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Anita Włodarczyk, hammer legend, injured while stopping car break-in

Anita Włodarczyk

Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk competes in the women’s hammer throw final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC / AFP) (Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk, the only woman to win three Olympic gold medals in one individual track and field event, posted that she will undergo surgery Monday after suffering an injury while apprehending somebody who broke into her car.

Wlodarczyk, a 36-year-old from Poland, suffered a muscle injury, according to her social media. She withdrew from competition through June 18. Her status beyond that, including for the world championships that start July 15, will be known after surgery, her agent said.

Włodarczyk won the last three Olympic women’s hammer titles, plus world titles in 2009, 2013, 2015 and 2017. She missed the most recent worlds in 2019 after left knee surgery.

She has the top six throws on World Athletics’ all-time list, and 15 of the top 16. Her world record -- 82.98 meters, or 272 feet and nearly three inches -- is nearly nine feet past the second-best performer in history, reigning world champion DeAnna Price of the U.S.

If Włodarczyk returns for the world championships next month, she will bid to become the first woman to win five titles in one individual event. Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce can also go for a fifth crown in the 100m.

In 2024, Włodarczyk could join Carl Lewis and Al Oerter as the lone track and field athletes to win an individual Olympic event four times.

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