Anita Wlodarczyk out for 2022

2012, 2016, and 2020 Olympic hammer throw champion Anita Wlodarczyk is out for the season after injuring her thigh while chasing a thief last weekend.

The Polish international took to Instagram to announce that she had “totally severed” a thigh muscle during the incident, during which a would-be criminal attempted to break into her car. Wlodarczyk will not compete again in 2022 but still has her eyes set on defending her title at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.

The 36-year-old native of Rawicz in Greater Poland Voivodeship tweeted a photo last Friday after the incident, noting (in Polish) “I took the thief alone and gave it to the police” (update: tweet has since been deleted).

The women’s hammer throw world-record holder paid the price for heroics, however, and immediately scheduled a procedure on Monday. On Tuesday, she confirmed that her season was over but shared that “faith and optimism do not leave me.”

Wlodarczyk also restated that she has “great motivation” to win the upcoming Olympic gold medal. 

“I will do everything to come back to the circle next year and give you plenty of joy,” wrote Wlodarczyk.

Wlodarczyk took the Gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 with a throw of 78.48m, outdoing second-place Wang Zheng’s 77.03m toss. Her countrywoman, Malwina Kopron, claimed the bronze with a 75.49m heave. 

Poland finished 17th in the overall medal count with four golds, five silvers, and five bronzes, behind 15 countries and the Russian Olympic Committee. 

Wlodarczyk is the top-ranked athlete in women’s hammer throw and was in pole position for the gold in 2024. She also checks in at 18th in the women’s overall rankings, a list headed by Venezuelan triple-jumper Yulimar Rojas, who set the world record with a jump of 15.74m at the 2022 Indoor World Championships in March.


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