Gwen Berry has won several events on the world stage, but Tuesday will be the biggest test of her career as she will look to capture gold in the final of the women’s hammer throw in Tokyo.
Berry, who was born in St. Louis and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, had a rough go of things in her first taste of Olympic competition in 2016, finishing in 14th place in Rio de Janeiro, but she has been finding her form since then.
Berry captured a gold medal at the 2010 Pan American Games in Peru, finishing the competition with a throw of 74.62 meters.
She finished in third place during the Olympic trials in Oregon, with a throw of 73.5 meters, finishing behind DeAnna Price and Brooke Andersen in the competition.
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Even as she punched her ticket to her second Olympics, she made headlines for another reason altogether, turning away from the American flag while standing on the podium following the competition.
She had been reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee following the 2019 Pan American Games as well, raising her fist at the end of the playing of the National Anthem in protest against the administration of former President Donald Trump, who she said was making racial inequality worse in the United States.
Now, Berry will be back on the international stage, looking to top a tough field of 12 in the hammer throw final, including Price and Andersen. The field includes the top eight hammer throwers in the world, including world No. 1 Price, No. 2 Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland and No. 3 Malwina Kopron, also of Poland.
Wlodarczyk currently holds the world record in the competition at 82.98 meters. She also holds the Olympic record of 82.29 meters.
The competition will get underway at 6:35 a.m. Central time in Tokyo, and will air on Peacock.