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Javelin throw


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The javelin throw is an athletics throwing event where the object to be thrown is the javelin, a spear-like object made of metal, fiberglass and, in some cases, carbon fiber.


Competition and throws

Rules are similar to other throwing events: Competitors take three throws after which the top eight take another three, their best legal throw is recorded and the winner is the individual with the longest legal throw measured to the nearest centimetre or foot and inch depending on country of competition. If the javelin's point touches the ground first, the throw is marked (measured) from this point. However, if the throw lands flat on the ground, the throw is marked as a foul throw. The most noticeable difference with the other events is that rather than a throwing circle as used in discus, shot put and hammer throw, the competitors have a run-up area coated with the same surface used for running tracks, and a painted line on the surface for small spikes on each shoe. Many athletic tracks have javelin run-ups at each end to take advantage of any potential wind benefit.

Javelin throwers gain considerable forward velocity in their run-up to their throws, and as well as upper body strength demonstrate athleticism more similar to running and jumping events. Thus, the athletes share more physical characteristics with sprinters than other throwing athletes with their bulky frames. At release, a javelin can reach speeds approaching 113 km/h (70 mph).

Javelin redesigns

In 1984, the men's javelin (800 g) was redesigned because of the prodigious distances being thrown culminating in a world record throw of 104.80 m by the then East German thrower, Uwe Hohn. The javelin throw was in danger of being banished to outside the arena on safety grounds so the javelin was redesigned so that the centre of gravity was moved further away from the centre of pressure (the point at which the aerodynamic forces of lift and drag act) so that the javelin had a downward pitching moment. This brings the nose down earlier, reducing the flight distance by around 10% and also causing the javelin to stick in. In 1999, the women's javelin (600g) was similarly redesigned.

Modifications that manufacturers made to recover some of the lost distance, by increasing tail drag (using holes, rough paint or dimples), were outlawed at the end of 1991 and marks made using implements with such modifications removed from the record books.


[edit] History and the javelin at the Olympics
The javelin throw has been part of the Summer Olympics since 1908. Although the javelin is currently used only for sport in most areas, it has a long history of use for hunting and warfare. There are, for instance, numerous references to the javelin in ancient Hellenic civilization, who practised a form of javelin throwing at the ancient Olympics. Some believe the objective was to throw at a target rather than for distance, but this can not be determined. [citation needed]

Training techniques for javelin throw

Traditional free-weight training is often used by javelin throwers. Metal-rod exercises and resistance band exercises can be used to train a similar action to the javelin throw to increase power and intensity. Core stability can help in the transference of physical power and force from the ground through the body to the javelin. Stretching and sprint training are used to enhance the speed of the athlete at the point of release and subsequently the javelin.

World records