PARIS – Pre-event favorite Koji Murofushi threw 80.12 meters in his fifth attempt and had to settle for a bronze medal in the men’s hammer throw final at the World Championships in Paris on Monday.
It was Murofushi’s second straight World Championship medal following a silver at the 2001 meet in Canada’s Edmonton.
The 28-year-old Japanese, who threw a world best for this season of 84.86 meters at an international meet in Prague last June, entered the competition after suffering elbow and finger injuries in recent training.
“I did what I had to do,” Murofushi said. “I thank those who threw their support behind me after the accident.
“Although I didn’t feel any pain in my right hand, I wished I’d been able to put in more training. But I clinched a berth at the Athens Olympics, and that’s the bottom line.”
He threw 79.87, 78.64, 79.99, 79.91 and 79.07 in his other attempts.
Murofushi’s arch rival Ivan Tikhon of Belarus won the event with a throw of 83.05 meters in his final attempt while the silver medal went to Hungary’s Adrian Annus with a throw of 80.36 meters, also in the final attempt.
“I thought a throw of more than 82 meters would be necessary to win, and Tikhon performed well considering poor conditions inside the circle,” Murofushi said.
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