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‘I want more’: Fajdek wins fifth straight world gold in men’s hammer

EUGENE, Ore., July 16 (Reuters) – Poland’s Pawel Fajdek produced the best throw of the year to secure an astonishing fifth successive World Championships hammer title on Saturday but said his success had left him hungry for more.

Olympic champion and compatriot Wojciech Nowicki briefly held the lead after his third attempt but could only move one place up the podium from his three previous world bronze medals, while Norwegian Eivind Henriksen took bronze this time.

A stoney-faced Fajdek had a disappointing first throw but ran away with the competition on the third try, letting out a roar as he hit a mark of 81.98 metres.

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Peaking when it counted, he had not produced a throw further than 81 metres this year before coming to Hayward Field.

“This was the competition which matters the most this year so I am glad that the major gold is in my hand for the fifth time,” Fajdek said.

He is only the second athlete to win five back-to-back world golds, after pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, who ultimately went on to win six successive titles.

The Pole said his mission was to attack Bubka’s mark.

“I want more! My goal is seven titles, I like to be the first, and no one has ever accomplished that yet,” he said.

JELLY LEGS

Henriksen, who wilted on a last-gasp attempt to match the Polish power, said he was suffering “jelly legs” during the contest and was unable to live up to his usual form.

“To compete with these Polish guys is always a big challenge,” he said.

“Now I’m looking forward to our next meeting at the European Championships. I hope I’ll be doing much better than today and, who knows maybe I’ll manage to be inside this “Polish sandwich” or even beat them both.”

The victory underscored the 33-year-old Fajdek’s dominance despite frustrating finishes on the Olympic stage. He picked up bronze in Tokyo after failing to reach the final at the 2012 and 2016 Games.

Fajdek told reporters on Saturday that it also proved Poland was the true powerhouse in the event – a year after Anita Wlodarczyk collected her third Olympic gold on the women’s side.

“The hammer throw is the event which fits us the most,” he said. “We have learned during all these years and that is the recipe of the Polish success in this event.”

Nowicki said he was unable to find “perfect technique” on Saturday but that he was pleased “the two major medals are in Polish hands.

“I am glad that nobody tore us apart on the podium,” he said.

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Reporting by Amy Tennery in Eugene, Oregon, additional reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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