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 sport, as demonstrated 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 back to at least to 708 BC.
Discus 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 discus was re-discovered in Magdeburg, Germany, by Christian Georg Kohlrausch and his students in the 1870s. His work around the discus and the earlier throwing techniques have been published since the 1880.
The first modern athlete to throw the discus while rotating the whole body was František Janda-Suk from Bohemia (present Czech Republic). He invented this technique when studying the position of the famous statue of Discobolus. After only one year of developing the technique he gained the olympic silver in 1900.
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 to 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 to 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 anticlockwise (for right-handers) around one and a half times through the circle to build momentum, then releases his/her 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 anticlockwise for a left-handed thrower. 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.
The discus technique can be broken down into phases. The purpose is to transfer from the back to the front of the throwing circle while turning through one and half circles. The speed of delivery is high, and speed is built up during the throw (slow to fast). Correct technique involves the build up of torque so that maximum force can be applied to the discus on delivery.
During the wind up, keep weight is evenly distributed between the feet, which are about shoulder distance and not overly active. The wind up sets the tone for the entire throw, the rhythm of the throw is very important.
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.
For a right handed thrower, the next stage is to move the weight over the left foot. From this position the right foot is raised, and the athlete 'runs' across the circle. There are various techniques for this stage where the leg swings out to a small or great extent, some athletes turn on their left heel (e.g. Ilke Wylluda) but turning on the ball of the foot is far more common.
The aim is to land in the 'power position', the right foot should be in the center and the heel should not touch the ground at any point. The left foot should land very quickly after the right. Weight should be mostly over the back foot with as much torque as possible in the body - so the right arm is high and far back - this is very hard to achieve. power position
The critical stage is the delivery of the discus, from this 'power position' the hips drive through hard, and will be facing the direction of the throw on delivery. Athletes employ various techniques to control the end-point and recover from the throw, such as fixing feet (to pretty much stop dead), or an active reverse spinning onto the left foot (e.g. Virgilijus Alekna).
The discus throw is the subject of a number of well-known ancient Greek statues and Roman copies such as the Discobolus and Discophoros. The discus throw also appears repeatedly in ancient Greek mythology, featured as a means of manslaughter in the cases of Hyacinth, Crocus, Phocus, and Acrisius, and as a named event in the funeral games of Patroclus.
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- to 18-year-olds. Girls throw the 1 kg discus as 11- to 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 25 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|
|12||71.18 m (233 ft 61⁄4 in)||Art Burns (USA)||San Jose||19 July 1983|
|13||71.16 m (233 ft 51⁄2 in)||Wolfgang Schmidt (GDR)||Berlin||9 August 1978|
|14||71.14 m (233 ft 43⁄4 in)||Anthony Washington (USA)||Salinas||22 May 1996|
|15||71.06 m (233 ft 11⁄2 in)||Luis Delís (CUB)||Havana||21 May 1983|
|16||70.98 m (232 ft 101⁄4 in)||Mac Wilkins (USA)||Helsinki||9 July 1980|
|17||70.82 m (232 ft 4 in)||Aleksander Tammert (EST)||Denton||15 April 2006|
|18||70.66 m (231 ft 93⁄4 in)||Robert Harting (GER)||Turnov||22 May 2012|
|19||70.54 m (231 ft 5 in)||Dmitriy Shevchenko (RUS)||Krasnodar||7 May 2002|
|20||70.38 m (230 ft 103⁄4 in)||Jay Silvester (USA)||Lancaster||16 May 1971|
|21||70.32 m (230 ft 81⁄2 in)||Frantz Kruger (RSA)||Salon-de-Provence||26 May 2002|
|22||70.06 m (229 ft 101⁄4 in)||Romas Ubartas (LTU)||Smalininkai||8 May 1988|
|23||70.00 m (229 ft 73⁄4 in)||Juan Martínez (CUB)||Havana||21 May 1983|
|24||69.95 m (229 ft 53⁄4 in)||Zoltán Kővágó (HUN)||Salon-de-Provence||25 May 2006|
|25||69.91 m (229 ft 41⁄4 in)||John Godina (USA)||Salinas||19 May 1998|
|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)||Zdeňka Šilhavá (TCH)||Nitra||August 26, 1984|
|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 (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||73.22 m (240 ft 21⁄2 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|
|11||72.14 m (236 ft 8 in)||Galina Murashova (URS)||Prague||August 17, 1984|
|12||71.80 m (235 ft 63⁄4 in)||Mariya Vergova (BUL)||Sofia||July 13, 1980|
|13||71.68 m (235 ft 2 in)||Xiao Yanling (CHN)||Beijing||March 14, 1992|
|14||71.58 m (234 ft 10 in)||Ellina Zvereva (URS)||Leningrad||June 12, 1988|
|15||71.50 m (234 ft 63⁄4 in)||Evelin Jahl (GDR)||Potsdam||May 10, 1980|
|16||71.30 m (233 ft 11 in)||Larisa Korotkevich (RUS)||Sochi||May 29, 1992|
|17||71.22 m (233 ft 73⁄4 in)||Ria Stalman (NED)||Walnut||July 15, 1984|
|18||71.08 m (233 ft 21⁄4 in)||Sandra Perković (CRO)||Zürich||August 16, 2014|
|19||70.88 m (232 ft 61⁄2 in)||Hilda Ramos (CUB)||Havana||May 8, 1992|
|20||70.80 m (232 ft 31⁄4 in)||Larisa Mikhalchenko (URS)||Kharkov||June 18, 1988|
|21||70.68 m (231 ft 101⁄2 in)||Maritza Martén (CUB)||Sevilla||July 18, 1992|
|22||70.65 m (231 ft 91⁄4 in)||Denia Caballero (CUB)||Bilbao||20 June 2015|||
|23||70.50 m (231 ft 31⁄2 in)||Faina Melnik (URS)||Sochi||April 24, 1976|
|24||70.34 m (230 ft 91⁄4 in)||Silvia Madetzky (GDR)||Athens||May 16, 1988|
|25||70.02 m (229 ft 81⁄2 in)||Natalya Sadova (RUS)||Thessaloniki||June 23, 1999|
World Championships medalists
As of June 21, 2015
Notes and references
- 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.
- "Denia Caballero sets Discus world lead of 70.65, Pichardo debuts in long jump". watchathletics.com. 21 June 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- Day 2 of IOC Executive Board meeting in St. Petersburg . Olympic (2013-05-30). Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
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