Hammer thrower Nazarov wins Tajikistan’s first Olympic gold medal

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In their sixth Summer Olympics as an independent nation, Tajikistan finally has its first Olympic gold medalist.

Dilshod Nazarov took gold in the hammer throw, with his 258 foot, one inch throw on his penultimate attempt of the night being the clinching throw. Nazarov, who took silver at last year’s World Championships in Beijing, won by nearly three feet and was the flag bearer for the nation’s delegation at the Opening Ceremony.

WATCHNazarov wins hammer throw gold

Taking silver was Ivan Tsikhan of Belarus with a throw of 255 feet, two inches, and Poland’s Wojciech Nowicki took bronze with a throw of 255 feet even. Tsikhan now has two Olympic medals in the event, as he took bronze in 2008. And Nowicki’s bronze is Poland’s first medal in the men’s hammer throw since 2000 (Szymon Ziółkowski; gold).

The U.S. had three entrants in the hammer throw in Rudy Winkler, Kibwe Johnson and Conor McCullough, but none of them qualified for the 12-competitor final.