Athletics-European silver gives Wlodarczyk hope of fourth Olympic hammer medal

Athletics - European Athletics Championships - Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy - June 10, 2024 Poland's Anita Wlodarczyk celebrates with her national flag after finishing second in the women's hammer throw final REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

(Reuters) - Triple Olympic champion Anita Wlodarczyk said her silver medal at the European Athletics Championships in Rome has given her hope that she can stand on an Olympic podium for a fourth time at next month's Paris Games.

Sara Fantini, 26, won gold on Monday, with the Italian's effort of 74.18m beating Wlodarczyk's fourth attempt of 72.92m - a season's best for the 38-year-old Pole.

Wlodarczyk, who said earlier this year that the Paris Games would be her final Olympics, finished 13th at last year's World Championships after failing to qualify for the final, which was won by 25-year-old Canadian Camryn Rogers.

"We are joking with my coach that grandmother can still throw well and win a medal," Wlodarczyk said.

"Because I am kind of an older competitor. Sometimes, before the attempt, he shouts at me: 'Come on granny!' And a granny can maybe win an Olympic medal too.

"We still have two months to prepare for Paris and I still have some reserve in my technique so it is nice to see that this was still not my maximum."

Wlodarczyk, who became the first woman to win an individual Olympic athletics event three times in a row in Tokyo, is a four-times gold medallist at the European Championships.

She missed the 2022 edition after damaging a muscle while chasing a thief who had tried to steal her car.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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