Neeraj Chopra won India’s first gold medal in the men’s javelin throw event at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which was also a first in the sport of Track & Field. For Indians, it was a dream come true. August 7th was an evening of joy and honor for all Indians.
Neeraj has become India’s second individual gold medalist, following Abhinav Bindra, who won a gold in shooting in 2008. This was also India’s seventh medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, marking it one of the country’s highest medal hauls. Let us now turn our attention to the sport that earned us a gold medal.
The technique of throwing a javelin far and accurately was extensively practiced in ancient Greece, and it gradually progressed from a common hunting and fighting activity to being included in the Ancient Olympic Games as part of the pentathlon in 708 BC. There were both males and women who took part in it.
In 1908, the men’s javelin throw was introduced, followed by the women’s javelin throw in 1932. Let us know all the details of the sport – Javelin throw
History of Javelin Throw
The javelin as a sport originated from the spear’s everyday use in hunting and fighting. It was popular in Ancient Greece and was included in the Olympic Games as part of the pentathlon in 708 BC. Since 1908 for men and 1932 for women, it has been a component of the modern Olympic Games.
The men’s javelin was modified in 1986, with the center of gravity shifted forward four cm. By lowering its nose down earlier and steeper, it was able to reduce throwing distances by around 10%. Following Uwe Hohn of East Germany’s world record of 104.80m set in 1984, the men were in danger of throwing the javelin beyond the area permitted in typical stadiums. The women’s javelin was also modified in 1999.
Jan Zelezny, a Czech athlete, is widely considered as the greatest male javelin thrower in history. From 1992 to 2000, he won a hat-trick of Olympic championships and established the world record of 98.48 meters. Barbora Spotakova, a compatriot, is one of the finest female javelin throwers in history, having won consecutive Olympic championships in 2008 and 2012 and holding the women’s world record with a best of 72.28 meters.
How does Javelin Throw work?
A throwing event in which participants attempt to throw a javelin with a metal tip as far as they can. It necessitates a blend of strength, power, coordination, accuracy, and timing.
With his or her little finger closest to the point of the Javelin, the athlete must hold the javelin by its corded grip.
The men’s javelin must weigh at least 800g and measure between 2.6m and 2.7m in length, while the women’s javelin must weigh at least 600g and measure between 2.2m and 2.3m in length.
The athlete must not turn his or her back to the landing area at any point during the approach and throw, toss the javelin over the upper portion of their throwing arm, and not cross the foul line, also known as the scratch line, at any time. In addition, the javelin must land tip first and within the designated 29-degree sector.
The throw is measured from the point where the tip first hits the ground. Athletes usually throw three to six times during a competition. In the case of a tie, the athlete who puts up the next-best effort will be declared the winner. A qualification session is usually followed by a final at major championships.
Javelin Throw Rules
- The weight, size, shape, & center of gravity of the javelin sport are all defined by IAAF rules.
- The javelin must be held from the grip & thrown overhand i.e over the athlete’s upper arm shoulder.
- Athletes are prohibited from turning completely around such that their back faces the direction of the Javelin throw.
- A javelin throw is considered legal only if the tip of the javelin lands within the sector of the javelin throw. Also, the tip of the javelin must strike the ground before any other part of the javelin.
- The athlete with the longest single legal throw (over all rounds) is the winner.
- Men – 800 g.
- Women – 600 g
- Men – 2.6 and 2.7 m (8 ft 6 in and 8 ft 10 in)
- Women: 2.2 and 2.3 m
Javelin Throw Sector
Javelin throw ground
- The javelin is thrown towards a “sector”, covering an angle of 28.96 degrees extending outwards from the arc at the end of the runway.
- Javelin throwers have a runway of 30 m (98 ft) in length & 4 m (13 ft) wide. The runway ends in a curved arc. The javelin throw is measured from this arc.
Javelin Throw Measurement
The distance of the throw is measured from the throwing arc to the point where the tip of the javelin landed.
Javelin Throw World Record List
|World Records: longest javelin throw||98.48||Jan ŽELEZNÝ||CZE||Jena (GER)||25 MAY 1996|
|World Championships in Athletics Records||92.80||Jan ŽELEZNÝ||CZE||Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (CAN)||12 AUG 2001|
|World Leading 2021||96.29||Johannes VETTER||GER||Stadion Śląski, Chorzów (POL)||29 MAY 2021|
|Olympic Games Records||90.57||Andreas THORKILDSEN||NOR||National Stadium, Beijing (CHN)||23 AUG 2008|
|Area Records – Africa||92.72||Julius YEGO||KEN||National Stadium, Beijing (CHN)||26 AUG 2015|
|Area Records – Asia||91.36||Chao-Tsun CHENG||TPE||Taipei Municipal Stadium, Taipei City (TPE)||26 AUG 2017|
|Area Records – Europe||98.48||Jan ŽELEZNÝ||CZE||Jena (GER)||25 MAY 1996|
|Area Records – NACAC||91.29||Breaux GREER||USA||Indianapolis, IN (USA)||21 JUN 2007|
|Area Records – Oceania||89.02||Jarrod BANNISTER||AUS||Brisbane (AUS)||29 FEB 2008|
|Area Records – South America||84.70||Edgar BAUMANN||PAR||San Marcos, TX (USA)||17 OCT 1999|
Javelin Throw Junior Records
|World U20 Records||86.48||Neeraj CHOPRA||IND||Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium, Bydgoszcz (POL)||23 JUL 2016|
|World U20 Championships Records||86.48||Neeraj CHOPRA||IND||Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium, Bydgoszcz (POL)||23 JUL 2016|
|World U20 Leading 2021||78.41||Artur FELFNER||UKR||Kadrioru staadion, Tallinn (EST)||17 JUL 202|
Longest Javelin Throw
- Uwe Hohn: 104.80 m (343 ft 9+3⁄4 in) (As per old rules)
- 98.48Jan ŽELEZNÝCZEJena (GER) 25 MAY 1996 – A s per new rules
About Neeraj Chopra: The Who bought 1st Gold for India in Track & Field
Neeraj Chopra, a 23-year-old Subedar of the Indian Army’s 4 Rajputana Rifles, hails from Haryana. Neeraj began throwing the javelin in 2011 and became the first Indian to win gold at the World Junior Championships in Poland in 2016. In 2018, he also made history by being the first Indian athlete to win gold in both the Commonwealth and Asian Games. For his victory in the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Haryana government has declared that it would award the athlete Rs 6 crore.