Discus throw
Modern copy of the Diskophoros, attributed to Alkamenes

The discus throw (About this sound pronunciation) is an event in track and field athletics competition, 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 evidenced by the 5th century BC Myron statue, Discobolus. Although not part of the modern pentathlon, it was one of the events of the ancient pentathlon, which can be dated at least back to 708 BC.[1]

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.

Contents

Description

Discus-thrower, tondo of a kylix by the Kleomelos Painter, Louvre Museum

The discus, the object to be thrown, is a heavy lenticular disc with a weight of 2 kilograms (4 lb 7 oz) and diameter of 219–221 mm (8.66 inches) for the men's event, and a weight of 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) and diameter of 180–182 mm (7.17 inches) for the women's event.

Under IAAF (international) rules, Youth boys (16–17 years) throw the 1.5 kg discus, the Junior men (18–19 years) throw the unique 1.75 kg 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 kg discus is thrown by ages 50–59, and men age 60 and beyond throw the 1 kg discus. Women throw the 1 kg discus through age 74. Starting with age 75, women throw the 750 gram 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 metres (8 feet 2½ inches) 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.

Phases of the throw

Rutger Smith in phases of the discus throw

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 you 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 do not over do it (being overly active can result 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.[citation needed] 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.

Top ten performers

Rudolf Bauer at the 1900 Olympics
Gerd Kanter in Osaka

Accurate as of July 2010.[2][3]

Men

Mark Athlete Venue Date
74.08 m (243 ft 0.5 in)  Jurgen Schult (GDR) Neubrandenburg June 6, 1986
73.88 m (242 ft 4.7 in)  Virgilijus Alekna (LTU) Kaunas August 3, 2000
73.38 m (240 ft 9.0 in)  Gerd Kanter (EST) Helsingborg September 4, 2006
71.86 m (235 ft 9.1 in)  Yuriy Dumchev (URS) Moscow May 29, 1983
71.70 m (235 ft 2.8 in)  Róbert Fazekas (HUN) Szombathely July 14, 2002
71.50 m (234 ft 7.0 in)  Lars Riedel (GER) Wiesbaden May 3, 1997
71.32 m (233 ft 11.9 in)  Ben Plucknett (USA) Eugene June 4, 1983
71.26 m (233 ft 9.5 in)  John Powell (USA) San Jose June 9, 1984
71.26 m (233 ft 9.5 in)  Rickard Bruch (SWE) Malmö November 15, 1984
71.26 m (233 ft 9.5 in)  Imrich Bugár (TCH) San Jose, CA May 25, 1985

Women

Mark Athlete Venue Date
76.80 m (251 ft 11.6 in)  Gabriele Reinsch (GDR) Neubrandenburg July 9, 1988
74.56 m (244 ft 7.4 in)  Zdenka Šilhavá (TCH) Nitra August 26, 1984
74.56 m (244 ft 7.4 in)  Ilke Wyludda (GDR) Neubrandenburg July 23, 1989
74.08 m (243 ft 0.5 in)  Diana Sachse-Gansky (GDR) Karl-Marx-Stadt June 20, 1987
73.84 m (242 ft 3.1 in)  Daniela Costian (ROU) Bucharest April 30, 1988
73.36 m (240 ft 8.2 in)  Irina Meszynski (GDR) Prague August 17, 1984
73.28 m (240 ft 5.0 in)  Galina Savinkova (URS) Donetsk September 8, 1984
73.23 m (240 ft 3.1 in)  Tsvetanka Khristova (BUL) Kazanlak April 19, 1987
73.10 m (239 ft 10.0 in)  Gisela Beyer (GDR) Berlin July 20, 1984
72.92 m (239 ft 2.9 in)  Martina Hellmann (GDR) Potsdam August 20, 1987

World record progress

Men

Mark Athlete Venue Date
46 m (150 ft 11.0 in)  Harrison Heath (Great Britain) London 1900-03-12
47.58 m (156 ft 1.2 in)  James Duncan (USA) New York 1912-05-27
47.61 m (156 ft 2.4 in)  Thomas Lieb (USA) Chicago 1924-09-14
47.89 m (157 ft 1.4 in)  Glenn Hartranft (USA) San Francisco 1925-05-02
48.20 m (158 ft 1.6 in)  Bud Houser (USA) Palo Alto, California 1926-04-02
49.90 m (163 ft 8.6 in)  Eric Krenz (USA) Palo Alto, California 1929-03-09
51.03 m (167 ft 5.1 in)  Eric Krenz (USA) Palo Alto, California 1930-05-17
51.73 m (169 ft 8.6 in)  Paul Jessup (USA) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1930-08-23
52.42 m (171 ft 11.8 in)  Harald Andersson (SWE) Oslo 1934-08-25
53.10 m (174 ft 2.6 in)  Willi Schröder (GER) Magdeburg, Germany 1935-04-28
53.26 m (174 ft 8.9 in)  Archibald Harris (USA) Palo Alto, California 1941-06-20
53.34 m (175 ft 0.0 in)  Adolfo Consolini (ITA) Milan 1941-10-26
54.23 m (177 ft 11.0 in)  Adolfo Consolini (ITA) Milan 1946-04-14
54.93 m (180 ft 2.6 in)  Robert Fitch (USA) Minneapolis, Minnesota 1946-06-08
55.33 m (181 ft 6.3 in)  Adolfo Consolini (ITA) Milan 1948-10-10
56.46 m (185 ft 2.8 in)  Fortune Gordien (USA) Lisbon 1949-07-09
56.97 m (186 ft 10.9 in)  Fortune Gordien (USA) Hämeenlinna, Finland 1949-08-14
57.93 m (190 ft 0.7 in)  Sim Iness (USA) Lincoln, Nebraska 1953-06-20
58.10 m (190 ft 7.4 in)  Fortune Gordien (USA) Pasadena, California 1953-07-11
59.28 m (194 ft 5.9 in)  Fortune Gordien (USA) Pasadena, California 1953-08-22
59.91 m (196 ft 6.7 in)  Edmund Piątkowski (POL) Warsaw 1959-06-14
59.91 m (196 ft 6.7 in)  Rink Babka (USA) Walnut, California 1960-08-12
60.56 m (198 ft 8.3 in)  Jay Silvester (USA) Frankfurt 1961-08-11
60.72 m (199 ft 2.6 in)  Jay Silvester (USA) Brussels 1961-08-20
61.10 m (200 ft 5.5 in)  Al Oerter (USA) Los Angeles 1962-05-18
61.64 m (202 ft 2.8 in)  Vladimir Trusenyev (URS) Leningrad, USSR 1962-06-04
62.45 m (204 ft 10.7 in)  Al Oerter (USA) Chicago 1962-07-01
62.62 m (205 ft 5.4 in)  Al Oerter (USA) Walnut, California 1963-04-27
62.94 m (206 ft 6.0 in)  Al Oerter (USA) Walnut, California 1964-04-25
64.55 m (211 ft 9.3 in)  Ludvík Daněk (TCH) Turnov, Czechoslovakia 1964-08-02
65.22 m (213 ft 11.7 in)  Ludvík Daněk (TCH) Sokolov, Czechoslovakia 1965-10-12
66.54 m (218 ft 3.7 in)  Jay Silvester (USA) Modesto, California 1968-05-25
68.40 m (224 ft 4.9 in)  Jay Silvester (USA) Reno, Nevada 1968-09-18
68.40 m (224 ft 4.9 in)  Ricky Bruch (SWE) Stockholm 1972-07-05
68.48 m (224 ft 8.1 in)  John van Reenen (RSA) Stellenbosch, South Africa 1975-03-14
69.08 m (226 ft 7.7 in)  John Powell (USA) Long Beach, California 1975-05-03
69.18 m (226 ft 11.6 in)  Mac Wilkins (USA) Walnut, California 1976-04-24
69.80 m (229 ft 0.0 in)  Mac Wilkins (USA) San Jose, California 1976-05-01
70.24 m (230 ft 5.4 in)  Mac Wilkins (USA) San Jose, California 1976-05-01
70.86 m (232 ft 5.8 in)  Mac Wilkins (USA) San Jose, California 1976-05-01
71.16 m (233 ft 5.6 in)  Wolfgang Schmidt (GDR) Berlin 1978-08-09
71.86 m (235 ft 9.1 in)  Yuriy Dumchev (URS) Moscow 1983-05-29
74.08 m (243 ft 0.5 in)  Jürgen Schult (GDR) Neubrandenburg, GDR 1986-06-06

Women

Mark Athlete Venue Date
24.90 m (81 ft 8.3 in)  Lilli Henoch (GER) Berlin 1922-10-01
26.90 m (88 ft 3.1 in)  Lilli Henoch (GER) Berlin 1923-07-08
27.70 m (90 ft 10.6 in)  Lucie Petit (FRA) Paris 1924-07-14
28.325 m (92 ft 11.2 in)  Lucie Petit (FRA) Brussels 1924-07-21
30.225 m (99 ft 2.0 in)  Lucienne Velu (FRA) Paris 1924-09-14
31.15 m (102 ft 2.4 in)  Maria Vidlaková (TCH) Prague 1925-10-11
34.15 m (112 ft 0.5 in)  Halina Konopacka (POL) Warsaw 1926-05-23
38.34 m (125 ft 9.4 in)  Milly Reuter (GER) Braunschweig 1926-08-22
39.18 m (128 ft 6.5 in)  Halina Konopacka (POL) Warsaw 1927-09-04
39.62 m (129 ft 11.8 in)  Halina Konopacka (POL) Amsterdam 1928-07-31
40.345 m (132 ft 4.4 in)  Jadwiga Wajs (POL) Pabianice 1932-05-15
40.84 m (133 ft 11.9 in)  Grete Heublein (GER) Hagen 1932-06-19
42.43 m (139 ft 2.5 in)  Jadwiga Wajs (POL) Lodz 1932-06-19
43.08 m (141 ft 4.1 in)  Jadwiga Wajs (POL) Królewska Huta 1933-07-15
43.795 m (143 ft 8.2 in)  Jadwiga Wajs (POL) London 1934-08-11
44.34 m (145 ft 5.7 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Ulm 1935-06-02
44.51 m (146 ft 0.4 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Nuremberg 1935-06-04
44.76 m (146 ft 10.2 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Nuremberg 1935-06-04
44.77 m (146 ft 10.6 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Munich 1935-06-23
45.53 m (149 ft 4.5 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Munich 1935-06-23
45.97 m (150 ft 9.8 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Jena 1935-06-29
46.10 m (151 ft 3.0 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Jena 1935-06-29
47.12 m (154 ft 7.1 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Dresden 1935-08-25
47.99 m (157 ft 5.4 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Munich 1936-06-14
48.31 m (158 ft 6.0 in)  Gisela Mauermayer (GER) Dresden 1936-07-11
53.25 m (174 ft 8.5 in)  Nina Dumbadze (URS) Moscow 1948-08-08
53.37 m (175 ft 1.2 in)  Nina Dumbadze (URS) Gori 1951-05-27
53.61 m (175 ft 10.6 in)  Nina Romashkova (URS) Odessa 1952-08-09
57.04 m (187 ft 1.7 in)  Nina Dumbadze (URS) Tblisi 1952-10-18
57.15 m (187 ft 6.0 in)  Tamara Press (URS) Rome 1960-09-12
57.43 m (188 ft 5.0 in)  Tamara Press (URS) Moscow 1961-07-15
58.06 m (190 ft 5.8 in)  Tamara Press (URS) Sofia 1961-09-01
58.98 m (193 ft 6.0 in)  Tamara Press (URS) London 1961-09-20
59.29 m (194 ft 6.3 in)  Tamara Press (URS) Moscow 1963-05-19
59.70 m (195 ft 10.4 in)  Tamara Press (URS) Moscow 1965-08-11
61.26 m (200 ft 11.8 in)  Liesel Westermann (FRG) São Paulo 1967-11-05
61.64 m (202 ft 2.8 in)  Christine Spielberg (GDR) Regis-Breitingen 1968-05-26
62.54 m (205 ft 2.2 in)  Liesel Westermann (FRG) Werdohl 1968-08-24
62.70 m (205 ft 8.5 in)  Liesel Westermann (FRG) Berlin 1969-06-18
63.96 m (209 ft 10.1 in)  Liesel Westermann (FRG) Hamburg 1969-09-27
64.22 m (210 ft 8.3 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Helsinki 1971-08-12
64.88 m (212 ft 10.3 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Munich 1971-09-04
65.42 m (214 ft 7.6 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Moscow 1972-05-31
65.48 m (214 ft 10.0 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Augsburg 1972-06-24
66.76 m (219 ft 0.3 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Moscow 1972-08-04
67.32 m (220 ft 10.4 in)  Argentina Menis (ROU) Bucharest 1972-09-23
67.44 m (221 ft 3.1 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Riga 1973-05-25
67.58 m (221 ft 8.6 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Moscow 1973-07-11
69.48 m (227 ft 11.4 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Edinburgh 1973-09-07
69.90 m (229 ft 4.0 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Prague 1974-05-27
70.20 m (230 ft 3.8 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Zurich 1975-08-20
70.50 m (231 ft 3.6 in)  Faina Melnyk (URS) Sochi 1976-04-24
70.72 m (232 ft 0.3 in)  Evelin Jahl (GDR) Dresden 1978-08-12
71.50 m (234 ft 7.0 in)  Evelin Jahl (GDR) Potsdam 1980-05-10
71.80 m (235 ft 6.8 in)  Maria Petkova (BUL) Sofia 1980-07-15
73.26 m (240 ft 4.3 in)  Galina Savinkova (URS) Leselidze 1983-05-23
73.36 m (240 ft 8.2 in)  Irina Meszynski (GDR) Prague 1984-08-17
74.56 m (244 ft 7.4 in)  Zdenka Šilhavá (CSK) Nitra 1984-08-26
76.80 m (251 ft 11.6 in)  Gabriele Reinsch (GDR) Neubrandenburg 1988-07-09

Indoor world record progress

Record Athlete Nationality Date Meet Place Ref
66.20 m Wolfgang Schmidt  Germany 9 January 1980 Germany Berlin, Germany [4]
69.51 m Gerd Kanter  Estonia 22 March 2009 World Record Indoor Challenge Sweden Växjö, Sweden [5]

In culture

Discus commemorative coin

The discus throw is the subject of a number of well-known ancient Greek statues and Roman copies such as the Discobolus and Discophoros.

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 the United States

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.

See also

References

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • discus throw — discus throw, a sports event in which the discus is thrown for distance …   Useful english dictionary

  • discus throw — Track and field sport of hurling for distance a disk shaped object known as a discus. The discus is 8.6 in. (219 mm) in diameter and is thicker in the centre than at the perimeter; it must weigh at least 4.4 lbs (2 kg) for men s events, 2.2 lbs… …   Universalium

  • discus throw — noun An athletic throwing event where the object to be thrown is a heavy lenticular disc called discus …   Wiktionary

  • discus throw — sporting event involving the tossing of a metal disk as far as possible …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Athletics at the 2000 Summer Olympics - Men's discus throw — These are the official results of the Men s Discus Throw at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.Final ClassificationNon Qualifiersee also* 1996 Men s Olympic Discus Throw (Atlanta) * 1997 Men s World Championships Discus Throw (Athens)… …   Wikipedia

  • 1994 European Championships in Athletics - Women's discus throw — These are the official results of the Women s Discus Throw event at the 1994 European Championships in Helsinki, Finland. There were a total number of 24 participating athletes.Final*Held in 1994 08 10 ee also* 1990 Women s European Championships …   Wikipedia

  • Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics - Men's discus throw — The Men s Discus Throw at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California had an entrylist of 20 competitors, with two qualifying groups before the final (12) took place on August 10, 1984.MedallistsQualifying Round*Held on August 8, 1984… …   Wikipedia

  • Athletics at the 1980 Summer Olympics - Men's discus throw — The men s discus throw event at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Soviet Union had an entrylist of 18 competitors, with one qualifying group and the final (12) held on Monday July 28, 1980.MedallistsQualifying Round*Held on Sunday July 27, 1980 …   Wikipedia

  • Athletics at the 1988 Summer Olympics - Women's discus throw — The women s discus throw at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea had an entrylist of 22 competitors, with two qualifying groups before the final (12) took place on Thursday September 29, 1988.MedalistsQualifying Round*Held on Wednesday… …   Wikipedia

  • Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics - Women's discus throw — The Women s Discus Throw at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California had an entrylist of 18 competitors, with two qualifying groups before the final (12) took place on 1988 08 11.Finalee also* 1980 Women s Olympic Discus Throw (Moscow) …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”