The Olympic champion Robert Harting.
|World||Jürgen Schult (GDR) 74.08 m (1986)|
|Olympic||Virgilijus Alekna (LTU) 69.89 m (2004)|
|World||Gabriele Reinsch (GDR) 76.80 m (1988)|
|Olympic||Martina Hellmann (GDR) 72.30 m (1988)|
The discus throw ( pronunciation) is a track and field event in which an athlete throws a heavy disc—called a discus—in an attempt to mark a farther distance than his or her competitors. It is an ancient greek sport, as evidenced by the fifth-century-B.C. Myron statue, Discobolus. Although not part of the modern pentathlon, it was one of the events of the ancient greek pentathlon, which can be dated at least to 708 BC.
The discus throw is a routine part of most modern track-and-field meets at all levels and is a sport which is particularly iconic of the Olympic Games. The men's competition has been a part of the modern Summer Olympic Games since the first Olympiad in 1896. Images of discus throwers figured prominently in advertising for early modern Games, such as fundraising stamps for the 1896 games and the main posters for the 1920 and 1948 Summer Olympics.
The women's competition was added to the Olympic program in the 1928 games, although they had been competing at some national and regional levels previously.
The discus, the object to be thrown, is a heavy lenticular disc with a weight of 2 kilograms (4.4 lb) and diameter of .219 m (0 ft 81⁄2 in) for the men's event, and a weight of 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) and diameter of .180 m (0 ft 7 in) for the women's program.
Under IAAF (international) rules, Youth boys (16–17 years) throw the 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb) discus, the Junior men (18–19 years) throw the unique 1.75 kilograms (3.9 lb) discus, and the girls/women of those ages throw the 1 kg discus.
In international competition, men throw the 2 kg discus through age 49. The 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb) discus is thrown by ages 50–59, and men age 60 and beyond throw the 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) discus. Women throw the 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) discus through age 74. Starting with age 75, women throw the .75 kilograms (1.7 lb) discus.
The typical discus has sides made of plastic, wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber or metal with a metal rim and a metal core to attain the weight. The rim must be smooth, with no roughness or finger holds. A discus with more weight in the rim produces greater angular momentum for any given spin rate, and thus more stability, although it is more difficult to throw. However, a higher rim weight, if thrown correctly, can lead to a farther throw. a solid rubber discus is sometimes used (see in the United States).
To make a throw, the competitor starts in a circle of 2.5 m (8 ft 21⁄4 in) diameter, which is recessed in a concrete pad by 20 mm. The thrower typically takes an initial stance facing away from the direction of the throw. He then spins counter-clockwise (for right-handers) around one and a half times through the circle to build momentum, then releases his throw. The discus must land within a 34.92-degree sector. The rules of competition for discus are virtually identical to those of shot put, except that the circle is larger, a stop board is not used and there are no form rules concerning how the discus is to be thrown.
The distance from the front edge of the circle to where the discus has landed is measured, and distances are rounded down to the nearest centimetre. The competitor's best throw from the allocated number of throws, typically three to six, is recorded, and the competitor who legally throws the discus the farthest is declared the winner. Ties are broken by determining which thrower has the longer second-best throw.
The basic motion is a forehanded sidearm movement. The discus is spun off the index finger or the middle finger of the throwing hand. In flight the disc spins clockwise when viewed from above for a right-handed thrower, and counter-clockwise for a lefty. As well as achieving maximum momentum in the discus on throwing, the discus' distance is also determined by the trajectory the thrower imparts, as well as the aerodynamic behavior of the discus. Generally, throws into a moderate headwind achieve the maximum distance. Also, a faster-spinning discus imparts greater gyroscopic stability. The technique of discus throwing is quite difficult to master and needs lots of experience to get right, thus most top throwers are 30 years old or more.
There are six keys movements of the discus throw: wind up, move in rhythm, balance, right leg engine, orbit, and delivery. The wind up is one of the most important aspects of the throw because it sets the tone for the entire throw. The wind up is both mental and technical. It is mental because the wind up sets the thrower up for the rest of the throw.
The following are the technical aspects: flat right foot, on the ball of your left foot, keep your weight evenly distributed between your feet, and not being overly active, which results in the waste of energy. Although the wind up sets the tone for the entire throw, the rhythm of the throw is the most important aspect. It is necessary to move in rhythm throughout the entire throw.
The best throwers contain the same amount of time in each phase while completing a great throw. Focusing on rhythm can bring about the consistency to get in the right positions that many throwers lack. Executing a sound discus throw with solid technique requires perfect balance. This is due to the throw being a linear movement combined with a one and a half rotation and an implement at the end of one arm. Thus, a good discus thrower needs to maintain balance within the circle.
It is also important that the discus thrower keeps their shoulders at the same level during the throw until the end, where the thrower must extend their shoulders upward to get good lift under the discus. If extension is executed properly the discus will be at the right angle to ride on the air current and thus be taken a farther distance.
Discus throwers have been selected as a main motif in numerous collectors' coins. One of the recent samples is the €10 Greek Discus commemorative coin, minted in 2003 to commemorate the 2004 Summer Olympics. On the obverse of the coin a modern athlete is seen in the foreground in a half-turned position, while in the background an ancient discus thrower has been captured in a lively bending motion, with the discus high above his head, creating a vivid representation of the sport.
In U.S. high school track and field, boys typically throw a discus weighing 1.6 kg (3 lb 9 oz) and the girls throw the 1 kg (2.2 lb) women's discus. Under USATF Youth rules, boys throw the 1 kg discus between the ages of 11-14, and transition to the 1.6 kg discus as 15-18 year olds. Girls throw the 1 kg discus as 11-18 year olds.
Under US high school rules, if a discus hits the surrounding safety cage and is deflected into the sector, it is ruled a foul. In contrast, under IAAF, WMA, NCAA and USATF rules, it is ruled a legal throw. Additionally, under US high school rules, distances thrown are rounded down to the nearest whole inch, rather than the nearest centimetre.
US high school rules allow the use of a solid rubber discus; it is cheaper and easier to learn to throw (due to its more equal distribution of weight, as opposed to the heavy rim weight of the metal rim/core discus), but less durable.
Top ten performers
|1||74.08 m (243 ft 01⁄2 in)||Jürgen Schult (GDR)||Neubrandenburg||6 June 1986|
|2||73.88 m (242 ft 41⁄2 in)||Virgilijus Alekna (LTU)||Kaunas||3 August 2000|
|3||73.38 m (240 ft 83⁄4 in)||Gerd Kanter (EST)||Helsingborg||4 September 2006|
|4||71.86 m (235 ft 9 in)||Yuriy Dumchev (URS)||Moscow||29 May 1983|
|5||71.84 m (235 ft 81⁄4 in)||Piotr Małachowski (POL)||Hengelo||8 June 2013|
|6||71.70 m (235 ft 23⁄4 in)||Róbert Fazekas (HUN)||Szombathely||14 July 2002|
|7||71.50 m (234 ft 63⁄4 in)||Lars Riedel (GER)||Wiesbaden||3 May 1997|
|8||71.32 m (233 ft 113⁄4 in)||Ben Plucknett (USA)||Eugene||4 June 1983|
|9=||71.26 m (233 ft 91⁄2 in)||John Powell (USA)||San Jose||9 June 1984|
|9=||71.26 m (233 ft 91⁄2 in)||Rickard Bruch (SWE)||Malmö||15 November 1984|
|9=||71.26 m (233 ft 91⁄2 in)||Imrich Bugár (TCH)||San Jose, CA||25 May 1985|
|1||76.80 m (251 ft 111⁄2 in)||Gabriele Reinsch (GDR)||Neubrandenburg||July 9, 1988|
|2||74.56 m (244 ft 71⁄4 in)||Zdenka Šilhavá (TCH)||Nitra||August 26, 1984|
|3||74.56 m (244 ft 71⁄4 in)||Ilke Wyludda (GDR)||Neubrandenburg||July 23, 1989|
|4||74.08 m (243 ft 01⁄2 in)||Diana Sachse-Gansky (GDR)||Karl-Marx-Stadt||June 20, 1987|
|5||73.84 m (242 ft 3 in)||Daniela Costian (ROU)||Bucharest||April 30, 1988|
|6||73.36 m (240 ft 8 in)||Irina Meszynski (GDR)||Prague||August 17, 1984|
|7||73.28 m (240 ft 5 in)||Galina Savinkova (URS)||Donetsk||September 8, 1984|
|8||73.23 m (240 ft 3 in)||Tsvetanka Khristova (BUL)||Kazanlak||April 19, 1987|
|9||73.10 m (239 ft 93⁄4 in)||Gisela Beyer (GDR)||Berlin||July 20, 1984|
|10||72.92 m (239 ft 23⁄4 in)||Martina Hellmann (GDR)||Potsdam||August 20, 1987|
World Championships medalists
- Notations on the 1920 discus stamps at the Olympic Museum
- Discus Throw - men - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-20.
- Discus Throw - women - senior - outdoor. IAAF. Retrieved on 2014-01-20.
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