What Will It Take In London?

The men’s hammer world record has stood for 25 years and across the sport you hear complaints that the level of the best throwers has fallen drastically. Indeed, the top throwers now are not comparable to the top throwers in the 1980s. But while the winning results at the major championships have fluctuated a lot over the past three decades, what it takes to make the finals in London likely won’t be that different than what it took to make the finals at the 1986 European Championships where Yuri Sedykh threw his world record.

Stat man Ian Tempest gave a wonderful presentation at last weekend’s UK hammer workshop illustrating this and many other interesting stats from the past few decades of hammer throwing. While the women’s sport is still new and growing very fast, I found the statistics on the men’s hammer to be the most interesting. As I mentioned above, the 12th and last qualifier for the finals at the 1986 European Championships threw 75.46m. The last qualifier this year at the World Championships threw 75.36m. Twenty-five years but little has changed in this regard. The strongest decade was actually the 2000s, with over 77 meters required to make the finals at the 2002 European Championships. The graph above shows how the level as changed slightly since the 1980s.


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7 replies
  1. Bryan Kolacz
    Bryan Kolacz says:

    Great stuff Martin. While reading this I am just thinking in the future and I cannot wait for you to write another post summing up the 2012 Olympics and reflecting back on this post!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] yourself others will choke, but if you look at the stats it happens all the time. It is why it will likely take 75 meters to make the Olympic final even though the qualifying standard is 78 me…. At big meets people do not perform. To help convince yourself of this take a look at past results […]

  2. […] This should also be a strong championship for English-speaking throwers. Typically an afterthought, this year there are strong teams from both the UK and America. Oklahoma State’s Nick Miller leads the way for the UK. He redshirted this year and has been launching some huge throws. Last month he broke the 31-year-old British record with a throw of 77.55m and also won the European Under-23 title. His consistency will put him in the mix. America has the rare chance to send three throwers. US and Pan American Champion Kibwé Johnson has been back to the form that saw him make the Olympic finals in 2012. Former World Junior champion Conor McCullough took bronze at the Pan Am Games and has shown he always steps up at major championships. All three have been consistenlty over 75 and 76 meters, which is more than enough to make finals at most championships. […]

  3. […] The hammer throw standard is 78 meters while 74 meters qualified for the final in London and 75 regularly makes the final at a major championship. In fact, there has never been a major championship where it took 78 meters to even make the […]

  4. […] the Olympics I looked at what it would take to make the Olympic finals. In the end, despite an A standard of 78 meters, it took a throw of 74.69 meters to make the cut. […]

  5. […] At last year’s world championships 75.36 meters was enough to qualify for the finals. And as I concluded when analyzing the historic trends last year, it looks like 75 to 76 meters will again be good enough to qualify. In other words, nearly […]

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