OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC – World Championships gold medallist Anita Wlodarczyk set a world-leading mark to win the women’s Hammer Throw at the IAAF World Challenge Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on Thursday (19).
Wlodarczyk, who was opening her outdoor campaign, took the lead with a 71.55m mark in the first round before setting the first of her two world-leading standards for the competition in the second round.
The 2009 and 2015 world champion toss the object to 77.42m, which would’ve also won the contest here today, before improving that world-leading effort in the following round with a 78.54m, which held up to win the competition.
It is the fifth best mark of her career and also a meeting record.
The Poland star thrower was very impressive throughout her series as well, as five of her six efforts were good enough to win the competition.
Wlodarczyk also threw 77.43m, 77.32m and 76.98 in the last three rounds.
The 30-year-old who turns 31 in August, won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Game, but on current form, the world record holder has to be regarded as the favourite to improve that colour in Rio, later this summer.
Wang Zheng of China, a finalist at the last two world championships, was second with a throw of 73.80m, achieved in the first round, while Joanna Fiodorow of Poland improved her season’s best to 72.77m for third place.
Former world champion Betty Heidler of Germany picked up fourth with a season’s best 72.41.
The men’s event also provided a world-leading mark from a Polish athlete, with 2015 world champion Pawel Fajdek bagging the title in Ostrava with a throw of 80.66m.
Before his winning toss, Fajdek sat behind Tajikistan athlete Dilshod Nazarov, who did 78.82m in the second round, but the two-time world champion, after fouling on his second and fourth round efforts, went out to 80.66m in the fifth round and was never challenged.
Marcel Lomnicky of Slovakia took third place with a standard of 77.48m.
Fajdek was improving on his own previous world-leading mark of 79.12m.