In the track and field event known as “hammer throw,” competitors use both hands to launch a hammer as far as possible from the centre of a throwing circle.
The British Isles are where the sport first emerged many centuries ago. The legend dates back to the Tailteann Games, which were held in Ireland around 2000 BCE.
And where the Celtic hero C Chulainn was said to have thrown a chariot wheel farther than anyone else by grasping it by its axle and spinning it around his head.
2020 Summer Olympics – Men’s Hammer Throw
Wojciech Nowicki of Poland won the men’s hammer throw on Wednesday with a personal best of 82.52 meters, and his compatriot Pawel Fajdek of Poland avoided another Olympic disappointment by winning the bronze medal.
Nowicki, a three-time world bronze medalist who placed third at the 2016 Olympics, opened with a dominating 81.18.
Silver medalist Eivind Henriksen of Norway set a new national record with an 81.58. Fajdek entered the 2020 Olympics as a heavy favourite thanks to his four World Championship victories, although he had come up empty in both of his previous Olympic appearances.
Four Wednesday attempts fell short of his expectations, but his final score of 81.53 was good enough to put him in third place.
After Anita Wlodarczyk won an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic gold in the women’s hammer on Tuesday, and Malwina Kopron took bronze, these results bolstered Poland’s medal tally. On Saturday, Poland also won the very first 4400 mixed relay.
2020 Summer Olympics – Women’s Hammer Throw
Anita Wlodarczyk, a Polish hammer thrower, won her third Olympic track and field gold medal, beating off the likes of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Valerie Adams, and Sandra Perkovic.
After Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce came in second in the 100 metres, New Zealand’s Adams placed third in the shot put, and Croatia’s Perkovic placed fourth in the discus, Wlodarczyk was the last competitor to win gold.
The 35-year-old athlete fouled her first attempt, but she won the competition with a 76.01m throw in the second round.
In the fourth round, she set a personal best with a score of 78.48 to clinch the gold and go down in history.
Wlodarczyk’s teammate Malwina Kopron of Poland lost her silver medal to China’s Wang Zheng, whose final throw of 77.03 beat Kopron’s best of 75.49.
World champion and favourite DeAnna Price of the United States struggled in the final, placing eighth with a score of 73.09. Price had the greatest throw of 2021 in June.
Anita Wlodarczyk, the triple Olympic champion, matched Nowicki’s home hammer throw double by throwing 75.76m in Bydgoszc after throwing 74.13m in Bydgoszc.
Her countrywoman Malwina Kopron, who won bronze at Tokyo 2020 and was third to her at the Irena Szewinska Memorial, moved up a spot today to second with a distance of 75.06m.
U.S. silver medalist in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Chris Nilsen, set a new meeting record with a vault of 5.92 metres in the men’s pole vault. Renaud Lavillenie, the former world record holder and current world record holder at 35 years old, finished second with a vault of 5.81 metres. Lavillenie has his sights set on the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Third place went to Norwegian Pal Lillefose on countback, and Lavillenie’s younger brother Valentin placed fourth with a distance of 4.71 metres, just ahead of the home vaulter Piotr Lisek.