'What a performance': Fans hail Aussie's unprecedented gold medal

Australian Kelsey-Lee Barber has shown nerves of steel, producing a huge final-round throw to win the gold medal in the women's javelin at the world athletics championships in Doha.

Having lengthened her run-up on the advice of coach and husband Mike Barber, the 28-year-old claimed the world title in dramatic style, moving from fourth place to first with the clutch final-round effort of 66.56m.

The extraordinary final throw from the 28-year-old saw her achieve an incredible feat as Australia’s first javelin world champion.

"I didn't know how far it was as I was still waiting to watch it fly over that line but it certainly felt like a really clean throw," she said.

"With easy, clean throwing you normally know they are quite good throws.

Kelsey-Lee Barber won gold with a massive final throw in the javelin.
Kelsey-Lee Barber claimed gold with her final throw. Pic: Getty

"I thought it had snuck over 65 so I was just waiting to see the numbers come up.

"Then to see 66 and jump into first place my head was spinning a bit.

"But I was like 'wait, I can't celebrate too early because I have still got three girls to go'."

As it turned out, none of them were able to respond.

The reaction from Australian fans to the incredible slice of history was overwhelming on social media.

The minor medals went to Chinese duo Liu Shiying (65.75m) and Lyu Huihui (65.49m) with German Christin Hussong relegated to fourth place.

Barber came into the championships ranked No.2 in the world this year courtesy of a brilliant season highlighted by a personal best of 67.70m in Lucerne in July.

But she looked out of sorts in the qualifying round in Doha on Monday, only scraping through to the 12-woman final in 10th place.

Barber settled her nerves on Tuesday night with a solid opening throw of 62.95m, but with one round to go in the final she had only improved to 63.65m and a podium finished looked unlikely.

Afterwards Barber paid tribute to her coach and husband.

Australia's Kelsey-Lee Barber clinched a special piece of history in the javelin competition.
Kelsey-Lee Barber is Australia's first javelin world champion. Pic: Getty

"It's wonderful and I wouldn't be able to do this without him," she said.

"And especially tonight my performance couldn't have been achieved without him on the fence.

"There were technical cues as much as anything but just to have the support to say 'you're good' or 'cool, calm down a little bit'.

"The emotional connection is what makes it so special and so enjoyable."

It was only the second throwing gold medal won by an Australian at a world championships.

Barber also became just the ninth Australian athlete to win a world championships title.

With AAP