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Body types still have a wide range, as shown by the podium at the 2011 Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. Photo by Photo Run.

The Perfect Physique for Throwing

Body types still have a wide range, as shown by the podium at the 2011 Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. Photo by Photo Run.One chapter of the David Epstein’s The Sports Gene discusses the role of body type in sports and how this has evolved in almost a Darwinian fashion over the last century. At the beginning of the modern Olympic era elite athletes tended to have the same body type. As Epstein explained, in 1925 the average Olympic volleyball player looked similar in stature to an Olympic discus thrower, high jumper, or shot putter. American Robert Garrett was the first modern Olympic discus and shot put champion standing just 6-foot 2-inches and 180-pounds. There is a reason he could easily be mistaken for a high jumper: he also won silver medals in the high jump and long jump. The scientists of the day even had theories of why this was the ideal athlete for each sport. Epstein notes that:

“Anthropometrists felt that human physique distributed along a bell curve, and the peak of the curve-the average- was the perfect form, with everything to the sides deviating by accident or fault.”

Fast forward a hundred years and each of those sorts has developed a distinct type of athlete that works best for it.

Weltklasse Zurich meet director Patrick Magyar.

Diamond League Finally Speaks About Hammer Throw

The third season of the Diamond League has come to an end, and once again the hammer throwers have had to watch from the sidelines. As the only track and field athletes excluded from the Diamond League, hammer throwers have always protested the current state of affairs. Through the efforts of those like Kathrin Klaas, the movement has slowly gained more publicity. And, after three years, the Diamond League has still never given an official statement as to why the hammer throw has been excluded; the closest thing to that was a footnote to the initial press release stating that the hammer throw would be excluded for “infrastructure reasons”, whatever that means.

As time has gone on, Patrick Magyar, the outspoken director of the Weltklasse Zurich Diamond League meet, has let out some snippets of his views on the hammer throw.

Kathrin Klaas has the power to make some change.

German Federation Supports Hammer in Diamond League

I normally try to keep my posts here positive about the hammer throw and the future of our sport. We have a great event that is loved by many and one of my biggest aims on this page is to keep writing about it so more people can discover it. My favorite thing to do is highlight successful meets so that meet directors and sponsors can reap the benefits of their investment in the hammer throw. But every once in a while I have to stop and draw people’s attention to some of the injustices in the world of hammer throwing. Let’s be clear, the hammer throw faces a chicken and egg problem: are we excluded from so many competitions because we aren’t as popular, or are we not popular because we have been excluded from competitions? Answering that question is futile since the real solution simply lies in looking forward and bringing more attention to our sport. We have to push for the hammer throw and let those in power know that we will not just roll over if we continue to be excluded. I mentioned a small concern of mine earlier this week and there has already been progress on that front. But the biggest injustice for the hammer throw is the Diamond League.