Polish hammer thrower Wojciech Nowicki (Getty) © Copyright
Report Wuhan, China

Nowicki takes Military World Games hammer title

Poland's Wojciech Nowicki ended his 2019 campaign with a convincing hammer victory as competition on the track and field concluded at the CISM Military World Games in Wuhan, China, on Saturday (26).

Nowicki, who claimed a third successive world bronze medal in Doha 24 days ago, was the class of the field, winning by more than two metres with a 77.38m best. Five of the Pole's six throws were better than World Championships finalist Yevgeniy Korotovskiy's best of 75.26m. Denis Lukyanov, another authorised neutral athlete, was a distant third, reaching 72.44m in the fourth round.

The men's triple jump proved to be the closest competition of the Games, with just two centimetres separating the podium finishers.

China's Zhu Yaming, the 2017 Asian champion, took control of the competition with a 16.96m effort in the second round before seemingly locking it away in the fourth when he broke the sand with a 17.09m leap. But then, Slovak Tomas Veszelka responded in the fifth round producing a 17.09m of his own, the 24-year-old's first leap beyond 17 metres. But his next best, a 16.72m jump from the second round, fell well short of wrestling the win from Zhu, who claimed the gold on countback.

Yasser Mohamed Triki of Algeria, the bronze medallist in the long jump two days ago, nearly beat them both in the fifth round but came just two centimetres shy with a 17.08m effort, his first beyond 17 metres outdoors, to collect a second bronze.

Neutral athlete Dmitriy Sorokin was fourth with 17.03m.

Elsewhere, Bahrain's Birhanu Balew prevailed in a sprint finish to take the 5000m title in 14:08.99 just ahead of Germany's Amanal Petros (14:09.16) who also took silver in the 10,000m on Wednesday.

The Polish quartet of Anna Kielbasinska, Malgorzata Holub Kowalik, Joanna Linkiewicz and Justyna Swiety Ersetic took the women's 4x400m relay in 3:27.84 ahead of Russia (3:28.09) and Ukraine (3:33.68). Bahrain took the men's in 3:06.20, beating Poland (3:06.36) and Algeria (3:06.67).

Michal Rozmys, the World University Games 1500m champion, notched an upset win in the metric mile here, prevailing in 3:46.33 over Moroccan Hicham Ouladha (3:46.44) and teammate Marcin Lewandowski (3:46.61), the world bronze medallist.

On Sunday (27), the final day of athletics action, Shumi Dechasa and Eunice Chumba secured a double victory for Bahrain in the men’s and women’s marathons respectively.

After passing through half way in about 65 minutes, Dechasa sped up in the second half and won comfortably in a Games record of 2:08:28. 2017 world bronze medallist Alphonce Simbu, who contested the marathon at the World Championships just three weeks ago, was second in 2:11:16, finishing three seconds ahead of Rwanda’s John Hakizimana.

The women’s race was much closer with just 41 seconds separating the top four finishers. The pace was relatively even throughout as the lead pack never strayed too far away from 2:30 schedule. Chumba managed to break away in the closing stages to win in 2:30:10 with Pak Il Sim of the People’s Republic of Korea taking silver in 2:30:26 and China’s Li Dan earning bronze in 2:30:33.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF