Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk on the way to victory in the Hammer (© Getty Images)
NOTE: Due to disqualification(s) resulting from anti-doping rule violation(s) the result of this competition has changed: see official results here.
World champion Tatyana Lysenko became the fourth woman to win the Olympic Hammer Throw title, and brought the title back to Russia whose Olga Kuzenkova had won the second Olympic crown in 2004. The 28-year-old did it in style with two Olympic records but this was not an unchallenged campaign with Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk, 2009 World champion and a former World record holder like Lysenko, making a fifth and a sixth counter attack to nearly unseat the Russian.
Wlodarczyk throwing fourth in the order hung a solid 75.01 out on her first, but with the very next throw Lysenko began on the best possible notes, an Olympic record of 77.56, to take the lead which she was never to relinquish. At the end of the first series Yipsi Moreno of Cuba, the silver medallist in Athens and Beijing, was in third (74.60).
At the very start of the second round China’s Zhang Wenxiu, the 2008 bronze medallist, hurled her implement out to 76.34 to take silver, and while her position in the final was to change – more of that later – she was not to improve on that mark.
In the third round Germany’s Kathrin Klaas produced a PB with a personal best of 76.05 to move Wlodarczyk out of a medal position.
The only other development that round was the improvement to 74.06 of Belarussia’s reigning Olympic champion Aksana Miankova (who held the old Olympic record of 76.34) but that was to be her last hurrah and she would play no further part in the battle for medals finishing seventh.
After a 75.86 and a 74.39 in the second and third rounds respectively, Lysenko backed up her lead with a 77.12 effort, and so we sensed there was more still to come, and so it turned out to be, as with her next she unleashed her second Olympic record, 78.18.
That release by the Russian came in response to a huge effort from Wlodarczyk whose 77.10 indicated that the gold was not yet decided and took the Pole into silver just 46cm short of the lead.
Lysenko had closed the door at exactly the right moment, as in the final round the Pole went even further to 77.60, a season's best. The World and now Olympic champion then ended the final with another impressive effort of 77.28 for a clear cut if surprisingly close victory over Wlodarczyk, which concluded the highest quality final in history with the best throws ever achieved in the Olympics for all but 12th position.
However, the final was marred by a technical mix up which concerned the bronze medal. Betty Heidler, the World record holder who was lying in eighth at the end of the fourth round (73.90; 1st effort), with her next effort blasted out a huge throw whose measurement was not published**. In compensation she was given an extra 5th round throw which she took and fouled.
The sixth and final round thus saw China’s Zhang Wenxiu, whose best of 76.34 had come in the second, take her final throw believing she was secure in bronze, not surprisingly so as that position was displayed on the scoreboard, and after fouling that effort even picked up her flag and started to celebrate.
However, after the final had finished the officials went back into the infield and found the original mark of Heidler’s first 5th round effort and measured it properly this time at 77.13 which surpassed the Chinese’ best and gave the German the bronze. See JURY OF APPEAL DECISION BELOW
Chris Turner for the IAAF
**Heidler’s fifth throw – she was the first to throw in that round – was 77.12, exactly the same measurement as the previous throw, the fourth attempt of Tatyana Lysenko, who was the last to throw in the fourth round, and this caused doubt about its validity and so it was not published. However, the judges put a penny on the field to mark the spot of Heidler’s throw, which was later re-measured at 77.13. However, after the original measurement was found in the memory of the EDM machine, Heidler’s mark was re-adjusted to the original reading of 77.12.
Hammer Throw Women Final – Jury of Appeal Decision
Friday 10 August 23:55
In the final of the Women’s Hammer Throw, the fifth throw of German athlete Betty HEIDLER (bib number 1939) was measured but not entered in the data system. The athlete was given an extra throw under protest (Rule 146.5), which she fouled.
Chinese athlete Wenxiu ZHANG, who was in third place at that point, went into the final round thinking she had the bronze medal.
At the end of the final round, Heidler’s throw was re-measured at 77.13 which moved her into bronze medal position.
The Chinese team lodged a protest after the end of the competition, considering their athlete had been seriously disadvantaged by not knowing, when she took her last attempt, that she was out of the medal positions.
The Jury of Appeal rejected the Chinese protest.Betty Heidler’s result was however adjusted by 1 centimetre, as 77.12 was the result initially recorded by the EDM (Electronic Distance Measurement) machine.
Protests and Appeals
5. In a Field Event, if an athlete makes an immediate oral protest againsthaving a trial judged as a failure, the Referee of the event may, at hisdiscretion, order that the trial be measured and the result recorded, inorder to preserve the rights of all concerned.