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Shot Put Olympics

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What is Shot Put?

The shot put is a track and field event in which a heavy spherical ball—the shot—is “placed” (pushed rather than thrown) as far as possible. Men’s shot put has been a feature of the modern Olympics since their rebirth in 1896, and women’s shot put competitions began in 1948.

With one hand, the shot, a metal ball (7.26kg/16lb for men, 4kg/8.8lb for women), is put – not hurled. The goal is to get it as far away as possible from a circle with a seven-foot diameter (2.135m) and a curved 10-centimeter high toe-board in front.

The shot must not fall below the line of the athlete’s shoulders at any point throughout the put and must land inside a predetermined 35-degree sector to be measured. During the put, the athlete must not touch the top of the toe-board or exit the circle before the ball has fallen, save from the back half of the circle. The order of the results is determined by distance.

Athletes typically throw six times during a competition. In the event of a tie, the athlete who put out the next-best effort will be declared the winner. Strength, speed, balance, and explosive power are all required in a shot putter. A qualification session is usually followed by a final at major championships.

History

Soldiers are recorded as throwing cannonballs in the Middle Ages, but a variation of the present form of the discipline may be traced back to the Highland Games in Scotland in the nineteenth century, where contestants threw a rounded cube, stone, or metal weight from behind a line.

Since 1896, the men’s shot put has been a part of every modern Olympic Games, but women putters had to wait until 1948 to compete.

The United States is the most successful shot nation in Olympic history, having won gold in every men’s shot competition save two from 1896 to 1968. Tomasz Majewski of Poland became the third man in Olympic shot history to win back-to-back gold medals, doing so in 2008 and 2012. Valerie Adams is one of the most well-known female shooters in history. In 2008 and 2012, the New Zealander won back-to-back Olympic crowns, as well as a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Putting Styles

Glide

A right-handed thrower would start facing the back of the circle using this technique. To begin the throw from a more favorable posture while simultaneously isometrically preloading their muscles, they would often adopt a certain form of crouch involving their bent right leg. A preliminary isometric press is created by positioning their bodyweight over their bent leg, which pulls upwards with equal force. This press’s force will be channeled into the succeeding throw, making it more powerful. They kick to the front with the left leg and push off with the right leg to start the throw. The hips rotate toward the front as the thrower crosses the circle, the left arm is swung out then brought back tight, the shoulders follow, and the right arm is then struck in a putting action. The key to gliding is to travel fast over the circle with as little air under your feet as possible.

Spin

The rotational technique is another name for this. The spin entails whirling like a discus thrower and generating power through rotational motion. With his spin method, Baryshnikov achieved a world record of 22.00 m (72.18 ft) in 1976, becoming the first shot putter to break the 22-meter barrier. A right-handed thrower uses this method to face the back and spin on the left foot’s ball. The thrower circles back to the front of the circle and smashes his right foot into the circle’s center. Finally, the thrower reaches for the front of the circle with his left foot, turning his hips and shoulders in a glide-like motion, and fires the shot.

World Records

Men

1) Outdoor

Ryan Crouser 23.37 m (76 ft 8 in) 18 June 2021 Eugene, Oregon, USA

2) Indoor

Ryan Crouser 22.82 m (74 ft 10+1⁄4 in) 24 January 2021 Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Women

1) Outdoor

Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m (74 ft 2+3⁄4 in) 7 June 1987 Moscow, USSR

2) Indoor

Helena Fibingerová 22.50 m (73 ft 9+3⁄4 in) 19 February 1977 Jablonec, CZE

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