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Betty Heidler: Hammer Throw Champion


Betty Heidler: Hammer Throw Champion

Betty Heidler broke the women's hammer throw world record in 2011.

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Betty Heidler has come a long way, from taking fourth place in the 2004 Olympics at age 20, to setting the world hammer throwing record in 2011. And she’s done it all legally – but what else would you expect from a German Federal police officer?

From Jack of All Trades to Master of One:

At age 14, Heidler began participating in track and field – literally. She competed in running, jumping and throwing hammer throws for about a year before a hammer coach watched her throw and asked if she wanted to focus exclusively on the hammer. After that, it was goodbye running and jumping. Five years later she competed in the World Championship final, finishing 11th at age 19.

Championship Quality:

Heidler enjoyed a strong fourth place finish in the 2004 Olympics, throwing a then-personal best 72.73 meters (238 feet, 7 inches), but didn’t throw that far again for two years. She then broke through in 2006, winning the World Athletics Final, then won the World championship in Osaka in 2007. She finished second in the 2009 World Championships in her home town, Berlin, despite throwing a new personal best 77.12/253-0. She then won the World Athletics Final the following month.

World Record:

In a meet in Halle, Germany on May 21, 2011, Heidler set a new German record of 77.19/253-3 with her first attempt. Not content with that achievement, two throws later she not only shattered her German mark, but flew past Anita Wlodarczyk’s world record (78.30/256-10) with a toss measuring 79.42/260-6.

CSI Hammer Throw?:

In 2003 Heidler joined the German Federal Police sport support program, in which athletes receive law enforcement training for a few months each year, but are free to participate in their sport most of the time. Heidler graduated in 2007 and is now a police officer, but still trains and competes in hammer throwing about 11 months each year. She hammer throwually hopes to work for Germany’s border police.


  • Height: 5-9
  • Weight: 179
  • Birth date: Oct. 14, 1983
  • Hometown: Berlin, Germany
  • Personal best: 79.42 meters (260 feet, 6 inches)


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