Hammer woman throws China first medal at London Worlds

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Wang Zheng of China in action during the women's hammer throw final at the World Athletics Championships at London Stadium, London, Britain. [Photo/Xinhua]

Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk completed a hat trick of women's hammer throw world titles at the World Athletics Championships Monday when Omar McLeod of Jamaica took away the men's 110m hurdles gold medal.

China got its first medal in London through women's hammer throw while Venezuela's Yulimar Rojas brought her country the first ever athletics world title.

South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk breezed into the 200m semifinals on the eve of his 400m title defence as his big rival Isaac Makwala of Botswana pulled out from 200m heats due to what he later said was food poisoning. The organizing committee later said "a number of cases of gastroenteritis" happened within one of the official team hotels.

"Those affected have been supported by both team and LOC medical staff, in addition we have been working with Public Health England to ensure the situation is managed and contained," said the organizers in the statement. Back to the competition, Olympic champions stayed in the limelight of the night.

In the women's hammer throw, Wlodarczyk, who won the event in 2009 and 2015, bagged the gold medal with a throw of 77.90 meters in her fifth attempt, adding the title to her two Olympic titles in 2012 and 2016.

However, Wlodarczyk thought there was room to improve for her performance.

"This was not the performance I expected tonight but come on, I am the world champion and that is the most important thing now," said Wlodarczyk who gave herself a best gift for the 32-year-old birthday on Tuesday. "This competition reminded me of Zurich 2014 when I had problems getting into the top eight and managed it only in the third series. Of course, I expected to throw 80 meters or even a world record attack. But now I am happy for gold."

China's Wang Zheng brought China the first medal at the world championships here in 75.98m. Wang, 29, the Asian record holder, was jubilant after securing the silver.

"I really enjoyed this competition tonight. I gained confidence in the competition and I have a very good result," she said.

"I was hoping for more improvement but when I try to improve too hard, my technique is not good. I have to stay relaxed. I am confident that I will improve in the future. My technique was the only problem tonight." Wand said. Another Polish Malwina Kopron took bronze in 74.76 meters and Beijing worlds silver medalist Zhang Wenxiu from China finished a disappointing fourth in 74.53.

"I am upset because this is my ninth World Championships and it will be my last one. This season has been hard for me because I had a baby last year, but I am happy to end it here. I started competing at 15 and I am 31 now so it is the end of a long career," Zhang said.

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