Modern copy of Myron's Discobolus (Discus thrower) in University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden, Denmark

This track and field event has the athlete throwing a heavy disc. The discus is a heavy lens shaped disc, which for men has a diameter of 219–221 mm (8.6–8.7 in) and for women 180–182 mm (7.1–7.2 in).  Depending upon sex and age, the disc will have different weights as follows:


boys (16–17 years)

junior men (18–19 years)

senior men (50 +)

senior men (60 +)


girls (16–17 years)

junior women (18–19 years)

senior women (75+)

2.0 kg (4.4 lb)

1.5 kg

1.75 kg

1.5 kg

1.0 Kg

1.0 kg (2.2 lb)

1.0 kg

1.0 kg

0.75 kg

The top and bottom will be made of plastic, wood, fiberglass, carbon-fiber or metal.  The rim is metal and there is a metal core to make up the weight. The rim is smooth, with no rough spots or finger holds. The more weight in the rim, the greater the angular momentum, and greater the stability. A higher rim weight can lead to a greater distance. A solid rubber disc is sometimes used as a practice disc or for reasons of economy.

The throwing circle is 2.5 m in diameter (8 ft 2 in) and is recessed 20mm into a concrete pad. For safety the circle must be surrounded on 3 sides by a cage at least 4m (13 ft) high. 

The right-handed athlete usually starts by facing away from the direction of the throw, then spinning counter-clockwise one and a half times, building momentum, then releasing the disc. A legal throw must land within the sector (a 34.92 degree pie shape). Competition rules are virtually identical to those of shot put, differing only in that the circle is larger, there is no stop-board, and no form rules govern how the discus is thrown. The disc is thrown with a forehanded sidearm movement, and is spun off the index finger or the middle finger of the throwing hand. In flight the disc spins clockwise (right-handed thrower). Distance depends upon the maximum momentum achieved by the spin, and by the trajectory (ie, angle above horizontal) the thrower imparts, as well as the disc's aerodynamic behaviour. A faster-spinning discus has greater stability. The best technique is difficult to master and takes a great deal of experience to achieve, so most top throwers are older than 30.

The distance from the leading edge of the circle to the mark where the discus lands is measured to the nearest centimetre. The best throw may result from any of the allocated throws (usually 3 to 6), whether the throw occurred in qualifying or the final series of throws.

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This page derived from the wikipedia page Discus throw.

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