Javelin throw
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Bregje Crolla during Europacup 2007, by Erik van Leeuwen.

The javelin is a track and field event. The javelin is a spear about 2.5 m in length. The Javelin is a stand alone event and is an event of both the men's decathlon and the women's heptathlon.

Rules and competitions

The size, shape, minimum weight and center of gravity of the javelin are all defined by IAAF rules. In international competition dimensions are as follows:

For both men and women, a grip about 150 mm (5.9 in) wide, made of cord and located at the javelin's center of gravity.

Javelin size, men



centre of gravity

2.6 and 2.7 m
(8 ft 6 in and 8 ft 10 in)

800 g
(28 oz)

0.9 to 1.06 m
(2 ft 10 in to 3 ft 6 in)
from the javelin tip

Javelin size, women



centre of gravity

2.2 and 2.3 m
(7 ft 3 in and 7 ft 7 in)

600 g
(21 oz) 

0.8 to 0.92 m
(2 ft 7 in to 3 ft 0.2 in)
from the javelin tip

Unlike the other throwing events (shot put, discus, and hammer), the technique used is dictated by IAAF rules and "non-orthodox" techniques are not permitted. The javelin's grip must be used to throw it overhand, over the athlete's shoulder or upper arm. Also, the athlete may not turn completely around such that his back faces the direction of throw. Javelin throwers have a 4 m wide (13 ft) runway and between 30 and 36 m long (98 to 118 ft), ending in a curved arc from which their throw will be measured.

A legal throw has the tip of the javelin landing before any other part of the javelin, within a pie shaped sector of just under 29 degrees. The distance of the throw is measured from the throwing arc to the point where the tip of the javelin lands.

Competitors throw one after the other, and each may have up to six throws.  If the number of athletes is large enough, a cut may be used to eliminate many of them after three rounds.  The longest legal throw wins, regardless of which round the throw was made in.

Technique and training

Javelin allows the competitor to build speed over the 30 meters.  As well as the required upper body strength, javelin throwers benefit from the agility and athleticism typically associated with running and jumping events. They physically resemble sprinters more than hammer or shot put throwers, although they still need the skill of heavier throwing athletes.

Traditional free-weight training is often used by javelin throwers. Metal-rod and resistance band exercises are used to train a similar action to the javelin throw. Without the requisite strength, flexibility, and fitness, throwers may be injury prone, especially in the shoulder and elbow.  Stretching along with sprint training are used to enhance the speed of the athlete at the point of the throw, and the javelin speed may reach 110 km/h (70 mph).

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The page was sourced from the wikipedia page Javelin throw.

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