Discus throw

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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[2] and the main posters for the 1920 and 1948 Summer Olympics.[3]

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

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 220 mm (8.66 inches) for the men's event, and a weight of 1 kg (2 lb 3 oz) and diameter of 181 mm (7.17 inches) for the women's event. In U.S. high school track and field, boys typically throw a discus weighing 1.616 kg (3 lb 9 oz) and the girls throw the 1 kg (2.2 lb) women's discus. The discus can be thrown starting at age 11 (midget division). Most children throw the 1 kg discus. The discus usually has sides made of rubber, plastic, wood, or metal with a metal rim and a metal core to attain the weight. 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 practice discus made of solid rubber is often used in high school; it is cheaper, more durable, 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).

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