In doing so, Petty achieved a goal she’s been chasing for some time - to run under two minutes, posting a time of 1:59.06.
``I’ve been waiting so long to get under that two minutes and to have smashed it by that much … it’s really just a dream come true. I’m just so grateful for everyone that’s helped me to get there because it’s definitely not a solo effort.’’
Petty (nee Smit) had taken the lead in both her heat and semi-final at the athletics stadium in the South Korean city of Gwangju and had thought she might have to also take charge of tonight’s race. But early on Jamaica’s Simoya Kadine took the lead and it was a composed
Petty who waited until the time was right to make her move, and come home with a gold.
``I just gave it everything right to the line and thankfully it was enough,’’ the 23-year-old said.
The Jamaican won the silver and bronze went to Fabienne Kohlmann of Germany.
Petty had set her previous personal best of 2:00.03 at the last World University Games in 2013 in Kazan, Russia. She finished fifth over the same distance at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
She posted a personal best in the 1500m a few weeks ago, and said she felt like she was due to go under the two minute mark in the 800m.
``My training was going really well and (coach) Maria (Hassan) had the confidence in me that I could do it. It was just about getting out in the right race and it finally came.’’
More results for athletics
In other finals, Rosa Flanagan and Cameron French both finished in fifth place. The 19-year-old Flanagan, who found the pace intense the
whole way, placed fifth in the 3000m steeplechase in 9:55.05.
French, a 23 year old Hamilton athlete finished just outside the medals with a strong performance in the 400m hurdles recording 49.92 for fifth place.
French said he was happy to race the final and had gained experience from racing a heat, semi and then the final in three days.
``I think the last few days were on my legs, bit heavy, but I was happy to run the final,’’ he said.
``I was hoping to maybe go a bit closer to the top three but you just never know. I got a good start in the 200, there’s still things to work on.’’
The other Kiwi in a final on the third day of track and field action, Javelin thrower Ben Langton-Burnell started promisingly with a 74.39m throw, a metre shy of his best set in the qualifying round, but could not improve with two further attempts and finished in tenth place.
After four events in the seven-event Heptathlon, Veronica Torr from Auckland lies in second position thanks to fourth place performances in the 100m hurdles (13.85) and the high jump (1.71), followed by an outstanding win in the shot put, (14.08) and the ninth fastest time in the 200m (25.77).
In earlier action, Tori Peters made the final in the javelin, Nneka Okpala set the fifth longest distance in triple jump qualifying, Brad Mathas gained an automatic qualifying spot in the 800m to progress to the semi-finals and Nikki Hamblin easily made it through to the 1500m final, courtesy of a second placing in her heat.
In the final day in the pool for the New Zealand swim team, the women’s 4x100m medley relay team of Caroline Baddock, Helena Gasson, Natasha Lloyd and Laura Quilter qualified sixth fastest through to the final with a time of 4:08.22.
They were led with a 1:022.28 effort in the backstroke by Baddock, a 1:10.16 leg by breaststroker Lloyd, Gasson went under the one minute mark with a 59.57 in the butterfly with Quilter home in 56.36 in the anchor freestyle leg.
USA led qualifiers with a 4:03.03 effort from Japan (4:04.15) and Italy (4:04.51).
In the final, the Kiwis produced a combined time of 4:09.18.
Unfortunately the men’s medley relay team of Shaun Burnett, Daniel Hunter, Alex Peach and Sam Perry did not qualify for the final, swimming 3:46.02.
The action for the swimmers now moves to the 10km open water swim where Kane Radford and Phillip Ryan will be competing.
Hweiching Lim had a great round in pool play to beat Jayasundara of Sri Lanka 3-1 to progress through to the next round to play Marina Dolgilch of Russia tomorrow.
In other matches in pool play for the men’s and women’s singles, Roger Rao lost 0-3 to Karli Siispool of Estonia; Julia Wu lost 0-3 against Wickramasingh of Sri Lanka; Natalie Paterson won a match against Orellana Matri of Venezuela to go down 3-1.
In the afternoon, Zhiyang Cheng lost 0-3 against Liang Qin of Germany.
Daniel Lowe lost 0-3 to Argentina’s Lucas Bayona but the scoring was reversed in Roger Rao’s match against Rouhani Abden of Algeria which Roger won 3-0.