TILL August, 2015, the lingering question in the minds of hammer throw fans all over the world was who would be the first woman to break the 80M barrier. It has been quite a long wait. Finally, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk set the record with an effort of 81.08M at the Festival of Throwers in Wladyslawowo.
And she improved that mark twice this year.
First, at the Rio Games in August, she won gold with a new mark of 82.29M. As if that was not enough, two weeks later at the Skolimowska Memorial meet in Warsaw, the 31-year-old bettered herself with a throw of 82.98M which is the current record.
It looks as though Wlodarczyk is not content with those records.
“In any sport, the aim should be to improve all the time. You can’t be happy with something. If the world record is in your name, the target should be to surpass yourself,” Wlodarczyk told Doha Stadium Plus at the ASPIRE Academy, where she is undergoing a three-week training camp.
It has been a phenomenal year for the two-time Olympic and world champion during which she became the European winner for a third consecutive time and also defended her Olympic gold.
“My motto is plain and simple. Love what you do and do what you love. The results will take care of themselves,” Wlodarczyk said.
Success is sweet, but its secret is sweat and Wlodarczyk knows it well.
She had to practise under a bridge in her home town of Poznan as hammer throw facilities were limited there. Wlodarczyk even took to Speedway Cycling (cycle racing on a dirt track) to pursue her goals. The muscular athlete believes her stint in Speedway Cycling helped her a lot in shaping her hammer throw career.
“In sports, you can’t make it without passion. And while chasing your passion, you’ve to make a lot of sacrifices. Then only you’ll succeed. I had a reasonable amount of success in Speedway Cycling where I once won a team gold in European Youth Championships. My legs became strong after competing in it. And in hammer throw, you need strong legs. That way if you look at it, Speedway Cycling helped me a lot,” added Wlodarczyk.
There is something about Poland in the way it produces talented hammer throwers, from Kamila Skolimowska to Wlodarczyk.
And Wlodarczyk was quick to credit the coaches and the system for it.
“We’ve good coaches and the system in our country is good. Poland invests a lot in this sport and the results are there to see,” Wlodarczyk concluded.