Pawel Fajdek wins the hammer at the IAAF World Championships London 2017
Pawel Fajdek, one of the biggest favourites in any event at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, lived up to his billing with a throw of 79.81m for hammer gold, but it took the Pole until round three to assert his dominance.
Owning the eight longest throws in the world this year and three metres clear at the top of the 2017 world list, Fajdek made it three consecutive world titles after victories in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing in 2015.
Having failed to qualify for the final at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Fajdek will leave the London Stadium with better memories of the British capital.
"I waited for this competition at this stadium for five years so it was very important for me to get this revenge for the Olympics in here,” said Fajdek, who also failed to reach the final at last year’s Olympics. “Three times world champion – I made history, what more could I expect?”
Having been the early leader until Fajdek found his form, neutral athlete Valeriy Pronkin took silver with a sixth-round throw of 78.16m. Third on the world list, the 23-year-old has thrown a personal best of 79.32m this year, but this was by far his best performance in a global championships.
Fajdek's teammate Wojciech Nowicki, second on the world list for 2017, finished third with 78.03m for his fourth consecutive major championships bronze medal. Having beaten Fajdek to gold at the Polish Championships, the duo had been tipped to achieve a one-two for Poland. Although they fell 14 centimetres short of achieving that, it was only the second time in IAAF World Championships history – after Beijing in 2015 – that there were two Poles on the podium.
France’s 2011 European U20 champion Quentin Bigot placed fourth with 77.67m after a consistent series that saw all five of his valid throws surpass 76 metres.
Fifth place went to neutral athlete Aleksei Sokyrskii – who was fourth in the same stadium five years ago at the London Olympic Games – with a season's best of 77.50m.
Short of the top eight approaching his third-round through, British record-holder Nick Miller responded well to the pressure – and home crowd cheers – launching his implement out to 77.31m in round three to temporarily move into second place. However, the 24-year-old was unable to build on that, ultimately dropping to sixth place, as the big names found their groove.
Tajikistan’s 35-year-old Olympic champion Dilshod Nazarov drew on his experience to finish seventh with 77.22m, as just 94 centimetres covered places second to seventh. Moldova's Serghei Marghiev placed eighth with 75.87m.
World U20 champion and recently crowned European U23 champion Bence Halász of Hungary was unable to find his best form and finished 11th with 74.45m, more than four metres short of his lifetime best from earlier this year.
As is often the case in the men's hammer, this event was dominated by Europeans with Nazarov the top non-European thrower.
Emily Moss for the IAAF