Anita Wlodarczyk, track and field star, out for season after catching burglar

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Hammer thrower Anita Włodarczyk, the only woman to win three Olympic gold medals in one individual track and field event, will miss the rest of the season, including next month’s world championships, after undergoing leg surgery.

Wlodarczyk, a 36-year-old from Poland, suffered an injury last week while sprinting after (and catching) somebody who broke into her car.

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 she returns for 2023 Worlds, Wlodarczyk could bid to become the first woman to win five world titles in one individual event. However, Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce can go for a fifth crown in the 100m at next month’s worlds in Eugene, Oregon.

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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Anita Wlodarczyk, track and field star, out for season after catching burglar originally appeared on NBCSports.com