 in Doha and last year in Eugene, led by the first hurdle and was in a virtual race of his own by the third, cruising to victory in a season’s best 12.96 seconds.
Holloway held up three fingers after crossing the finish line, hollering “One-two-three!” to the delighted crowd at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest.
“I’m speechless right now,” he said. “Nothing feels like the first one, but this one I’m definitely going to cherish in my heart.”
Hansle Parchment of Jamaica closed well to take the silver in 13.07, while Daniel Roberts of the United States crossed in 13.09 for bronze.
The final was missing the world’s fastest man this season, Rasheed Broadbell of Jamaica (12.94) who crashed out in the preliminary round.
Holloway, the second-fastest hurdler in history, finished second at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and said he was using the sour taste of silver as motivation to go one better next year in Paris.
Meanwhile, Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango soared to victory in the men’s triple jump for the country’s first-ever World Athletics Championships gold, while 18-year-old title favourite Jaydon Hibbert of Jamaica pulled out injured.
Zango, ranked No. 2 in the world, jumped 17.64 metres on his fifth of six attempts to overtake Cuba’s Lazaro Martinez, who won silver with 17.41 after fouling on three of his attempts. Martinez edged team mate Cristian Napoles who jumped 17.40.
The world gold was the first in triple jump for any African nation, Zango pointed out.