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The hammer throw is one of the four throwing events in regular track and field competitions, along with the discus throw, shot put and javelin.
With roots dating back to the 15th century, the contemporary version of the hammer throw is one of the oldest of Olympic Games competitions, first included at the 1900 games in Paris, France (the second Olympiad of the modern era). Its history since the late 1960s and legacy prior to inclusion in the Olympics have been dominated by European and Eastern European influence, which has had an impact on interest in the event in other parts of the world.
The hammer evolved from its early informal origins to become part of the Scottish Highland games in the late 18th century, where the original version of the event is still contested today. It is believed that, like many Highland games events, the origin of the hammer throw is tied to a prohibition by King Edward I of England against Scotsmen possessing weapons during the Wars of Scottish Independence in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.
In the absence of weapons of war, the Scots turned to alternative methods of military training. The Highland games became a more formalized event after the Highland Clearances of the late 18th century, which were an agricultural revolution that involved forced displacement of commoners in the Scottish Highlands by the aristocracy.
While the men's hammer throw has been part of the Olympics since 1900, the International Association of Athletics Federations did not start ratifying women's marks until 1995. Women's hammer throw was first included in the Olympics at the 2000 summer games in Sydney, Australia, after having been included in the World Championships a year earlier.
The men's hammer weighs 16 pounds (7.257 kg) and measures 3 feet 11 3⁄4 inches (121.5 cm) in length and the women's hammer weighs 8.82 lb (4 kg) and 3 feet 11 inches (119.5 cm) in length. Like the other throwing events, the competition is decided by who can throw the implement the farthest.
Although commonly thought of as a strength event, technical advancements in the last 30 years have evolved hammer throw competition to a point where more focus is on speed in order to gain maximum distance.
The throwing motion involves two swings from stationary position, then three or four rotations of the body in circular motion using a complicated heel-toe movement of the foot. The ball moves in a circular path, gradually increasing in velocity with each turn with the high point of the ball toward the sector and the low point at the back of the circle. The thrower releases the ball from the front of the circle.
The two most important factors for a long throw are the angle of release (45° up from the ground) and the speed of the ball (the highest possible). The speed and force created by world-class hammer throwers in top-level competition has been measured by biomechanical scientists in excess of sixty miles per hour.
As of 2011[update] the world record for the men's hammer is held by Yuriy Sedykh, who threw 86.74 metres (284 ft 7 in) at the European athletics championships in Stuttgart, West Germany on 30 August 1986.
Top 10 
Men's best throwers of all time 
- (Updated April 2010)
|1.||86.74 m||Yuriy Sedykh (URS)||Stuttgart||30 August 1986|
|2.||86.73 m||Ivan Tsikhan (BLR)||Brest||3 July 2005|
|3.||86.04 m||Sergey Litvinov (URS)||Dresden||3 July 1986|
|4.||84.90 m||Vadim Devyatovskiy (BLR)||Minsk||21 July 2005|
|5.||84.86 m||Koji Murofushi (JPN)||Prague||29 June 2003|
|6.||84.62 m||Igor Astapkovich (BLR)||Seville||6 June 1992|
|7.||84.48 m||Igor Nikulin (URS)||Lausanne||12 July 1990|
|8.||84.40 m||Jüri Tamm (URS)||Banská Bystrica||9 September 1984|
|9.||84.19 m||Adrián Annus (HUN)||Szombathely||10 August 2003|
|10.||83.68 m||Tibor Gécsek (HUN)||Zalaegerszeg||19 September 1998|
Women's best throwers of all time 
- (Updated July 2012)
|1.||79.42 m||Betty Heidler (GER)||Halle||2011-05-21|
|2.||78.69 m||Aksana Miankova (BLR)||Minsk||18 July 2012|||
|3.||78.51 m||Tatyana Lysenko (RUS)||Cheboksary||5 July 2012|||
|4.||78.30 m||Anita Włodarczyk (POL)||Bydgoszcz||2010-06-06|
|5.||77.26 m||Gulfiya Khanafeyeva (RUS)||Tula||2006-06-12|
|6.||76.99 m||Zhang Wenxiu (CHN)||Ostrava||24 May 2012|||
|7.||76.90 m||Martina Hrašnová (SVK)||Trnava||2009-05-16|
|8.||76.83 m||Kamila Skolimowska (POL)||Doha||2007-05-11|
|9.||76.72 m||Mariya Bespalova (RUS)||Zhukovskiy||23 June 2012|
|10.||76.66 m||Volha Tsander (BLR)||Minsk||2005-07-21|
Men's Seasons Best 
Women's Seasons Best 
See also 
- "Hammer Throw - Introduction". IAAF. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
- "International Competitions in Memory of Belarusian Athletes 2012 Results". EAA. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- Nickolai Dolgopolov, Rostislav Orlov (6 July 2012). "Four world season leads and one national record at Russian championships - day 3". IAAF. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Hammer Throw Results". www.zlatatretra.cz. 24 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
- HammerThrow.eu (Results, Top-Lists, Records, Videos, ...)
- HammerThrow.org (Information about the event, coaching tips and resources, ...)
- Hammer Throw Records
- Hammer Throw History