Posts

In Defense of Kibwe’s Technique

Kibwe's old technique.

Kibwé’s old technique. For newbies, the bent arm is a bad thing.

When you ask people who are the best technical throwers currently throwing they will likely throw out the name of Koji Murofushi or Primoz Kozmus. Few would likely name Kibwé Johnson. The reason for this is that people tend to focus on what people do wrong rather than what people do right. For years, Kibwé did a lot wrong. As an example, take a look at the picture to the right. But now many of those errors are gone, and his strengths are even better. While his technique is still very much a work in progress, and he would be the first to say that, I feel it needs a defense since many people overlook the many things he does well.
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10 Reasons to Watch the Hammer in 2012

The international season starts up this weekend with the first leg of the IAAF Hammer Challenge in Kawasaki, Japan. Until the hammer throw is added to the Diamond League, the hammer challenge will remain the top circuit of throwing meets. And with so few competitive opportunities many of the best are jumping right in. The field in Kawasaki will feature five 80-meter throwers (see the full start list here).

By the end of the year, my wish list from last season was mostly fulfilled. On the eve of the 2012 season I’ve thought of the top 10 things I’m looking forward to this year. Feel free to share yours in the comments section below.


The highlight of 2012 will no doubt be the Olympic Games in London.

1 – A woman over 80 meters. This was high on my list last year and Betty Heidler came within two feet of the barrier in the earlier season. There were rumors that she threw over it in training during the summer, but it never materialized at a meet. A few women may be capable of hitting the mark (even my old training buddy Sultana Frizell threw her name in the mix with a 75 meter bomb in March), but Heidler has to be the frontrunner now. Not only has she thrown the furthest, but she is also motivated to improve even more after she only claimed silver at last year’s world championships.
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Ask Martin Vol. 15: Finding The Right Cue

What are cues are you using for your technique in training now? -Brian
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What Will It Take In London?

The last qualifier for the finals at all major championships over the past few decades. Stats compiled by Ian Tempest.

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.
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Great Moustaches in Throwing History

It’s Movember again. Which means that for the past week thousands of men around the world have rediscovered what it means to be a man and started to grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men’s health issues. The movement started over a decade ago in Australia and has slowly spread throughout the world. Last year it generated 7.5 million dollars in donations in the US alone, and much more worldwide.

It tribute of men and moustaches, I’ve compiled a list of some of the greatest moustaches to ever enter a throwing ring (because this month is meant to raise issues for men’s health, I did not include any of the infamous East German female throwers).

Feel free to share your favorites in the comments section below.
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When Do Hammer Throwers Hit Their Prime?

After the US championships, blogger Jesse Squire discussed a question many track fans are wondering: will Athens 400m Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner ever be able to break 44-seconds again? At 27-years old, most people say that Wariner still has his prime ahead of him. Squire looked a little deeper and found that this is just not the case in the 400 meters.

Wariner is not “relatively young” or “hardly ancient”. He is ancient by the standards of the 400 meters. It is an event that chews people up and spits them out. Only marathoners’ careers have shorter life spans. The gold standard of quarter-miling, breaking 44.00, has been done 47 times by nine athletes. Only once has it ever been done by a man older than 26 whose name was not Michael Johnson. All realistic analyses of the event should ignore Johnson—he was to long sprinting as Secretariat was to three-year-old racing, a once in a century outlier. If you look at those eight other mere mortals, the median age for a sub-44.00 is twenty-two.

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Fifteen Minutes of Fame for the Hammer Throw

Over the past few weeks, the hammer throw has benefited from a rare and lucky streak of publicity. First, noted author Brendan Koerner penned a 3,000 word piece for ESPN The Magazine looking at the 25 year anniversary of Yuriy Sedykh’s world record and how it might be one of the most untouchable records in sports. In tomorrow’s New York Times, Isolde Raftery wrote another article about the philosophical nature of hammer throwers. Read more

Start ‘Em Young

It’s been nearly two months since my last training update on here. However, it seems like you all enjoy other topics more since I had a record number of readers last month. Lately I’ve also enjoyed talking about other topics more because my results have been reliably mediocre.

I tend to be optimistic about training. When I have a bad day or bad week of training, I tend to write it off since a step back is actually part of the my plan to progress forward. However the past two weeks have been different because this step back was not planned. I picked up the flu right around the Swiss Indoor Championships. While it was never that bad, it drained my energy for a while, left me five pounds lighter, and somehow stole most of the technical progress I’ve made in the offseason.
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Ask Martin Vol. 10: The Winds and Entry

Question: My question is prefaced by two different wind and entry techniques. A few years ago at the NTCA, one coach spoke about keeping your shoulders facing forward in the winds and winding around your head and getting your hands down as the hammer comes to 0º, before entry into the first turn. Others at the conference felt that you should turn your shoulders to the right, catching the ball at 270º, still getting your hands down by 0º and pushing into the entry. -Bill
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Olympic Champion Primoz Kozmus

Ask Martin Vol. 4: Push the hammer

Question: What puzzles me is why no one ever gives a definitive statement about how to achieve hammer acceleration. If it is pushing with the right hand, driving with the right foot, dropping onto the right foot early, lowering the left shoulder on the entry, etc. Why not just say so plainly!! It seems to me that someone needs to step-up to the plate and say: this is how you make the hammer go faster, and this is how you best counter the forces that you produce. –Ray
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