Dilshod Nazarov

Athlete Profile

    Tajikistan Tajikistan
    6 MAY 1982
Dilshod Nazarov in the hammer at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)

Personal Best - Outdoor

Performance Wind Place Date
Hammer Throw 80.71 Halle 25 MAY 2013

Progression - Outdoor

Hammer Throw

Performance Place Date
2016 78.87 Turku 29 JUN
2015 79.36 Ostrava (Mestský Stadion) 25 MAY
2014 80.62 Ostrava (Mestský Stadion) 16 JUN
2013 80.71 Halle 25 MAY
2012 77.70 Montreuil-sous-Bois 05 JUN
2011 80.30 Zagreb (Sports Park Mladost) 13 SEP
2010 80.11 Dushanbe 18 JUN
2009 79.28 Uberlândia 20 MAY
2008 79.05 Almaty 08 JUN
2007 78.89 Dushanbe 16 JUN
2006 74.43 Doha 08 DEC
2005 77.63 Almaty 05 JUN
2004 76.58 Dushanbe 13 MAR
2003 75.56 Dushanbe 25 MAY
2002 68.46 Adler 17 FEB
2001 68.08 B. S. Begawan 22 JUL
2000 66.50 Bishkek 03 JUN
1998 60.02 Annecy (Park des Sports) 31 JUL

Honours - Hammer Throw

Rank Mark Wind Place Date
The XXXI Olympic Games 1 78.68 Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico) 19 AUG 2016
15th IAAF World Championships 2 78.55 Beijing (National Stadium) 23 AUG 2015
2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014 4 77.06 Marrakech (Le Grande Stade) 13 SEP 2014
14th IAAF World Championships 5 78.31 Moskva (Luzhniki) 12 AUG 2013
The XXX Olympic Games 10 73.80 London (Olympic Stadium) 05 AUG 2012
13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 10 76.58 Daegu (DS) 29 AUG 2011
1st IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup 2010 2 78.76 Split (Poljud Stadion) 04 SEP 2010
IAAF/VTB Bank World Athletics Final 5 77.14 Thessaloníki 13 SEP 2009
12th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 11 71.69 Berlin (Olympiastadion) 17 AUG 2009
The XXIX Olympic Games 11 76.54 Beijing (National Stadium) 17 AUG 2008
11th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 12q1 71.70 Osaka (Nagai Stadium) 25 AUG 2007
10th IAAF World Championships in Athletics 7q1 73.38 Helsinki (Olympic Stadium) 06 AUG 2005
28th Olympic Games q1 NM Athína (Olympic Stadium) 20 AUG 2004
IAAF/Coca Cola World Junior Championships 5 63.43 Santiago de Chile (E.Nacional) 18 OCT 2000
IAAF World Junior Championships 8q1 60.02 Annecy (Park des Sports) 31 JUL 1998

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Updated 8 August 2016


Dilshod NAZAROV, Tajikistan (Hammer Throw)


Height 187cm

Weight 120kg

Born: 6 May 1982 in Dushanbe

Lives Dushanbe

Coached by his mother, Zaytuna Nazarova


Try to image a broken-down dirt road occupied by armed soldiers and military hardware. Then image 10-year-old boy weaving among armoured personnel carriers and tanks. From summer 1992, he has been doing that three of four times a week, during 3 years. It was 10km from home to the stadium and then the same distance back after only 1.5 hours practice. Dilshod Nazarov’s way into athletics looked like that.


“It was civil war time in Tajikistan,” Nazarov is remembering. “Public transport in Dushanbe didn’t work and I had to go to the training on foot. I always was much taller, stronger and looked older than my peers, but I still was a child and I was scared. I was young and full of energy, that is why 10km did not seem too long and difficult for me. But three years later, when I bought the bicycle, I felt the happiest boy on the Earth and my way to the training became much easier.”


Dilshod was born in a sport family, although his parents never achieved international level. Father Dzhamalidin Nazarov was one of the best in fire-applied sport. Mother Zaytuna was a member of the Tajik handball team. That is why young Dilshod tried many sports before athletics. He was keen on tennis, football and even played basketball in the national youth team. In summer 1992, a neighbour of Nazarov’s family, Turkmen Telyaboy Khudaberdyev, took Dilshod into his throwing group and put the hammer in his hands…


In 1995, 13-year-old Nazarov already competed at the Central Asian Games in Tashkent, and achieved 48.50 with the 7kg hammer. “We never threw light hammers at practices, and used them only for warming-up,” Nazarov said. “That is why I felt comfortable throwing 7kg hammer at senior events in spite of fact that I was too young.” In 1997, 15-year-old Dilshod became bronze medallist at the West Asian Games, and missed the 60m mark only by 6cm. “I was in seventh heaven with joy! And that day I understood that hammer throwing will be the sense of all my life.”


In 1996, Nazarov’s family suffered a loss. Dilshod’s, father who worked in the military academy, was killed in mountains nearest to Afghanistan during the enemy’s large-scale armed attack. For more than one year, he was considered as missing in action. Later, local residents told Nazarov’s mother the heroic story about a Tajik platoon leader, who stayed on the front line till last minute of his life, covering the retreat of his soldiers, and saved their lives in such way… That was Dzhamalidin Nazarov…  


“It was very difficult time for our family,” Dilshod recalls. “My mother had to work hard to keep a family. I was ready to give up athletics to find extra earnings, but my mother insisted on continuing of my career. I have stayed in athletics thanks to her only.” In any case, Nazarov left the throwing group of his first coach and started to train without any assistance.  He became a regular visitor of the Sport Institute library, studying all available books about training methodologies, loadings, weightlifting and hammer throw technique. His mother, who worked as a lecturer at the Institute, shared with Dilshod all her knowledge and even gave him the possibility to train at the institute’s fields. “Though I mostly train by myself, my mother is controlling my physical preparation till now. In the last years, she also helps me a lot during throwing practices, catching sight of my technical mistakes,” added Dilshod. 


At the end of the nineties, Nazarov did not have enough experience to prepare himself for major events. That’s why, at the IAAF World Junior Championships 1998, (he was only 16 years old) Dilshod couldn’t go through the qualification, with a best attempt of 60.02. But already in December that year, he improved his personal best to 63.91 (7kg) and finished among the finalist at Asian Games in Bangkok.


Two years later, Nazarov went to his next World Junior Championships and was absolutely sure he would fight for medals. But he didn’t take into consideration the more than 24-hours flight with three connections, and his performance in another time and climate zone. Being one of the favourites in the Santiago de Chile field, he was able to throw 63.43m only and finished fifth. In 2001, Dilshod improved his PB to 68.08m, setting national and Asian junior records and won the Asian Junior Championships.


Nazarov began the 2002 competition season with from another PB, 69.86m, in February and was sure he would overcome the 70m mark that year. His physical conditions were really great, but technical faults didn’t allow results to improve. His performance at the Asian Games on 8 October became the biggest disappointment for Nazarov. He took only ninth place in Busan, with so modest 58.39m.


“Misfortunes never come alone,” Nazarov says. “I was devoid of a grant and any financial support in my country, I lost all interest and was one step from retirement. Thank God, some businessmen proposed me their help. They funded not only part of my preparation, but also covered almost all expenses for competition trips.”


In 2003, Nazarov was in a Ukrainian training camp twice a year for 3 months to take advice from Yuriy Piskunov. The results of their collaboration were obvious. On 11 May, Dilshod passed the 70m mark for the first time in his career, and achieved 73.39m in Kiev (standard of International level Master of Sport by Tajik classification) and two weeks later improved his personal best to 75.56 at the national championships in Dushanbe. He was successfully selected for the World Championships, but had to withdraw from participation because of back injury. Nazarov not only didn’t want to come to Paris as a tourist, but also couldn’t take any chances one year before the Olympics.


The following year, Dilshod came back to the training camp in Nova Kakhovka to continue his teamwork with the Ukrainian coach. Already in March, he achieved the Athens Olympics qualifying standard, achieving 76.58m at local competition in Dushanbe. He didn’t perform a lot that year, but his results were impressively stable. “I felt great before my first Olympics,” Nazarov recalls. “I was ready to improve my personal best by one or even two meters. But good fortune turned away from me. All my qualifications attempts were far enough (at least over 76m) but the hammer landed outside the sector. Certainly I was very upset, but I wasn’t disappointed. There I understood that I can throw much farther and be among the best hammer throwers in the world.” 


Wrong building of training process in 2005 and too late start of preparation in 2006 made those seasons toneless for Nazarov. At his first World Championships, in Helsinki, Dilshod threw 73.38 in qualification and it was result he was ready for.  In 2006, Nazarov competed only three times, but on 8 December managed to become the winner of the Asian Games, achieving in rainy and stormy Doha a modest 74.43m.


In 2007, Nazarov attained great shape and improved his personal best to 78.89m already in the middle of the June, at local competitions in Dushanbe. He competed under big loadings at the Asian Championships in Amman on 25 July and took second place with 75.70, but after the competition he began to suffocate.


“It was an unpleasant feeling. I couldn’t walk even 100m without asthmatic fit and giddiness,” Nazarov recalls. “I made all possible analyses and medical examinations, but nobody could say what had happened. Trainings were simply not on. In such conditions I came to World Championships. It was logical that I achieved only 71.70 in qualifications in Osaka and had to come back home to continue treatment for an unknown illness. Later, one osteopath told me I have nerve entrapment in cervical spine, despite I didn’t feel any pain. After three massages and one month of easiest yoga exercises, I felt absolutely healthy and set a goal to achieve the final at future Olympic Games.”


And Dilshod achieved his objective. First in June 2008 he set a PB 79.05 while competed in Almaty and achieved the qualifying standard for the Olympics. And in Beijing, he finished 11th with a 76.54 best attempt. “It was really good, as that year I had performed only 4 times before Olympic Games. I definitely needed a manager and the possibility to compete on the international athletics circuit to have more competitions experience. In Beijing I was introduced to the former hammer thrower, Czech manager Vladimir Maska and we began our collaboration immediately.”


In 2009, Nazarov started his summer season from three South American GP meetings, in Brazil, where he defeated Beijing Olympic champion Primos Kozmus, setting a new personal best of 79.28m. “It was time of rebirth of my international career,” Nazarov smiles. By the middle of the June, he already performed at nine competitions and enjoyed the ability to perform with the strongest hammer throwers in the world. Then Dilshod made a pause in competitions and focused on purposeful preparation for the World Championships. He was in the mood for medal fight. But in the Berlin final, Nazarov felt flat. The hammer landed outside the sector in two attempts and he had to make the third throw very carefully. As a result, Dilshod finished his competitions in Berlin on 11th place only, with 71.69m.


But one month later, a mark of 77.14 and fifth position at the World Athletics Final, in Thessaloniki, became the clear confirmation of Nazarov’s great shape. “Moreover, on 10 November I took an easy win at the Asian Championships, in Guangzhou, despite I had very light trainings from September, even without weightlifting and special physical preparation” Dilshod continued. 


All winter 2010, Nazarov paid a lot of attention to special exercises to improve his technique. “My technical mistakes are like the echo from the youth. At the time when the coach has to teach pupils technical rudiments, I was self-coaching. Now I must make many corrections and it isn’t easy, as some wrong elements got implanted into my throws too deeply. Mostly I can’t adopt the usual exercises widespread among throwers. I have to invent something new,” Dilshod smiles.


The summer season 2010 became the most stable in his career. He threw over 80m for the first time at the national championships in Dushanbe on 18 June, became silver medallist of Continental Cup in Split on 4 September, won the Asian Games at the end of November and finished second in overall standing of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge. It was a good incentive to be absorbed in Daegu preparation.


“I felt great and was confident in high results at the World Championships,” Nazarov says. “Before my departure to Daegu, I had test training where I achieved 76.50m. It meant I was ready to throw over 80m. I arrived in South Korea two weeks before competitions and made a few very hopeful practices. But the picture changed during competitions. I have been making one attempt after other but hammer flew 76m, like bewitched. I was not able to change something.”


In Daegu, Nazarov finished 10th and was very upset with his 76.58 in the World Championships final. He even wanted to change plans and withdraw from further competitions that season, but after all decided to continue performances. And his persistence was crowned by a new personal best at the last competition of the season. On 13 September in Zagreb, Nazarov achieved 80.30m and became second in the overall standing of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge or the second time in a row.


Winter 2012 was too snowy and cold in Tajikistan, so Nazarov was forced to train indoor only. Dilshod began throwing practices at the end of March only, and that is why he had to postpone start of his competitions season to May. Nevertheless, he quickly picked up good competition shape. But one and a half month before the Olympics, Nazarov injured his shoulder. He received treatment and trained in the same time. Pain grew every day. And only in London did Dilshod get the true verdict. His pain was diagnosed as liquid accumulation in the shoulder.


“Doctors from the London Olympics medical centre made all they possibly could at that moment” Nazarov says. “They pumped out liquid from the shoulder and injected a special gel, which gave my shoulder the ability to move and turn. I felt much better and even went through the qualification with 8th result 75.91m. But the pain returned when I warmed up before the Olympic final. I threw 73.80 with incredible pain and stayed at the 10th place at my second Olympics.”


After unsuccessful performance in London, Nazarov took a long rest and began his training only in January 2013. He started from lifting, lending an attentive ear to his shoulder. He still felt a weak pain deep inside, but it allowed throwing. All preparation for summer season 2013, Dilshod spent in Tajikistan. “I understood that tiredness from long flights and frequent competitions accumulated inside me,” Nazarov explains. “I wanted to enjoy my family, my house, my motherland as long as possible. I even invited my friend and rival, Lukas Melich from Czech Republic, to training camp in Dushanbe. Weather was warm and sunny and we had great practices together.”


In 2013, Nazarov focused on preparation for the World Championships, in Moscow, like never before. He opened the international season in early May in Japan and achieved a new personal best on 25 May in Halle with a world leading 80.71m. “I had already secured the place among top hammer throwers in the world, but never proved it at major competitions. I hoped this year it would my time” said Dilshod.  


After his next victory with 78.32m at the Asian Championships in Pune on 6 July, Nazarov decided to take a pause in competitions for purposeful preparation to the World Championships. His last and main preparation was in the Czech Republic, under the eyes of his manager. Dilshod gained great shape from one day to another and finally got very in strong physical condition, but one week before his flight to Moscow some technical problems appeared suddenly.


“All my training tests showed that I was able to improve my personal best. I threw the 6kg hammer over 88m and that meant that I had to throw 7kg hammer about 82 - 83m, but just as I took one last hammer, my technique was becoming far from perfect,” Nazarov recalls.


In any case, he reached the World Championships final in Moscow, with fourth best result (77.93m) in qualification. Two days later Dilshod took fifth, place with 78.31 and was absolutely disappointed with such a performance.


“I had to throw over 80m in any case, but my technique that day was horrible and I could do nothing to correct my mistakes. I even wanted to finish my season immediately, but I already had some agreements with meeting directors and didn’t want to break my word. But I finished the season very soon, after I finished fourth at the Skolimovska Memorial in Warsaw on 25 August with a modest 76.10m attempt,” Nazarov said.


Then Dilshod decided to take a long break in practices and came back to the stadium only in January, paying much more attention for development of technically problematic moments. He prepared in Dushanbe until May and went to a European training camp just to begin his competition season. At the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on 16 June, Nazarov was so close to improve his personal best when taking second place with 80.62m. He performed at 13 events during 2014 summer season and had successful attempts over 80m at two more meetings: at the Gyulai Memorial in Hungarian Szekesfehervar on 8 July (80.24) and in Madrid on 19 July (80.51).


“I was more or less content with such a season, but some technical problems forced me to take a pause in competition to be preparing well for the Continental Cup. Certainly, I would have liked to perform at one or two IAAF World Hammer Throwing Challenge events, but couldn’t arrange it with meeting directors. I definitely needed to test my physical and technical conditions before Marrakech, as a two-month competition break is too long before such an important event as the Continental Cup. I felt really strong in the field and even coped with my technique but it was the day when my hammer didn’t want to fly and I had to be thankful for small mercies when I took fourth place with 77.06m,” Nazarov said.


Finally, Dilshod was able to finish the 2014 competition season on a high note when he took his third gold at the Asian Games, in Incheon, with 76.82m being there an unreserved favourite.


This time he cardinally changed pre-season preparation. After one-month rest, he started training and devoted all the winter to physical strengthening and improvement of technical details under the direction of his manager. The summer season start was promising for Dilshod, when he achieved 79.36m at the Ostrava Golden Spike already on 25 May and won the Asian Championships in Wuhan, China (77.68m) ten days later.


“After that, I came back to Czech Republic, where I was based almost all the summer for training between my performances. To be honest, I was sure I could pass the 80m mark this year as well and even smash my personal record, but my feelings were different from my results. I cannot say that I wasn’t satisfied with this season. It looked very consistent and good, without evident failures but, unfortunately, without any surge as well. On other hand, it was not bad, as I did all I could to gain my top shape for the Beijing Worlds. Thanks to Tadjik two-time World champion in hammer, Andrey Abduvaliyev, who works now with Chinese athletes, I was able to come to Beijing for a training camp almost two weeks before the event. It was a very right decision, as I had enough time for acclimatisation and received some good advice from one of the hammer throw legends. At the same time, my manager, Vladimir Maska, was very helpful in last corrections and cleaning-up of my technique,” Nazarov stressed.


In the Beijing World Championships qualification, Dilshod threw 75.56m in second round and did not take the last attempt, being sure that it would be more than enough to get to the final. He knew there were too many things to improve one day later.


On 23 August, Nazarov topped the men’s hammer throw competition in the second round, having achieved 77.61m, but world leader Pawel Faidek answered with an impressive throw over 80m already in the next attempt. Occupying second position in the field, Dilshod improved to 78.06m and 78.55m in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively but Pole Wojciech Nowicki was very close to move Nazarov down by one position.


“I felt calm, as it looked like Wojciech’s hammer landed closer than my previous distance, but when I saw the same 78.55m on the screen, I wondered at digits. As far as I remember, there never was the same result among top three throwers in our event at major competitions,” Nazarov recalls.


Finally, Dilshod took the silver medal at the Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing, beaten only by the Pole Faidek. It was the first Tadjik medal at the World Championships in Athletics since Abduvaliyev had won gold in Göteborg 1995. 


“People say that second place is always annoying but I felt a huge joy. Pawel Faidek is the unreserved leader in our field and he deserved this victory, but I wasn’t going to give up in advance.  My wait for a World Championships medal was too long. That silver was the most long-awaited and very welcome in my collection to date,” Nazarov said.


After ending the 2016 season in the middle of September, Nazarov took 1.5 months rest and started his preparation for the Olympic season at the beginning of November. Everything was going according to plan and Dilshod felt he can achieve a cardinally new level of physical condition, but a hip injury interfered in his trainings. Three months of recovery made a negative impact on pre-season preparation.


Nevertheless, Nazarov opened his 2016 summer season with an excellent 78.82m at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava on 19 May and continued to perform during May and June at the same high level. After competing in Turku on 29 June, where he achieved a season best of 78.87m, Dilshod decided to stop his performance and focused on preparation for the Rio Olympic Games.


“I’m satisfied with my shape this season, even if the hip injury disturbed me constantly. I didn’t feel the pain when I competed, but huge discomfort appeared after events. The injury didn’t allow me to fulfil all technical details I had to do in the circle,” Nazarov explains.


After coming back home at the end of June, Dilshod decided to make a pre-Olympic reboot, increasing training’ loadings, but a little later he felt that he cannot  scramble out of pit with his condition.


“I was little scared,” Dilshod confesses. “One week before my trip to Rio de Janeiro, I came to the Czech Republic to do my technical practice together with my manager and all the things fell into place. My training results went up and I could go to the Rio keeping calm.”


At the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 5 August, Nazarov came into the Maracanã Stadium as flag bearer of Tadjik national team.


“Those are incredible and very pleasant feelings, when you’re honoured by your country to bear the national flag. I was flag bearer at Opening Ceremony eight years ago and those memories are one of the brightest in my life. This year I got the Ceremony from straight the plane, as I joined my team four hours after my landing in Rio on a transatlantic flight. As a result, I felt too tired, but I was charged with positive energy and the Olympic mood. I came to Rio ready to fight for the top places but the Games are very special competitions, full of surprises. Who can create surprise in our field? Let’s see. Maybe, it’ll be young Qatari Ashraf Amgad Elseify; at least, I liked his physical and technical condition when we competed together this summer. In any case, I hope I’m also ready to surprise my fans in Rio,” Dilshod said the morning after the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.    


In 2001, Dilshod Nazarov graduated from the Tajik Institute of Sports and Physical Culture and in 2006 from the Tajik State Economic Institute as international relations manager. He was married in the age of 19. His son Dalyer was born in 2002 and daughter Amina in 2004.


Dilshod Nazarov has a tradition to gather all his family together before his departure to different competitions. That is the time when he can show his culinary talent for his loved ones. Dilshod’s trump dish is pilaf, which needs sometimes 5 hours for cooking on the fire.


From March 2009, Dilshod Nazarov is the president of Tajik Athletics Federation. “I have a very professional and nice team I work with. That is why I can combine athletics career with such an important post successfully,” summed up Dilshod.


Personal Best

Hammer Throw: 80.71 (2013)


Yearly Progression

Hammer Throw: 1995: 48.50; 1996: - ; 1997: 59.94; 1998: 63.91; 1999: 63.56; 2000: 66.50; 2001: 68.08; 2002: 69.86; 2003: 75.56; 2004: 76.58; 2005: 77.63; 2006: 74.43; 2007: 78.89; 2008: 79.05; 2009: 79.28; 2010: 80.11; 2011: 80.30; 2012: 77.70: 2013: 80.71; 2014: 80.62; 2015: 79.36; 2016: 78.87


Career Highlights

1997    3rd        West Asian Games (Tehran)                                                  59.94A

1998    q          World Junior Championships (Bydgoszcz)                                 60.02

1998    7th        Asian Games (Bangkok)                                                         63.91

1999    1st        Asian Junior Championships (Singapore)                                  63.56

2000    5th        World Junior Championships (Santiago de Chile)                       63.43

2001    1st        Asian Junior Championships (Bandar Seri Begawan)                  68.08

2001    13th      World University Games (Beijing)                                             66.10

2002    4rd        Asian Championships (Colombo)                                               67.70

2002    9th        Asian Games (Busan)                                                               58.39

2003    3rd        Asian Championships (Manila)                                                   69.90

2003    1st        Central Asian Games (Dushanbe)                                               71.20

2003    2nd       Afro-Asian Games (Hyderabad)                                                  69.72

2004    NM      Olympic Games (Athens)

2005    q          World Championships (Helsinki)                                                  73.38

2005    2nd       Asian Championships (Incheon)                                                  71.38

2006    1st        Asian Games (Doha)                                                                  74.43

2007    2nd       Asian Championships (Amman)                                                   75.70

2007    q          World Championships (Osaka)                                                     71.70

2008    11th      Olympic Games (Beijing)                                                            76.54

2009    11th      World Championships (Berlin)                                                     71.69 (75.83 Q)

2009    5th        World Athletics Final (Thessaloniki)                                              77.14                          

2009    1st        Asian Championships (Guangzhou)                                               76.92

2010    2nd       Continental Cup (Split)                                                                78.76

2010    1st        Asian Games (Guangzhou)                                                           76.44

2010    2nd         IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge                                         

2011 10th         World Championships (Daegu)                                                      76.58 (76.93 Q)

2011    2nd         IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge                                         

2012    10th      Olympic Games (London)                                                              73.80 (75.91 Q)

2012    5th          IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge                                         

2013    1st        Asian Championships (Pune)                                                         78.32

2013    5th        World Championships (Moscow)                                                     78.31

2013    4th          IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge                                           

2014    3rd          IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge

2014    4th         IAAF Continental Cup (Marrakech)                                                  77.06

2014    1st        Asian Games (Incheon)                                                                   76.82

2015    1st        Asian Championships (Wuhan)                                                        77.68

2015    2nd       World Championships (Beijing)                                                        78.55


Prepared by Liudmyla Iakusheva for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2013-2016.