Slovenian field star Primož Kozmus took the silver in the men’s hammer throw at the London Olympics with a throw of 79.36m on Sunday. The silver completes the full medal set for Slovenia, which now has four medals in London.
Overcoming a below-par season, Kozmus once again confirmed he was a competitor who thrives in big competitions, as he bettered his pre-Olympic season best by two metres to send Slovenian track and field fans into raptures.
While unable to surpass the 80m mark, which would have allowed him to have a shot at winner Krisztian Pars of Hungary, the Olympic champion from Beijing was never in danger of missing out on the podium.
He opened with his new season best of 78.97m and then, after three consecutive fouls – including two throws into the netting, produced his best throw in the fifth round.
But by then Pars had all but secured victory with a third round throw of 80.59 metres, the only 80-plus effort of the competition.
In his first reaction, Kozmus said he was happy that he could produce a medal-winning performance after a shaky season. “Give the way this season has gone, this is a victory for me.”
Kozmus expressed surprise with the results in the final: “I didn’t expect that we would see only one throw over 80 metres in the final… I though I would beat the mark as well,” he said.
Explaining the series of three consecutive fouls, Kozmus said his technique let him down when he tried to go full out. “This is what I had feared, but luckily the others were also not in top form.”
Asked about the plans for the future, Kozmus said “there is plenty of motivation left”. “I’m going to celebrate now and then I’ll take some time to think things over. I intend to spend a few more days in London – I think we’ll manage to conquer the Slovenian pub.”
Kozmus’s silver increases Slovenia’s medal tally in London to four: one gold, one silver and two bronze. Bagging his second piece of Olympic hardware, the 32-year-old confirmed his status as Slovenia’s most successful track and field athlete of all time.
In addition to his Olympic medals, Kozmus also has three medals (one of each class) from World Championships. The London silver is Kozmus’s second medal since coming out of retirement in late 2010, after winning the bronze at the World Championship in Daegu last year.