Shot put is a track and field event in which the athlete will “put” (but more like of throwing) a shot – a heavy metal ball, the farthest that he can without leaving the circle that is 7 feet wide. To win this, the athlete should put the shot farther among its competitors.
This sport was known to have started by the Ancient Greeks, but the very first event of it on record was in Scottish Highlands during the first century. In the Middle Ages, there were known competitions for soldiers throwing cannonballs. With time, shot put competitions were included in big events like British Amateur Championships and last 1896, shot put for men became an official event for Olympics. Eventually, shot put competitions for women were also included from 1948.
How to perform the shot put may sound so simple, but winning it requires great deal of balance, coordination, power, and momentum. The shot should be held by the base of the fingers - not the palm, and the hand should be bent back. The shot should be put in the neck and the palm should be facing the putting direction.
During the throw or put as it is called, there are different styles that you can use to get the maximum distance. The glide style involves rotating 180 degrees towards the putting direction and there’s the spin style in which the thrower faces the rear, then spins to the throwing direction but giving the upper body a hard twist to get the highest possible throwing momentum.
Other Similar Events
- Stone Lift or Carry — involves moving stones as a test of strength
- Hammer throw — an Olympic track and field event in which a heavy weight at the end of a wire is thrown for distance.
- Discus — athletes attempt to throw a heavy disc object far as they can.
- Javelin — track and field event involving throwing a spear-like implement as far as possible.
- Softball Throw — a track and field discipline in which you throw the ball as far as possible, mostly used in competitions for disadvantaged groups as a substitute for other technical throwing events.
- Klootschieten — German sport in which participants throw a ball as far as they can.