field events that include the throwing of the discus, javelin, hammer, and other projectiles and also the shot put for distance. Throws are part of combined events and the qualification standards of the all-Union physical fitness program entitled Prepared for Labor and the Defense of the USSR. These events help develop strength, agility, quickness, and coordination and aid in the formation of applied skills.
The discus is a lentil-shaped wooden object with a metal rim. Its diameters measure 21.9–22.1 cm (men) and 18.0–18.2 cm (women); its weights are 2 kg (men) and 1 kg (women). The discus is thrown from a circular area having a concrete foundation and measuring 2.5 m in diameter.
The javelin consists of a wooden shaft with a pointed metal tip and a cord binding; metal javelins are also used. Javelin lengths measure 2.6–2.7 m (men) and 2.2–2.3 m (women); weights are 0.8 kg (men) and 0.6 kg (women). The lane for approach in throwing the javelin is not less than 30 m long and 4 m wide.
The hammer is a spherical metal object bound by steel wire to a metal handle. It weighs 7.257 kg and has a total length of 1.18–1.20 m; the diameter of the ball is 10.2–12.0 cm. The shot is an all-metal ball; its weights are 7.257 kg (men) and 4 kg (women). The circular area for the hammer throw and shot put has a concrete foundation and is 2.135 m in diameter.
The grenade is an all-metal object or a wooden object with a metal casing. It weighs 700 g and has a length of 236 mm; the diameter of the body is 50 mm, and the diameter of the handle is 30 mm. Grenade-throwing is included in the qualification standards of the Prepared for Labor and the Defense of the USSR program and in military combined events.
Competitions in discus and javelin throwing were part of the ancient Greek Olympic Games (the pentathlon, consisting of running, jumping, discus- and javelin-throwing, and wrestling, was introduced in 708 B.C.). They are part of the modern Olympic Games as well (the discus throw and shot put since 1896, the hammer throw since 1900, and the javelin throw since the 1906 Extraordinary Games), the European track and field championships, and other large track and field competitions.
The most successful throwers have been athletes from Hungary, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), the USSR, the USA, Finland, and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The men’s world records (as of Jan. 1, 1974) are javelin—94.08 m (K. Wolfermann, FRG); discus—68.40 m (L. J. Silvester, USA); hammer—76.40 m (W. Schmidt, FRG); and shot put—21.82 m (A. Feuerbach, USA). The women’s world records are javelin—66.10 m (R. Fuchs, GDR); discus—69.48 m (F. G. Mel’nik, USSR); and shot put—21.45 m (N. V. Chizhova, USSR). Among the Olympic champions in the individual events are the Soviet athletes la. V. Lusis, V. S. Tsybulenko, E. A. Ozolina, and I. V. launzem (javelin); A. P. Bondarchuk, R. I. Klim, and V. V. Rudenkov (hammer); G. I. Zybina, T. N. Press, T. A. Tyshkevich, and N. V. Chizhova (shot put); and F. G. Mel’nik, N. A. Ponomareva, and T. N. Press (discus). The most successful non-Soviet discus thrower has been the US athlete A. Oerter, a four-time Olympic champion (1956–68).
N. I. SAMOILOV