World Champs Women’s Hammer — Another U.S. Champ

Brooke Andersen made it consecutive gold medals in the hammer for Americans. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

HISTORIC HAYWARD was never like this. Not in the women’s hammer.

Americans Brooke Andersen and Janee’ Kassanavoid joined with Canadian Camryn Rogers to give North America an unheard-of sweep.

Andersen opened with a modest 245-5 (74.81) but led the competition nonetheless. Kassanavoid fouled her first but her second-round 245-7 (74.86) squeaked by Andersen for the lead. Rogers, the NCAA winner for Cal, nailed a 247-9 (75.52) third-rounder to pass both Americans.

A tense competition was developing in the 242-9/249-4 (74.00-76.00) range; who knew it would turn into a tale of two halves?

Andersen proceeded to rip off her final three throws, any one of which would have given her the crown. Her fourth-round 254-0 (77.42) would have won by 6-3 (1.90). Her fifth-try 254-5 (77.56) by 8-3 (2.51).

Her sixth? Having already won the gold Andersen unleashed a stupendous, thunderous final throw of 259-1 (78.96) that rocked the stadium. An enormous roar came from the crowd as her implement flew — and flew — in a perfect arc right down the middle for the No. 4 U.S. performance ever.

A winning margin of 11-4 (3.44), the second-largest in meet history. She averaged 242-0 (73.77) for her first two fair throws and 255-10 (77.98) for her last three. She now owns the top two marks in the world this year and narrowly missed her PR… by 2 inches (6cm).

Meanwhile, Rogers’ 247-9 (75.52) stood up for silver and Kassanavoid’s 245-7 (74.86) for bronze. Rogers had a strong series with three throws over 246-1 (75.00).

Who would have guessed that in the last three years the U.S. would have won two WC titles from two different women (DeAnna Price ’19)? And a bronze for good measure. Three of the last six medals.

“I was looking out across the field,” said Andersen, “and I thought to myself, ‘I’m a world champion.’ I was hoping I would come away with the gold but I never count anyone out. I knew anything could happen. Even though the first three throws didn’t go my way, I just tried to keep my head on and control what I could control.”

“It’s amazing,” said Kassanavoid, who is of Cherokee heritage. “It’s been a long time coming. To be here on American soil and on Native land is special for me. A beautiful stadium and the crowd was really into it.”

Rogers started throwing during the ’12 Olympic year when she was 12½. “I was completely obsessed,” she said. “I was super fan-girl. Being able to bring home this medal for Canada means the world to me.”

This event is no longer the province of Central Europe; 4 of the top 5 places were won by North Americans, with the US 1-3 and Canada 2-5.

America’s third qualifier, Annette Echikunwoke, could not get unwound and finished 12th with a first-round best of 223-6 (68.12). Nonetheless, the US qualified all three to finals for the first time.

Andersen treasures the platform she has been given and the opportunity it represents.

“My goal has always been to inspire little kids as much as I can,” she said. “Half the time, hard work beats talent. So it helps if you are talented, but definitely just work hard. I just want to basically show them that if you work hard and you stay dedicated and you stay focused, that you can accomplish literally anything you set your mind to, whether it’s in track or outside. And so, just to show girls: strong is beautiful.”


WOMEN’S HAMMER RESULTS

FINAL (July 17)

(temperature 66–70F/19–21C; humidity 68–59%)

1. Brooke Andersen (US) 259-1 (78.96) (x, 4 A)

(245-5, f, 238-8, 254-0, 254-5, 259-1) (74.81, f, 72.74, 77.42, 77.56, 78.96);

2. Camryn Rogers (Can) 247-9 (75.52)

(238-2, f, 247-9, 246-8, 246-2, 243-11) (72.61, f, 75.52, 75.18, 75.05, 74.36);

3. Janee’ Kassanavoid (US) 245-7 (74.86) (f, 245-7, f, 245-3, 243-7, 245-3) (f, 74.86, f, 74.75, 74.24, 74.75);

4. Sara Fantini (Ita) 240-1 (73.18)

(234-5, 240-1, 232-3, f, 233-1, 233-1) (71.45, 73.18, 70.80, f, 71.05, 71.04);

5. Jillian Weir (Can) 237-6 (72.41)

(220-7, 225-3, 231-2, f, 231-9, 237-6) (67.24, 68.66, 70.46, f, 70.64, 72.41);

6. Bianca Ghelber (Rom) 237-1 (72.26)

(229-11, 237-1, 232-4, 230-5, f, f) (70.09, 72.26, 70.83, 70.25, f, f);

7. Silja Kosonen (Fin) 232-3 (70.81)

(227-11, 230-8, 231-3, 232-3, f, 232-1) (69.46, 70.32, 70.49, 70.81, f, 70.75);

8. Na Luo (Chn) 231-0 (70.42)

(229-3, 228-3, 231-0, f, 230-1, f) (69.89, 69.57, 70.42, f, 70.13, f);

9. Grete Ahlberg (Swe) 230-0 (70.11)

(227-8, 225-1, 230-0) (69.39, 68.61, 70.11);

10. Krista Tervo (Fin) 226-6 (69.04)

(f, 226-6, f) (f, 69.04, f);

11. Hanna Skydan (Aze) 226-5 (69.01)

(215-3, 212-5, 226-5) (65.62, 64.76, 69.01);

12. Annette Echikunwoke (US) 223-6 (68.12)

(223-6, 218-8, f) (68.12, 66.66, f).

first 3 rounds
* = progression of the leading throw; ¶ = athlete’s best of the day
Skydan 65.62* 64.76 69.01¶
Fantini 71.45* 73.18¶ 70.80
Kosonen 69.46 70.32 70.49
Andersen 74.81* f 72.74
Tervo f 69.04¶ f
Kassanavoid f 74.86*¶ f
Ahlberg 69.39 68.61 70.11¶
Ghelber 70.09 72.26¶ 70.83
Rogers 72.61 f 75.52*¶
Luo 69.89 69.57 70.42¶
Echikunwoke 68.12¶ 66.66 f
Weir 67.24 68.66 70.46
rounds 4 & 5
Luo f 70.13
Weir f 70.64
Kosonen 70.81¶ f
Ghelber 70.25 f
Fantini f 71.05
Andersen 77.42* 77.56*
Kassanavoid 74.75 74.24
Rogers 75.18 75.05
last round
Luo f
Weir 72.41¶
Kosonen 70.75
Ghelber f
Fantini 71.04
Kassanavoid 74.75
Rogers 74.36
Andersen 78.96*

QUALIFYING

(July 15; auto-qualifier 241-2/73.50)

Qualifiers: Kassanavoid 244-3 (74.46), Andersen 244-0 (74.37), Tervo 242-2 (73.83), Rogers 241-8 (73.67), Echikunwoke 238-2 (72.60), Fantini 237-5 (72.38), Kosonen 236-8 (72.15), Ghelber & Weir 236-3 (72.00), Luo 234-1 (71.36), Skydan 232-8 (70.93), Ahlberg 232-6 (70.87) PR;

Non-Qualifiers: Lauren Bruce (NZ) 232-6 (70.86), Jiangyan Li (Chn) & Malwina Kopron (Pol) 231-3 (70.50), Julia Ratcliffe (NZ) 229-6 (69.96), Zalina Marghieva (Mol) 228-9 (69.73), Alex Hulley (Aus) 225-10 (68.83), Laura Redondo (Spa) 225-3 (68.67), Katrine Koch Jacobsen (Den) 224-9 (68.51), Jie Zhao (Chn) 223-8 (68.18), Iryna Klymets (Ukr) 223-6 (68.12), Suvi Koskinen (Fin) 223-0 (67.98), Vanessa Sterckendries (Bel) 222-8 (67.88), Samantha Borutta (Ger) 221-5 (67.48), Stamatía Skarvélis (Gre) 220-6 (67.20), Sade Olatoye (Ngr) 212-8 (64.82), Beatrice Nedberge Llano (Nor) 212-7 (64.81), Mariana Grasielly Marcelino (Bra) 212-4 (64.72), Nicole Bradley (NZ) 206-3 (62.88). ◻︎