Javelin athlete image 2 (Getty images)

Male

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed 89.21 Egypt EGY
2 Vítezslav Veselý 87.38 Czech Republic CZE
3 Thomas Röhler 86.99 Germany GER
4 Tero Pitkämäki 86.63 Finland FIN
5 Zigismunds Sirmais 86.61 Latvia LAT

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Linda Stahl 67.32 Germany GER
2 Barbora Špotáková 66.96 Czech Republic CZE
3 Kimberley Mickle 66.83 Australia AUS
4 Madara Palameika 66.15 Latvia LAT
5 Martina Ratej 66.13 Slovenia SLO

Male

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Jan Zelezný 98.48 Czech Republic CZE
2 Aki Parviainen 93.09 Finland FIN
3 Sergey Makarov 92.61 Russia RUS
4 Raymond Hecht 92.60 Germany GER
5 Konstadinós Gatsioúdis 91.69 Greece GRE

Female

Pos Athlete Mark Country
1 Barbora Špotáková 72.28 Czech Republic CZE
2 Maria Abakumova 71.99 Russia RUS
3 Olisdeilys Menéndez 71.70 Cuba CUB
4 Christina Obergföll 70.20 Germany GER
5 Trine Hattestad 69.48 Norway NOR

Javelin Throw

How it works

Using one arm, a metal-tipped javelin is thrown as far as possible. The athlete must hold the javelin by its corded grip with his or her little finger closest to the tip of the implement.

The men’s javelin must weigh at least 800g and be 2.6m-2.7m long while the women’s javelin must weigh 600g and be 2.2m-2.3m long.

For the throw to be measured the athlete must not turn his or her back to the landing area at any stage during their approach and throw; they must throw the javelin over the upper part of their throwing arm; and they must not cross the foul line, aka scratch line, at any time. The javelin must also land tip first and within the marked 29-degree sector.

If the tip touches the ground first the throw is measured from this point. Athletes will commonly throw four or six times per competition.  In the event of a tie, the winner will be the athlete with the next best effort.

History

Throwing the javelin as sport evolved from the everyday use of the spear in hunting and warfare. It was widely practised in Ancient Greece. And incorporated into the Olympic Games in 708BC as part of the pentathlon. It has been part of the modern Olympic Games programme since 1908 for men, and 1932 for women.

Did you know

In 1986 the men's javelin was redesigned: its centre of gravity was moved forward by 4cm. This shortened throwing distances by approximately 10 per cent by bringing its nose down earlier and more steeply. This was done because the men, following a World record of 104.80m by East Germany's Uwe Hohn in 1984, were in danger of throwing the javelin beyond the space available in normal stadiums. In 1999, the women's javelin was similarly redesigned.

Gold standard

European athletes have historically dominated the men's event, particularly from the Scandinavian countries, but Trinidad junior Keshorn Walcott caused a sensation at the London 2012 Olympic Games when he became the first man from outside Europe to win an Olympic medal since 1972 and only the second non-European Olympic champion. 

Icons

Jan Zelezny

The Czech thrower is the only man to win three successive Olympic Games gold medals, triumphing in 1992, 1996 and 2000; he also won the silver in 1988 and won three world titles in 1993, 1995 and 2001. Zelezny still has the best five throws ever, culminating in his still-standing 1996 world record of 98.48m.

Trine Hattestad

The Norwegian achieved everything in the sport. She set two world records, won twice at the IAAF World Championships in 1993 and 1997 as well as getting the 1994 European Athletics Championships gold medal. However, her crowning glory was when she won at the Olympic Games in 2000.