Even by her own incredible standards, Poland’s Anita Wlodarcyzk ended her summer in the most amazing fashion on Sunday by breaking her hammer world record for the second time in two weeks.
The 82.29m she threw to win gold at the Olympic Games in Rio has immediately been consigned to second place in history after her 82.98m at the 7th Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Warsaw.
“I was saying that I want to improve the record and I was able to keep my word,” said Wlodarczyk, after treating the 27,000 crowd of home fans to an afternoon they will never forget at this European Athletics Outdoor Permit meeting.
It is always a special day as the sport remembers Poland’s Skolimowska, the 2000 Olympic hammer champion who died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of just 26. Along with the tributes, it was also the final home meeting in the career of Poland’s double Olympic shot put champion Tomasz Majewski.
Fittingly it was hammer sensation Wlodarcyzk who stole the show and she dedicated her record to Skolimowska and Majewski.
“Not only Kamila but also the last meet of Tomasz in Poland was another special motivation,” said Wlodarczyk, 31. “When I end my career, I would also be happy if somebody would achieve a world record.”
Gradually there will be no superlatives left when it comes to describing the distances Wlodarczyk reaches.
She has now broken the 80m barrier on 11 occasions – no other woman has ever hit that landmark – and was in a class of her own, with Great Britain’s Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon (72.42m) in second and American Amber Campbell (72.17m) in third.
Wlodarczyk produced a glorious series of throws, starting with 79.68m, increasing it to 80.31m in the second round and then throwing 81.77m, which was her second best ever.
But that was just a taster for the massive crowd because in the next round came her latest world record moment. The stadium roared with noise when she broke her world record mark by 69 centimetres and she was not over yet. In the fifth round she then reached 81.28m, before a final round foul.
It was an amazing display of her brilliant technique and the triple European champion vowed to go even further.
Wlodarcyzk said: “I like to improve step by step and play with the emotions. Yes it was close to 83 metres, but let us save something for next season.
“I want to thank the spectators, they gave me the right wings. Normally I am forced to motivate myself but this time the motivation came from the tribunes.”
She will return to training in November and her coach Krzysztof Kaliszewski said: “It was 90 percent an ideal throw. I still saw some possibilities to improve in her technique and we must note that after Rio she is not fully into her usual regime.
“I already said at the beginning of this season that she can throw 85m – so something remains for the future.”
Fine farewell for Majewski
He is one of their great heroes and shot putter Majewski, who turns 35 tomorrow, produced a season’s best in his last competition in Poland.
But just as his 21.08m from round two looked like it would be enough for victory, he was denied in the final round as New Zealand’s Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh reached 21.48m.
Tak sie startuje na Memoriale Kamili 🙂 Nowy Rekord Świata???Na polskiej ziemi 🙂 @iaaforg @EuroAthletics @PZLANews pic.twitter.com/trpHIfq4IA
— anita wlodarczyk (@AnitaWlodarczyk) August 28, 2016
And fittingly for Majewski, who has three more events left and received a fantastic reception on this great day, the future of the shot put was in third with his teammate Konrad Bukowiecki (20.82m).
Pawel Fajdek failed to progress through qualification in Rio in the men’s hammer despite being the world leader but he showed that was just a blip.
With a fifth round 82.47m, he set a new 2016 best as he beat Polish teammate Wojciech Nowicki (76.58m).
It was quite an occasion for home success as Pawel Wojciechowski (5.65m) broke the meeting record to win the pole vault, Robert Urbanek (63.80m) took the discus, Paulina Guba (17.57m) triumphed in the shot put and Kamila Licwinko (1.93m) was first in the high jump.
On the track, Britain’s European 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith maintained the success of her memorable season as she won the 100m in 11.28 from American Barbara Pierre (11.36) and Poland’s Anna Kielbasinska (11.49).