Men’s Hammer Throw
15th IAAF World Championships
Sunday, August 23, 2015
by Mark Cullen
Pawel Fadjek won twice on Sunday.
First, he won the men’s hammer competition as expected, and by a dominating margin.
Second, he won for understatement of the year when he said, “I came in as a heavy favorite.”
Fajdek lived up to his advance notices with a dominating 2,33m (7’7¾”) margin of victory with his 80,88m (265’4″) fourth-round winner over Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov.
“I was training hard for this championships and I felt very confident,” said the World Champion, who repeated his win from Moscow in 2013.
On a terrific day for Poland which saw teammate Wojciech Nowicki pull off an unexpected podium finish, Fajdek said, “The medal has got an even sweeter taste as my roommate got the bronze medal.”
Nowicki said, “I have always been trying to catch up with my friend Pawel Fajdek, as he always encouraged me.”
Kristzian Pars (Hungary) was in bronze medal position until Nowicki unleashed his last-round throw of 78,55m (257’8″) to tie Nazarov. Nowicki said, “I was trying my throws again and again but still it was not good enough. It worked in the last round – I am very surprised.”
Nazarov won silver on the basis of the superior second-best throw, 78,06m (256’1″) to 77,20m (253’3″).
Nazarov was ecstatic about his medal-winning performance.
“I am feeling a big joy right now,” said the newly crowned silver medalist. “I realize that I won the silver medal, but it took me a long time to get there. Now, finally, I won a medal at the World Championships.”
Nazarov hopes his medal will grow the sport in his home country. “I want to promote athletics in Tajikistan,” he said, and noted that Tajikistan has previously had a hammer gold medalist in Andrey Abduvaliyev in 1995.
Fifth placer Sergey Litvinov (Russia) said he needs to go back to the Litvinov of 2011, 12, and 13. “The training was more motivated then,” he observed. “I was ready today 100%, but I can do more in the preparation.” While his speed in the ring was good, “I am not very powerful.”
About his famous name, Litvinov said, “I am a very lucky guy. Not because my father is Olympic champion (1988), not because he threw 86m (WR 86,74m/284′ 7″), but because he knows a lot about hammer. This is the difference: not every hammer thrower knows a lot… He was training alone and was thinking and (doing) a lot of experiments.”
“I am very lucky because I can go (train) this way. I know the way. He didn’t know the way.” He admires his father for having figured out hammer training on his own. While his father is not his trainer, he is his advisor, and Litvinov the younger appreciates very much the insight his father brings to his program.
Litvinov is looking forward to Rio. “In two days I go back to Russia and start the preparation,” he said,” and he is impatient to begin his focused and demanding year-long program.
“I don’t want rest.”
Fajdek found it “weird” that no one else is throwing 80m when he does so almost every competition. He noted that age is a factor in this event, and that, “Everyone over 30 is having a problem.”
The 26-year-old noted that he, too, had significant problems with his back last year. “This time I think only about my health… not much weightlifting but only throwing and this is why I throw it so far this year.”
When asked how he develops and improves his remarkable speed in the ring, Fajdek said, “I do nothing special” in training and “my coach has same rules of training as from 60 years.”
His assistant coach, Jolanta Kumor, said that now that the competition is over, they will analyze every part of Fajdek’s performance and technique, and even such variables as the weather. “First I will congratulate him,” she said. But then, in a few days, it’s back to the business of training.
When asked what he did well in terms of technique in the World Championships competition, and what he needs to focus on moving forward towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Fajdek said that more important things come first.
“Something good to eat… maybe Wojciech and I go to Pizza Hut to eat something good,” he said with emphasis, as the local hotel food has not been to his liking. “After a few days’ rest, back to training. Rio is really coming fast so we have to be prepared there.”
He looks forward to working again with his coach, Czeslaw Cybulski, who was struck by a hammer thrown by Fajdek in June, and who watched the competition from his hospital bed.
“I hope it’s often we go back to work together.”