HomeOlympicAnita Włodarczyk wins third Olympic hammer title

Anita Włodarczyk wins third Olympic hammer title

Pole proves to be the greatest women’s hammer thrower of all-time as she takes another gold in Tokyo on Tuesday evening

Anita Włodarczyk sealed her position as the greatest female hammer thrower of all-time after claiming the third consecutive Olympic title of her career.

A fourth-round effort of 78.48m was enough to give her victory over the 77.03m of China’s Zheng Wang and fellow Pole Malwina Kopron’s 75.49m as the American pre-event favourite DeAnna Price could only finish eighth with a best of 73.09m.

Włodarczyk had gone into this year as a two-time Olympic champion, four-time global and European champion as well as the world record-holder. But she missed the 2019 World Championships through injury, however, and had lost five of her first six competitions this season. In comparison, world champion Price had looked a certainty to take the title in Tokyo when she won the US trials with 80.02m.

It only really looked like Włodarczyk may have a chance of landing another gold when she threw 77.93m in her last competition at Bydgoszcz in July.

Price was unable to replicate her Doha or Eugene form when it mattered and she ultimately only matched her showing from Rio 2016 in another disappointment for the Americans, who had dominated the world rankings prior to Tokyo.

In the competition, France’s 2015 world medallist Alexandra Tavernier led the opening round with a 73.54m while three-time world medallist Wang produced a 73.21m for second and Kiwi Julia Ratcliffe holding third with 72.61m as Price and Włodarczyk started with no throws.

Wang improved to 75.30m in the second but that didn’t last long as Włodarczyk improved to 76.01m.

Canada’s world junior and NCAA champion Camryn Rogers moved into third in round two with 73.54m to push Tavernier back to fourth, with the Polish second strings Joanna Fiodorow and  Kopron matching each other to the centimetre with 73.09m to go fifth equal.

Price at last woke up a little to at least get a mark on the board with 72.87m which saw her just scrape into the top eight despite a no-throw in the third round.

Włodarczyk increased her lead with 77.44m for her third throw while Bianca Ghelber, ranked 28th in the world lists, put in a shock PB of 74.18m to go fourth, the only other major revision.

The big surprise of the first three rounds was the fifth-longest thrower of all-time, Brooke Andersen (78.18m this summer), who was third-best qualifying, exiting in 10th place with 72.16m.

It was now down to three Poles, an American, the Chinese, a Romanian, a Canadian and a Frenchwoman for the medals.

Włodarczyk improved her lead further with that 78.48m fourth-round effort while Kopron threw 74.11m to go sixth but then threw 75.49m in the following round to go third as the two leaders had no throws.

In the final round, Tavernier improved to 74.41m and Price to 73.09m but it couldn’t put them into medal contention.

Wang improved to 77.03m to further strengthen her hold on second while, in the knowledge she was already champion, Włodarczyk closed out her competition by throwing 77.02m.

After the event, wearing a pair of Olympic five-ring glasses, she celebrated another golden moment triumph team-mate Kopron and the capture of a fourth Olympic medal.

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