American Record — Gwen Berry Reclaims The Hammer Standard

Gwen Berry was ecstatic to move back to the top of the U.S. all-time list. (KEVIN MORRIS/PHOTO RUN)

For Gwen Berry, a solo jaunt through Eastern Europe provided a very big dividend at her first stop, the southern Poland city of Chorzów. At the Kusociński Memorial she took on a stellar field that included three World Championships medalists, headlined by the event’s biggest star, 2xOG/3xWC gold medalist Anita Włodarczyk of Poland.

Berry knew she was the underdog, taking on the WR holder on her home turf. “I was pretty nervous going into the meet,” she says, “but I was confident in my training.”

It would be her sixth meeting against the 3-time Athlete Of The Year, and in every previous encounter, Berry had been beaten. But in warm-ups, the 28-year-old Southern Illinois alum got the feeling that all of her recent technique work was starting to pay off. “It was pretty easy,” she explains. “I warmed up at about 73m [239-6] and I was going like 50 or 60%. So I knew that I had a good throw in me.”

Approaching the ring for her first whirl, she says, “I took a couple of deep breaths and then I was just able to execute what I have been doing in practice the last couple of weeks. I put it on the line and put it all in a ball and it just happened. When I released it, I knew it was a big one, but I thought it was like 75 or 76m [c245-250].”

The measurement came back at 77.78 (255-2), a new American Record, a solid meter past her old best of 251-10 (76.77) and just 5 inches past the record of 254-9 (77.65) that DeAnna Price had put up just 6 days earlier. Berry moved to No. 4 on the all-time world list. “I knew it was a PR, but I didn’t know it was that far,” she says.

Włodarczyk responded with a strong series, topped by a 247-9 (75.52). But the American never relented, hitting 249-0 (75.91) in round 3 and 253-3 (77.19) in the next. The latter is the third-farthest throw in U.S. history.

What’s next for Berry? “I definitely have more in me, just because of my new technique and mechanics,” she says. “Now I’m about to get back to the drawing board and continue to keep getting better.”

With the improvement we have seen in the event in the U.S. this season, is it likely we will see an 80 (262-5) American Record before the next Olympics? “Definitely,” she says without hesitation. “The event is evolving because more people know they can be good at it and because of their passion and hunger. That’s what’s making it take off.”

There was more to the meet than the hammer. World leaders fell to Andrius Gudžius in the discus (227-4/69.30) and Genzebe Dibaba in a mostly solo 1500 (3:56.68). In the shot, Ryan Crouser (73-¾/22.27) topped Tom Walsh (70-11¾/21.63), for a 10-6 career advantage over the Kiwi. The best mark on the track was Genzebe Dibaba’s world-leading 1500 of 3:56.68, the fifth sub-3:57 of her career.


CHORZÓW RESULTS

Chorzów, Poland, June 08—

400: 1. Paul Dedewo (US) 44.56; 2. Luguelín Santos (DR) 44.75; 3. Karol Zalewski (Pol) 45.15 PR.

800: 1. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Ken) 1:45.70; 2. Adam Kszczot (Pol) 1:46.12; 3. Kipyegon Bett (Ken) 1:46.27; 4. Alfred Kipketer (Ken) 1:46.35.

110H(0.5): 1. Sergey Shubenkov (Rus) 13.25; 2. Damian Czykier (Pol) 13.42; 3. Antonio Alkana (SA) 13.51;… 6. Devon Hill (US) 13.97.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-6½ (2.30); 2. Maciej Grynienko (Pol) 7-5¼ (2.27) PR; 3. Sylwester Bednarek (Pol) 7-5¼; 4. Norbert Kobielski (Pol) 7-4¼ (2.24); 5. Andrii Protsenko (Ukr) 7-4¼.

PV: 1. Renaud Lavillenie (Fra) 19-4¾ (5.91) (18-4¾ [3], 19-¾, 19-4¾ [2], 19-8½ [xxx]) (5.61 [3], 5.81, 5.91 [2], 6.01 [xxx]); 2. Paweł Wojciechowski (Pol) 18-8¾ (5.71); 3. Piotr Lisek (Pol) 18-1 (5.51).

SP: 1. Ryan Crouser (US) 73-¾ (22.27) (f, 70-5, f, 73-¾, f, 72-8½) (f, 21.46, f, 22.27, f, 22.16);

2. Tom Walsh (NZ) 70-11¾ (21.63) (69-0, 69-6, 70-11¾, f, 69-11¾, 69-9¾) (21.03, 21.18, 21.63, f, 21.33, 21.28);

3. Michał Haratyk (Pol) 70-9¾ (21.58); 4. David Storl (Ger) 69-5¼ (21.16); 5. Konrad Bukowiecki (Pol) 66-8 (20.32); 6. Ryan Whiting (US) 65-11½ (20.10).

DT: 1. Andrius Gudžius (Lit) 227-4 (69.30) PR (WL) (215-2, 217-8, 209-2, 217-6, 219-7, 227-4) (65.58, 66.34, 63.75, 66.29, 66.92, 69.30);

2. Ehsan Hadadi (Irn) 218-9 (66.68) (209-2, f, 213-10, 211-11, 218-9, 211-2) (63.76, f, 65.18, 64.61, 66.68, 64.36); 3. Robert Harting (Ger) 213-8 (65.13); 4. Piotr Małachowski (Pol) 210-4 (64.10); 5. Robert Urbanek (Pol) 202-7 (61.75); 6. Gerd Kanter (Est) 199-7 (60.83).

HT: 1. Wojciech Nowicki (Pol) 264-6 (80.63) PR (249-7, f, 257-8, 264-6, 264-6, f) (76.08, f, 78.55, 80.63, 80.63, f); 2. Paweł Fajdek (Pol) 262-7 (80.04) (f, f, 258-11, f, 262-7, 258-1) (f, f, 78.92, f, 80.04, 78.66); 3. Dilshod Nazarov (Tjk) 256-6 (78.18); 4. Marcel Lomnický (Svk) 252-7 (77.00); 5. Nick Miller (GB) 245-6 (74.83); 6. Serghei Marghiev (Mol) 245-6 (74.83); 7. Bence Halász (Hun) 245-3 (74.77).

CHORZÓW WOMEN

100(0.3): 1. Ewa Swoboda (Pol) 11.30; 2. Tatjana Pinto (Ger) 11.32; 3. Jura Levy (Jam) 11.42; 4. Deajah Stevens (US) 11.45.

400: 1. Justyna Święty-Ersetic (Pol) 51.11; 2. Allyson Felix (US) 51.35; 3. Iga Baumgart (Pol) 51.71 =PR.

1500: 1. Genzebe Dibaba (Eth) 3:56.68 (WL);

2. Axumawit Embaye (Eth) 4:04.90; 3. Diana Sujew (Ger) 4:05.95; 4. Sofia Ennaoui (Pol) 4:07.04; 5. Simona Vrzalová (CzR) 4:07.32; 6. Daryia Barysevich (Blr) 4:08.89; 7. Jemma Reekie (GB) 4:09.54 PR.

Field Events

LJ: 1. Christabel Nettey (Can) 22-7 (6.88) (20-8½, 22-7, 21-6¼, 21-4¾, 19-10¼, p) (6.31, 6.88, 6.56, 6.52, 6.05, p); 2. Brittney Reese (US) 22-6½ (6.87) (f, 21-11½, 22-3, 21-11, 21-8¾, 22-6½) (f, 6.69, 6.78, 6.68, 6.62, 6.87); 3. Shara Proctor (GB) 22-3½ (6.79).

HT: 1. Gwen Berry (US) 255-2 (77.78) AR (old AR 254-9/77.65 DeAnna Price [NYAC] ’18) (4, x W) (255-2, 239-7, 249-0, 253-3 [x, 3 A], 239-6, f) (77.78, 73.02, 75.91, 77.19, 73.01, f);

2. Anita Włodarczyk (Pol) 247-9 (75.52) (228-6, 247-9, f, 244-0, 247-8, 247-1) (69.66, 75.52, f, 74.37, 75.48, 75.31); 3. Joanna Fiodorow (Pol) 243-4 (74.18); 4. Alexandra Tavernier (Fra) 243-1 (74.09); 5. Malwina Kopron (Pol) 238-2 (72.59); 6. Hanna Malyshik (Blr) 235-5 (71.77); 7. Réka Gyurátz (Hun) 232-8 (70.92); 8. Hanna Skydan (Aze) 230-1 (70.14).

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