New Zealand's Valerie Adams won a record fourth women's shot put world title at the World Athletics Championships on Monday in Moscow.

The 28-year-old two-time Olympic champion threw a best of 20.88 metres while Germany's Christina Schwanitz took silver with a personal best of 20.41m.

China's Olympic bronze medalist Gong Lijiao had to settle for third again at a major championships with 19.95m.

"It's been an amazing evening. I'm just stoked, I'm over the moon," said Adams.

"I did try to stay calm at the end and just think about what I needed to do and what I know I can do."

Adams, who only got promoted to Olympic champion last year after the original winner, Belarusian Nadezhda Ostapchuk, was stripped of the title for doping, was never behind, setting a high standard with her first effort of 20.41m.

Adams, whose father is English and mother Tongan, was especially delighted to have won this title after what had been a nightmare in London from start to finish as she had only been allowed to compete after an 11th hour appeal when New Zealand Olympic officials forgot to enter her.

"This win is very special, especially after what happened in London," she said.

"I am so excited winning the fourth world title. It was my plan to grab the lead from the opening throw so as to put pressure on the others.

"That was my 39th consecutive win and I want to make it at least 40 in a row.

"I'm just super happy now. My aim was to dominate them and I definitely did that well."

She delivered her winning throw in the third round and left the others fighting out a bitter battle for the minor medals.

Gong was in silver position until Schwanitz gave it her all in the sixth and final round, which also pushed American Michelle Carter out of the medals and into fourth.