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Hayward to host hammer throw for first time; free admission Wednesday

In 1996, Lance Deal won the silver medal in hammer throw. This year he's making history again as the person who built the first hammer throw cage to go inside Hayward Field. (SBG Photo)

EUGENE, Ore. - Safety and logistics have kept Olympic hopefuls in the hammer throw from competing before the crowd at Hayward Field in the past.

Until now.

In 1996, Lance Deal won the silver medal in hammer throw.

This year he's making history again as the person who built the first hammer throw cage to go inside Hayward Field.

"It's going to be a really great situation to showcase the hammer in a different way than it's ever been done," Deal said.

Organizers said in the past it's been a safety issue to make sure no one is hit by a thrown hammer, as well as a logistical challenge to make enough room for the cage itself.

In Oregon, the Olympic Trials hammer throw used to be at the Nike campus in Beaverton.

The competition at Hayward Field tomorrow is free to the public.

The women's qualifying competition begins at 1 p.m. and the finals at 3 p.m.

The men's qualifying competition begins at 5 p.m. and the finals at 7 p.m.

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