By Mitch Phillips
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Germany's Robert Harting won his third successive world discus title in impressive style on Tuesday when his 69.11 meter throw, the fourth-longest of the season, was too good for perennial runner-up Piotr Malachowski of Poland who took another silver.
Harting, also the Olympic and European champion and world runner-up in 2007, has been the most consistent performer all season but with Malachowski the only man to break 70 meters this year it was always likely to be close.
The German set the early pace with a 68.13-metre second throw then, after clattering his third into the cage, launched his gold-winning fourth.
Malachowski responded strongly but his 68.36 was not enough and Harting, with the title in the bag, sent his final throw 68.08. Former world and Olympic champion Gerd Kanter of Estonia took the bronze with 65.19.
Harting then toyed with a mass of photographers waiting for his now-trademark celebration and duly delivered by ripping off his vest before starting his lap of honor.
"It was a bit of a joke for the photographers - it was to make them do a bit of sport and chase me," said Harting, who first ripped his vest off after his dramatic personal best, last-throw victory over Malachowski in the Berlin world championships of 2009.
"It was a special win because this year was very hard for me. My body didn't have everything right so my mind power had to be right," the 28-year-old told reporters.
"Every year it gets harder."
Malachowski was frustrated with his night's work, especially as he was keen to match compatriot Pawel Fajdek's victory in the hammer on Monday.
"I don't know what happened but my first three throws were just not me," he said.
"Maybe I was too nervous, too motivated and I felt there was no real energy in my attempts.
"I'll have to try to get some revenge on Robert in the next competition - he is in great shape and is a great competitor."
(Editing by Ed Osmond)