EUGENE, OREGON (AFP) – World champion DeAnna Price became only the second woman in history to break the 80-metre barrier in the hammer throw on Saturday (June 26) as she punched her ticket to Tokyo at the US Olympic trials.
Price, the 2019 World Championships gold medallist, produced a mammoth 80.31m throw with her fifth attempt of the final at a sun-baked Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
That season-leading effort saw her join Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk as the only woman to have thrown further than 80m.
Wlodarczyk, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion and four-time world champion, holds the world record of 82.98m and is widely regarded as the greatest woman hammer thrower of all time.
However Price will head to Tokyo next month brimming with confidence that she can claim Wlodarczyk’s Olympic throne.
The Pole, whose best throw this season is a 74.06m effort in Poznan, did not compete at the World Championships in Doha won by Price two years ago.
Price improved steadily throughout Saturday’s final, beginning with an opening effort of 77.82m, followed by a throw of 78.51m as she crept ever closer to the 80-metre mark.
She let out a roar after her third effort fell just two inches short of 80m, coming in at 79.98m, before finally setting her world-leading best with her fifth throw.
Brooke Andersen finished second with a best throw of 77.72m, while Gwen Berry was the third to qualify for Tokyo with 73.50m.