Polish Fajdek scores title hat-trick at London worlds

Polish Fajdek

Poland’s two-time reigning world champion Pawel Fajdek completed his title hat-trick with a convincing victory in the men’s hammar event of the 2017 IAAF World Championships here.

The 28-year-old Fajdek on Friday struggled to find his best form in the opening two rounds but sealed the leading position with his third round effort of 79.73 meters, reports Xinhua news agency.

He went on to improve his mark to 79.81m in the fourth round and achieved 79.40m with his next try before bowing out with a no-throw in the last round.

“The competition started for me after the second round. I started slowly but despite the first fault I saw it was flying far so I stayed calm. When I managed 79 meters in the third round, I knew I was in the top eight and will fight for medals,” Fajdek said. “Three times world champion – I made history, what more could I expect?”

It is the third consecutive world title for Fajdek, which makes him the first man ever to win three hammar gold medals in Championships history.

“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 here,” said Fajdek, who failed to register a valid mark in the qualification phase at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Authorised neutral athlete Valeriy Pronkin took the silver medal with his last throw of 78.16m.

“Before my fifth attempt I asked god, my coach, my girlfriend and all the people who supported me, and probably all the world, to help me to get this medal,” said Pronkin, who ranked third before the final round.

“It is a big difference to compete in the international arena and the national championships. When I came here each day was a new experience for me in my athletics career.”

Fajdek’s compatriot Wojciech Nowicki repeated his third finish from the Beijing worlds two years ago with a mark of 78.03m.

“The medal is great but I was really expecting something more from myself. I have been throwing so well all season and just today it did not work the way I exactly wanted. Maybe I wanted it too much and it was just not flying today,” said Nowicki, who improved his personal best to 80.47 last month.

“But I can be happy to add another bronze to my collection,” said the 28-year-old, who also seized a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games last year.