Everyone wants to know how to accelerate the hammer. But before you can answer that question you have to look at another question first: Does the body force the hammer to move? Or does the hammer force the body to move? You might say “This is easy! We push and control the hammer. We force the hammer to move.” Is it that easy? I would say this statement is both true and false. Read more
As is the case every year, 2016 was filled with highs and lows in the world of hammer throwing. World records were set, and former record setters athletes were banned. New athletes arrived, and old athletes retired. The Olympic men’s hammer final lacked some luster, but overall the year more than lived up to my expectations. Below is my list of top hammer throwing stories from the past year. Read more
Earlier this week we celebrated the 30th birthday of the men’s hammer throw world record. When a record lasts that long, the inevitable question is whether it will ever be broken. The chances do not look good in the near-term future. Pawel Fajdek’s throw of 83.93 meters last year is the only all-time top 10 mark in the last decade and the winning distance at this year’s Olympics was the lowest since 1984. In the long-term many top coaches think a bigger throw is possible, but it will not be easy. It will require the sport to progress in terms of training methods, culture, and more. Below two Olympic champions share their thought on the future of our event. Read more
Tomorrow the World Anti-Doping Agency will release the McLaren Report, which will provide a detailed look at allegations that arose in May regarding systemic cheating by Russia to win medals at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. While the main focus is on winter sports, it is expected that the report will take a broader look at Russian doping practices across many sports. These allegations will no doubt be used by the IAAF in defending its decision to ban Russia track and field team from the 2016 Olympics. Russia no doubt is doing things wrong, but don’t let us be distracted from the fact that the IAAF is equally culpable. The IAAF needs to implement major changes if track and field has any chance of being cleaned up. Read more
Earlier this morning Sergej Litvinov was informed by the IAAF that his application for exceptional eligibility to compete at the 2016 Olympics was declined along with 66 other athletes. (The rejection did not address all of the grounds for exception raised in Litvinov’s 13-page application, and we are in further communication with them to clarify these points.) In reading through the decision, some initial social media reactions, and media reports it is clear that the big picture is being overlooked. With that in mind, I’ve put together a primer on the topic that helps put the Russia doping issue in context. Read more
Editor’s Note: Last week the IAAF announced that the Russian athletics team will not be eligible to compete in the upcoming Olympic Games due systemic doping issues. Sergej Litvinov is the Russian champion in the hammer throw and placed 5th at last year’s World Championships. This week he wrote the following letter to Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF, asking what he can personally do to compete again.
Dear Lord Coe,
When it was announced that the Russian team will be banned from the upcoming Olympics last week, the common reaction here in Russia was denial mixed with anger. Many top athletes and officials continue to deny the scope of the problem and are angry that Russia is being singled out while similar issues exist in many places across the world.
I am not in denial. Read more
After publishing our annual women’s rankings on Sunday we are following it up with the men’s rankings today. While there was no men’s world record this year, the season has some great performances and battles. The field was closely packed together which should also make for an exciting Olympics next summer. Read more
Last weekend we held our first weekend training camp for the Swiss hammer throwers. As part of the Swiss hammer project we gathered together the top athletes and coaches for a chance to learn from each other and have a bit of fun. Even though I get to work with my throwers all the time, they benefited a lot too. Having a weekend focused only on hammer let us take a step back and analyze a few things we have overlooked. Read more
Last week we started off the year-end review with a look at the top 10 women of 2014. We’ll continue with the men today which was even closer and more exciting than last year. The greatest rivalry in track and field right now in track and field is the men’s hammer throw. Krisztian Pars and Pawel Fajdek face off nearly every week during the season and it is a toss up who will win. It was literally a toss up as the average margin of victory was less than 10 centimeters (four inches). Read more
As usual, the hammer throw will be starting off the action at this year’s world championships. The men’s qualifying round will take place on Saturday afternoon, where 29 athletes will battle to make it on to Monday’s 12 person final. Coming off of a dominant Olympic title, Krisztián Pars is the name to watch. On the one hand it might appear like he will have things easier this year since, as is expected after an Olympic year, the level of hammer throwing has receded slightly. This year saw just 11 throwers over 79 meters and 36 over 76 meters, compared with 16 and 47 throwers respectively in 2012. But on the other hand Pars is barely ahead of the competition. All of the top ten entrants have a season’s best within two meters of Pars. In other words, the competition should be close and the pressure will still be on Pars.
If you are interested in an overview of the other throwing events, check out the House Of Run Podcast where I previewed all of the throwing events a few weeks ago. Jesse Squire of the Daily Relay has also put togehter a short overview of the men’s throwing events.