Mar 072005
Authors: Amanda Havekost

The javelin is different then the other three throwing field events. The javelin is a spear made of metal or wood with a sharp point. It is launched from a runway about 30 meters long. The men's javelin world record belongs to Jan Zelezny of the Czech Republic after he threw the javelin 98.48 meters on May 25, 1996. Osledys Menendez of Cuba set the women's world record at the 2004 Olympics with a 71.53-meter throw.

These are a few guidelines for the javelin throw:

* The javelin can only be held with one hand and must be thrown from above the shoulder.

* The thrower cannot turn his or her back at any time until it is thrown into the air.

* The tip must hit the ground before any other part of the javelin for the throw to count.

* The javelin can be a dangerous sport and it should always be carried with the tip downwards alongside the body and thrown with caution.

According to the International Association of Athletics Foundation, the javelin throw was introduced in 708 B.C. and made its Olympic debut in 1932. It has been said that Hercules was one of the earliest javelin throwers.

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