This sport involves putting the shot from a circle with a diameter of 2.135 m with one hand only. The shot must touch a competitor's neck before it is put. The weight of the shot for women and boys aged 15 and under is 4 kg, for younger juniors (aged 16-17) it is 6 kg. Older juniors (aged 18-19) and senior competitors use shots weighing 7.26 kg. After putting the shot, a competitor must leave the circle from the rear. Otherwise the throw is considered a foul. The distance thrown is measured with a tape measure connecting the centre of the circle and the mark made by the falling shot. The measurement is taken from the inner edge of the stop board to the nearest edge of the shot's landing point.
Two primary techniques are used in the shot put: the glide and the spin. The glide was introduced by Parry O'Brien (USA) in 1951. In this putting style a competitor is positioned facing the back of the circle, "glides" towards the stop board and twists the hips before putting the shot. The spin was first used in 1976 by Aleksandr Baryshnikov. In this style a competitor rotates his body before putting the shot.
This sport requires a high level of physical preparation as well as an appropriate level of general and specific fitness. The key to a long throw is agility, strength and coordination. Competitors throw the javelin after a short run on the runway. Hercules is considered to have been the first javelin thrower. In those days the aim of the javelin throw was either to throw the farthest or to hit a target.
The original javelin was made of olive wood. It was between 2.30 and 2.40 m long and weighed 400 g. Competitors were allowed to throw it with one or both hands. In the 18th C the Scandinavians contributed to the popularisation of the javelin throw. Moreover, this region hosted the first women's javelin throw competition in 1916. In 1952 the straight line of the throw was changed into an arc. In 1953 Franklin Bud Held invented a hollow javelin which increased the flight capability of the javelin and caused it to land horizontally. The following year he developed a metal javelin. In 1966 a Spanish competitor Felix Erausquin threw over 100 m using a rotational technique. IAAF banned this throwing style, as it was too dangerous. In 1984 Uwe Hohn, who represented the GDR, threw 104 metres and 80 centimetres. After his feat the centre of gravity in javelins was shifted which in turn reduced the flight distances by approximately 10 m. Women and boys under 15 years of age use 220-230 cm long javelins weighing 600 g. Junior and senior male competitors use implements 260-270 cm in length and 800 g in weight.
The representatives of Poland have been awarded two Olympic medals for the javelin throw. In 1936 Maria Kwaśniewska-Maleszewska brought home the bronze medal from Berlin. 20 years later Janusz Sidło was second at the Olympic Games in Melbourne. He was also a double champion of Europe and set a world record (with an 83.66 metre throw).
The discus throw was already practised in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks used first stones and then bronze discs between two and six kilograms in weight and between 21 and 34 cm in diameter. In 1896 the discus throw was included in the programme of modern Olympic Games. Until the end of the 19th C, however, various throwing techniques were used. The sport was not standardised until 1907. Presently, the discus for women and boys under 15 years of age weighs 1 kg, for younger juniors (aged 16-17) 1,5 kg. Older juniors (aged 18-19) and senior competitors throw discuses weighing 2 kg. The distance is measured with a tape measure connecting the centre of the circle and the point where the discus has landed. The original static position of throwers does not resemble the current throwing style in which a competitor stands facing away from the direction of the throw and turns around whilst holding the discus with a straight arm. During the spin and after throwing a competitor is not allowed to step on or outside the metal rim of the circle. This throwing style was introduced by Clarence Houser (USA) in 1926. Until 1920 the throws were made with both hands. In 1954 a concrete circle was brought into use in order to increase the rotational speed of competitors. Women were included in discus throwing events in 1914.
The hammer consists of a ball attached to a steel wire with a handle. Competitors make a throw from a circle with a diameter of 2.135 m surrounded by a safety cage. A competitor stands inside the circle facing away from the direction of the throw holding the handle of the hammer with both hands and swings the hammer over his head a few times. Then he turns around three to five times keeping his elbows straight before releasing the hammer into the field. While taking turns and after making a throw competitors are not permitted to step on or outside the metal rim of the circle. Women and boys under 15 years of age use 4 kg hammers, younger juniors (aged 16-17) throw 6 kg implements, and senior juniors (aged 18-19) and senior competitors use hammers weighing 7.26 kg. The hammer throw dates back to ancient times. In those days prior to releasing the wooden hammer athletes used to run.
In 1887 the current weight of the hammer was established. The use of wolfram for the head of the hammer resulted in the reduction of its size (at present the minimum length is 110 mm) which in turn increased the distances thrown.