The javelin competition at the 1972 Games was the closest in Olympic history. Germany's Klaus Wolfermann had taken the lead from Lūsis in the fifth round with an Olympic Record throw of 90.48 meters. Then, in the sixth and final round, Lūsis let fly with a very long effort that measured at 90.46 meters - Wolfermann's two centimeter margin was, at the time, the smallest unit of measurement used in javelin competitions.
As of 2003[update], he remains the only Latvian who has won a complete set of Olympic medals. Lūsis set two world records in javelin throw, of 91.68m in 1968 and of 93.80 m in 1972. He is also a 4-times European champion. In 1987 IAAF nominated him as the all-time greatest javelin thrower in the world.
There were many competitions for throwing a cricket ball the furthest distance, particularly in the earlier years of the game. Wisden describes how the record was set around 1882, by one Robert Percival at Durham Sands Racecourse, at 140 yards and two feet. Former Essex allrounder Ian Pont threw a ball 138 yards in Cape Town in 1981. There are unconfirmed reports that Jānis Lūsis, once threw a ball 150 yards.