World Champs Men’s Hammer — A Very Familiar Face

The last time there was a World Champs gold that wasn’t won by Paweł Fajdek was Daegu ’11. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

WHAT WERE YOU DOING in 2013?

Paweł Fajdek was winning his first World Championships hammer gold.

2015?

Same.

How about ’17 & ’19?

Still winning gold.

Would a fifth in 2022 be enough?

No. 5 left the 33-year-old Pole hungry for more. “I know Sergey Bubka has 6 golds, so I want 7!” said the quintuple gold medalist.

Poland’s two hammer masters, Fajdek and reigning Olympic champion, Wojciech Nowicki, took the top two spots. Gold and silver were settled in round 3, with Fajdek (268-11/81.98) almost a meter ahead of Nowicki (265-10/81.03).

For the third time in meet history, 5 exceeded the 80m (262-5) barrier. There were 7 in ’07 and 6 in ’87.

All the 80-meter throws took place in the second and third rounds, and the results were dazzling, as 263-3 (80.24) and 262-11 (80.15) didn’t get you on the podium.

France’s Quentin Bigot led all comers after the first round with his 260-11 (79.52), and American Rudy Winkler’s opening 258-10 (78.91) made a medal look promising as he stood 3rd.

An upset in the making? Bigot, Hungary’s Bence Halász, and Winkler would finish in that order… but in places 4-5-6.

The old order had begun to assert itself during the second-round fireworks. Nowicki opened with 262-8 (80.07), only to have Fajdek’s season’s best 264-5 (80.58) take the lead. Norway’s Eivind Henriksen then popped a 265-4 (80.87) to move into 1st.

In the third stanza, Nowicki’s 265-10 (81.03) took 1st back from Henriksen. Then Fajdek settled it all with his unanswerable 81.98 (268-11).

Remarkable about this competition was that it took over 78m (255-11) to make the top 8. Bronze in Doha was 78.18 (256-6). Had 78.18 been the medal standard in Eugene, there would have been 7 men on the podium!

After qualifying, Daniel Haugh said, “This is an older man’s game.” Right he was as the three medalists are all in their 30s, with placers 4-8 in their 20s.

Fajdek said it “makes me happy [that] the level of the hammer — world hammer throwing — goes up. We gave a good show today. In the first three rounds the guys were throwing farther and farther. Positions were changing and we have throwers from the whole world!”

“Also, Americans throw good today… next year will be even harder.

“The fifth title is mine again for the next year because it’s only one year until Budapest.”

Then he threw down the gauntlet: “So guys, good luck next year. I will be prepared again.”

Hopes were high for a U.S. medal with 3 making the final for the first time in meet history, but ultimately the contingent of Winkler, Haugh and Alex Young finished 6-8-12.


MEN’S HAMMER RESULTS

FINAL (July 16)

(temperature 66–72/19–22C; humidity 78–67%)

1. Paweł Fajdek (Pol) 268-11 (81.98) (WL)

(245-1, 264-4, 268-11, 259-7, f, f) (74.71, 80.58, 81.98, 79.13, f, f);

2. Wojciech Nowicki (Pol) 265-10 (81.03)

(253-11, 262-8, 265-10, f, 260-8, 260-11) (77.40, 80.07, 81.03, f, 79.45, 79.53);

3. Eivind Henriksen (Nor) 265-4 (80.87)

(258-10, 265-4, f, 247-10, 255-1, 256-6) (78.89, 80.87, f, 75.55, 77.74, 78.19);

4. Quentin Bigot (Fra) 263-3 (80.24)

(260-11, 258-9, 263-3, 262-3, 261-11, 260-5) (79.52, 78.86, 80.24, 79.94, 79.85, 79.38);

5. Bence Halász (Hun) 262-11 (80.15) PR

(259-7, 260-8, 262-11 PR, f, 258-5, 259-5) (79.12, 79.46, 80.15 PR, f, 78.77, 79.07);

6. Rudy Winkler (US) 259-2 (78.99)

(258-10, 254-2, f, 257-7, 259-2, 258-10) (78.91, 77.49, f, 78.51, 78.99, 78.89);

7. Myhaylo Kokhan (Ukr) 258-7 (78.83)

(256-1, 258-7, f, 255-8, 256-5, 255-9) (78.07, 78.83, f, 77.94, 78.16, 77.97);

8. Daniel Haugh (US) 256-3 (78.10)

(252-0, 256-3, f, 251-0, 254-11, f) (76.80, 78.10, f, 76.52, 77.71, f);

9. Hrístos Frantzeskákis (Gre) 252-9 (77.04)

(252-9, 243-11, 252-1) (77.04, 74.34, 76.85);

10. Humberto Mansilla (Chl) 242-6 (73.91)

(242-6, 235-3, 239-8) (73.91, 71.71, 73.05);

11. Nick Miller (GB) 241-11 (73.74)

(f, f, 241-11) (f, f, 73.74);

12. Alex Young (US) 241-6 (73.60)

(241-6, 241-3, f) (73.60, 73.53, f).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading throw; ¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Nowicki 77.40* 80.07* 81.03*¶
Young 73.60¶ 73.53 f
Mansilla 73.91¶ 71.71 73.05
Winkler 78.91* 77.49 f
Frantzeskákis 77.04¶ 74.34 76.85
Bigot 79.52* 78.86 80.24¶
Kokhan 78.07 78.83¶ f
Halász 79.12 79.46 80.15¶
Fajdek 74.71 80.58* 81.98*¶
Henriksen 78.89 80.87*¶ f
Miller f f 73.74¶
Haugh 76.80 78.10¶ f
last 3 rounds
Haugh 76.52 77.71 f
Kokhan 77.94 78.16 77.97
Winkler 78.51 78.99¶ 78.89
Halász f 78.77 79.07
Bigot 79.94 79.85 79.38
Fajdek 79.13 f f
Henriksen 75.55 77.74 78.19
Nowicki f 79.45 79.53

QUALIFYING

(July 15; auto-qualifier 254-3/77.50)

Qualifiers: Fajdek 262-9 (80.09), Haugh 260-4 (79.34), Nowicki 259-11 (79.22), Halász 259-7 (79.13), Winkler 257-11 (78.61), Henriksen 256-3 (78.12) Bigot 255-9 (77.95), Kokhan 254-6 (77.58), Miller 253-0 (77.13), Frantzeskákis 249-5 (76.03), Mansilla 247-1 (75.33), Young 244-11 (74.67).

Non-Qualifiers: Adam Keenan (Can) 244-3 (74.44), Javier Cienfuegos (Spa) 243-7 (74.25), Serghei Marghiev (Mol) 243-4 (74.17), Diego Del Real (Mex) 243-2 (74.12), Rowan Hamilton (Can) 242-10 (74.02), Yann Chaussinand (Fra) 242-7 (73.95), Marcin Wrotyński (Pol) 241-3 (73.55), Ragnar Carlsson (Swe) 240-11 (73.45), Thomas Mardal (Nor) 239-2 (72.90), Tristan Schwandke (Ger) 239-1 (72.87), Tuomas Seppänen (Fin) 238-10 (72.81), Hilmar Örn Jónsson (Ice) 238-7 (72.72), Mihaíl Anastasákis (Gre) 237-6 (72.40), Allan Wolski (Bra) 233-10 (71.27), Aaron Kangas (Fin) 228-7 (69.69), Joaquín Gómez (Arg) 226-5 (69.03);… 3f—Denzel Comenentia (Neth). ◻︎