Hitchon makes Olympic hammer final
Sophie Hitchon is hoping to put women’s hammer throwing on the sporting map in Britain after beginning her Olympic campaign in fine form.
Hitchon qualified for Friday’s hammer final in 10th place after launching a throw of 71.98m – breaking her own British record in the process.
And the world junior champion from 2010 hopes her continued success will help raise the profile of the sport as she targets Olympic success.
“I have been dubbed the girl who puts the glamour into hammer. If I can throw another personal best, it will be great for me and will help put hammer on the map,” said the 21-year-old.
Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk topped the qualifying standings with 75.68m as Hitchon launched 71.98m to put her fifth in her group and break her own previous record by 37cm.
After failing to throw the 73m required for automatic qualification, Hitchon had a nervous wait before her place among the 12 finalists was confirmed.
And the Burnley-born hammer thrower is hoping to use the energy from the home crowd as she chases a medal in the Olympic Stadium.
“It's amazing to be here. I’m so proud to be part of the team. To have a full crowd on a morning session is great,” she said.
“I like to put a lot of pressure on myself. The crowd really wants you to do well and that motivates me more.”
Fellow British record holder Steve Lewis rounded off a good morning for Team GB by booking his place in the pole vault final with just one vault after clearing 5.50m at the first attempt.
After failing to record a height on his Olympic debut in Beijing, Lewis will line up among the finalists hoping to produce a medal-winning performance in Friday’s conclusion.
The 26-year-old broke the British record with a jump of 5.82m earlier this year and a repeat could see him secure an Olympic medal to add to his two Commonwealth medals.