Discus Throw at the Olympics
The discus throw is one of the four throwing events contested in the Olympics (the others are javelin, shot put and hammer throw). The men's discus event has been a part of the games since the first modern Olympics in 1896. The women's event however was added to the Olympics only recently at the 2000 Sydney Games.
The United States had dominated the men's discus throw event in the past winning the gold medal in 12 of the 18 Olympics till 1976. But the hold of the US over the event was lost and the country has not won the gold medal in the last 11 Olympics. Athletes from Germany and Lithuania seem to have taken over the event and have since won four and three gold medals each.
Al Oerter is the most accomplished athlete in the men's event winning the gold medal four times. Three other men, Virgilijus Alekna from Lithuania, and Martin Sheridan and Bud Houser from the United States, have won the gold medal twice.
As of March 2016, the current Olympic record of 69.89m for the men's event is held by Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania, which was set during the 2004 Athens Olympics. For the women's event, the record is 72.30m set by Martina Hellmann of ex-East Germany during the 1988 Seoul Games.
There were two other styles of discus throw that was tried at the Olympics, a Greek-Style throw in 1906 Intercalated Games and 1908, which was discontinued later, and a Two-Hand throw event which happened only once in the 1912 Stockholm games.
- In Tokyo 1964, American Al Oerter won the discus throw for the third straight time, despite a cervical disc injury and torn rib cartilage.
- Germany's Christoph Harting won gold in the Rio 2016 discus, following his brother Robert's win in 2012.
- About Track and Field at the Olympics
- Discontinued Olympic event the Two-Hand Discus Throw and Greek-Style Discus Throw.
- The Greatest T&F Athletes at the Olympics.
- List of Olympic Sports