Valerie Adams has become the first woman to win four straight individual world titles, grabbing the women's shot put crown at the world championships.

The Olympic champion from New Zealand won with a toss of 20.88m on Monday.

She has now won 38 straight events and has won every major championship at least twice.

Christina Schwanitz of Germany took silver with a throw of 20.41, and Gong Lijiao of China earned bronze with a toss of 19.95.

Meanwhile, in the men's pole vault, Germany's Raphael Holzdeppe was a shock winner, as he edged red-hot favourite Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie on countback.

Both men failed three times to clear 5.96m, but the German had been faultless in moving up through the heights to notch 5.89 and add world gold to his Olympic bronze last year.

Olympic champion Lavillenie, who had dominated the event all season, was uncharacteristically off form and had several failures along the way before settling for silver, also on 5.89.

Bjorn Otto of Germany took bronze on countback ahead of American Brad Walker after both men cleared 5.82. 

The final of the six medals won at the championships on Monday night came when Poland's Pawel Fajdek who took gold in the hammer-throw, beating Olympic champion Krisztian Pars of Hungary.

Fajdek's winning throw of 81.97m came on his first attempt. Pars also had his best throw on his first attempt, tossing the hammer 80.30m.

Lukas Melich of the Czech Republic took bronze with a throw of 79.36.

Source: AP