Dominant Wlodarczyk goes 80 plus to take hammer gold

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 27, 2015 9:53 AM

By Nick Mulvenney

BEIJING (Reuters) - Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk summoned up the second longest hammer throw of all time to dominate the world championship final in the same way she has her event all season and win the title for a second time on Thursday.

The 30-year-old is the only woman who has ever thrown the hammer beyond the 80 meter mark and she did it twice at the Bird's Nest Stadium on Thursday, winning gold with her fourth effort of 80.85 meters.

The only throw better in the history of the event was the 81.08 Wlodarczyk, who also won the world title in 2009, notched to improve her own world record in Poland at the start of this month.

"The title, the world record, I cannot ask for more this year," Wlodarczyk said. "I proved that I can throw far also at international competition not only at home with the support of of the home crowd.

"I'm a bit disappointed because I really wanted the world record here in Beijing."

China's Zhang Wenxiu delighted the local crowd by claiming silver with her best throw of the season (76.33), while 21-year-old Frenchwoman Alexandra Tavernier took bronze with her best effort of 74.02 -- nearly seven meters behind the champion.

An Olympic silver medalist in London, Wlodarczyk's dominant season sets her up nicely for an assault on the gold in Rio de Janeiro next year, where she is likely to face reigning champion Tatyana Belobodorova, who skipped Beijing after having a baby.

First though, it will be back home for another competition in Poland and another tilt at the world record.

"I love to make my family and people around me happy," she added. "It was just a great season, I'd like to thank everybody."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Mitch Phillips/Alan Baldwin)