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|Men||Randy Barnes 23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) (1990)|
|Women||Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m (74 ft 2+3⁄4 in) (1987)|
|Men||Ryan Crouser 22.52 m ( 73 ft 10+1⁄2 in) (2016)|
|Women||Ilona Slupianek 22.41 m ( 73 ft 6+1⁄4 in) (1980)|
The shot put is a track and field event involving "putting" (pushing rather than throwing) a heavy spherical ball—the shot—as far as possible. The shot put competition for men has been a part of the modern Olympics since their revival in 1896, and women's competition began in 1948.
Homer mentions competitions of rock throwing by soldiers during the Siege of Troy but there is no record of any dead weights being thrown in Greek competitions. The first evidence for stone- or weight-throwing events were in the Scottish Highlands, and date back to approximately the first century. In the 16th century King Henry VIII was noted for his prowess in court competitions of weight and hammer throwing.
The first events resembling the modern shot put likely occurred in the Middle Ages when soldiers held competitions in which they hurled cannonballs. Shot put competitions were first recorded in early 19th century Scotland, and were a part of the British Amateur Championships beginning in 1866.
Competitors take their throw from inside a marked circle 2.135 m (7 ft) in diameter, with what’s known as a “toe board” about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) high at the front of the circle. The distance thrown is measured from the inside of the circumference of the circle to the nearest mark made on the ground by the falling shot, with distances rounded down to the nearest centimetre under IAAF and WMA rules.
The following rules (indoor and outdoor) must be adhered to for a legal throw:
- Upon calling the athlete's name, the athlete may choose any part of the throwing circle to enter inside. They have thirty seconds to commence the throwing motion; otherwise it counts as a forfeit for the current round.
- The athlete may not wear gloves; IAAF rules permit the taping of individual fingers.
- The athlete must rest the shot close to the neck, and keep it tight to the neck throughout the motion.
- The shot must be released above the height of the shoulder, using only one hand.
- The athlete may touch the inside surface of the circle or toe board, but must not touch the top or outside of the circle or toe board, or the ground beyond the circle. Limbs may, however, extend over the lines of the circle in the air.
- The shot must land in the legal sector (34.92°) of the throwing area. Note that the sector has been narrowed multiple times over the years to improve safety with the latest revision (from 40°) occurring in 2004.
- The athlete must leave the throwing circle from the back half.
Foul throws occur when an athlete:
- Does not pause within the circle before beginning the putting motion.
- Does not complete the putting movement initiated within thirty seconds of having their name called.
- Allows the shot to drop below his shoulder or outside the vertical plane of his shoulder during the put.
At any time if the shot loses contact with the neck then it is technically an illegal put.
- During the putting motion, touches with any part of the body (including shoes):
- the top or ends of the toe board
- the top of the iron ring
- anywhere outside the circle.
- Puts a shot which either falls outside the throwing sector or touches a sector line on the initial impact.
- Leaves the circle before the shot has landed.
- The athlete exceeds the 30 second time frame they have to make their throw.
- Does not leave from the rear half of the circle.
The following are either obsolete or non-existent, but commonly believed rules within professional competition:
- The athlete must enter the circle from the back (none of the rule books contain such a clause).
- The athlete entering the circle, then exiting and re-entering it prior to starting the throw results in a foul (all the rule books allow an athlete to leave a circle prior to starting a throw, but this still counts within the 30 second time limit; the allowable method of exiting the circle varies by rule book).
- Loose clothing, shoelaces, or long hair touching outside the circle during a throw, or an athlete bringing a towel into the circle and then throwing it out prior to the put, results in a foul.
Each of these competitions in the modern era have a set number of rounds of throws. Typically there are three qualification rounds to determine qualification for the final. There are then three preliminary rounds in the final with the top eight competitors receiving a further three throws. Each competitor in the final is credited with their longest throw, regardless of whether it was achieved in the preliminary or final three rounds. The competitor with the longest legal put is declared the winner.
In open competitions the men's shot weighs 7.26 kilograms (16.0 lb), and the women's shot weighs 4 kilograms (8.8 lb). Junior, school, and masters competitions often use different weights of shots, typically below the weights of those used in open competitions; the individual rules for each competition should be consulted in order to determine the correct weights to be used.
Two putting styles are in current general use by shot put competitors: the glide and the spin. With all putting styles, the goal is to release the shot with maximum forward velocity at an angle of approximately forty-five degrees.
The origin of this technique glide dates to 1951, when Parry O'Brien from the United States invented a technique that involved the putter facing backwards, rotating 180 degrees across the circle, and then tossing the shot. Unlike spin this technique is a linear movement.
With this technique, a right-hand thrower would begin facing the rear of the circle. They would typically adopt a specific type of crouch, involving their bent right leg, in order to begin the throw from a more beneficial posture whilst also isometrically preloading their muscles. The positioning of their bodyweight over their bent leg, which pushes upwards with equal force, generates a preparatory isometric press. The force generated by this press will be channelled into the subsequent throw making it more powerful. To initiate the throw they kick to the front with the left leg, while pushing off forcefully with the right. As the thrower crosses the circle, the hips twist toward the front, the left arm is swung out then pulled back tight, followed by the shoulders, and they then strike in a putting motion with their right arm. The key is to move quickly across the circle with as little air under the feet as possible, hence the name 'glide'.
Also known as rotational technique. It was first practiced in Europe in the 1950s but did not receive much attention until the 1970s. In 1972 Aleksandr Baryshnikov set his first USSR record using a new putting style, the spin ("круговой мах" in Russian), invented by his coach Viktor Alexeyev. The spin involves rotating like a discus thrower and using rotational momentum for power. In 1976 Baryshnikov went on to set a world record of 22.00 m (72.18 ft) with his spin style, and was the first shot putter to cross the 22-meter mark.
With this technique, a right-hand thrower faces the rear, and begins to spin on the ball of the left foot. The thrower comes around and faces the front of the circle and drives the right foot into the center of the circle. Finally, the thrower reaches for the front of the circle with the left foot, twisting the hips and shoulders like in the glide, and puts the shot.
When the athlete executes the spin, the upper body is twisted hard to the right, so the imaginary lines created by the shoulders and hips are no longer parallel. This action builds up torque, and stretches the muscles, creating an involuntary elasticity in the muscles, providing extra power and momentum. When the athlete prepares to release, the left foot is firmly planted, causing the momentum and energy generated to be conserved, pushing the shot in an upward and outward direction.
Another purpose of the spin is to build up a high rotational speed, by swinging the right leg initially, then to bring all the limbs in tightly, similar to a figure skater bringing in their arms while spinning to increase their speed. Once this fast speed is achieved the shot is released, transferring the energy into the shot put.
Currently, most top male shot putters use the spin. However the glide remains popular since the technique leads to greater consistency compared to the rotational technique. Almost all throwers start by using the glide. Tomasz Majewski notes that although most athletes use the spin, he and some other top shot putters achieved success using this classic method (for example he became first to defend the Olympic title in 56 years).
The world record by a male putter of 23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) by Randy Barnes was completed with the spin technique, while the second-best all-time put of 23.06 m ( 75 ft 7+3⁄4 in) by Ulf Timmermann was completed with the glide technique.
The decision to glide or spin may need to be decided on an individual basis, determined by the thrower's size and power. Short throwers may benefit from the spin and taller throwers may benefit from the glide, but many throwers do not follow this guideline.
Types of shots
The shot is made of different kinds of materials depending on its intended use. Materials used include sand, iron, cast iron, solid steel, stainless steel, brass, and synthetic materials like polyvinyl. Some metals are more dense than others making the size of the shot vary. For example, different materials are used to make indoor and outdoor shot - because damage to surroundings must be taken into account - so the latter are smaller. There are various size and weight standards for the implement that depend on the age and gender of the competitors as well as the national customs of the governing body.
|Outdoor||Randy Barnes||23.12 m (75 ft 10 in)||20 May 1990||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Indoor||Ryan Crouser||22.82 m ( 74 ft 10+1⁄4 in)||24 January 2021||Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA|
|Outdoor||Natalya Lisovskaya||22.63 m ( 74 ft 2+3⁄4 in)||7 June 1987||Moscow, USSR|
|Indoor||Helena Fibingerová||22.50 m ( 73 ft 9+3⁄4 in)||19 February 1977||Jablonec, CZE|
The current records held on each continent are:
|Africa||21.97 m ( 72 ft 3⁄4 in)||Janus Robberts||South Africa||18.43 m ( 60 ft 5+1⁄2 in)||Vivian Chukwuemeka||Nigeria|
|Asia||21.13 m ( 69 ft 3+3⁄4 in)||Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi||Saudi Arabia||21.76 m ( 71 ft 4+1⁄2 in)||Meisu Li||China|
|Europe||23.06 m ( 75 ft 7+3⁄4 in)||Ulf Timmermann||East Germany||22.63 m ( 74 ft 2+3⁄4 in) WR||Natalya Lisovskaya||Soviet Union|
|North and Central
America, and Caribbean
|23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) WR||Randy Barnes||United States||20.96 m (68 ft 9 in) A||Belsy Laza||Cuba|
|Oceania||22.90 m ( 75 ft 1+1⁄2 in)||Tomas Walsh||New Zealand||21.24 m (69 ft 8 in)||Valerie Adams||New Zealand|
|South America||22.61 m (74 ft 2 in)||Darlan Romani||Brazil||19.30 m ( 63 ft 3+3⁄4 in) A||Elisângela Adriano||Brazil|
All-time top 25
|1||23.12 m (75 ft 10 in)||spin||Randy Barnes||United States||20 May 1990||Westwood|
|2||23.06 m ( 75 ft 7+3⁄4 in)||glide||Ulf Timmermann||East Germany||22 May 1988||Khania|
|3||22.91 m ( 75 ft 1+3⁄4 in)||glide||Alessandro Andrei||Italy||12 August 1987||Viareggio|
|spin||Joe Kovacs||United States||5 October 2019||Doha|||
|spin||Ryan Crouser||United States||18 July 2020||Marietta|||
|6||22.90 m ( 75 ft 1+1⁄2 in)||spin||Tomas Walsh||New Zealand||5 October 2019||Doha|||
|7||22.86 m (75 ft 0 in) A||spin||Brian Oldfield||United States||10 May 1975||El Paso|
|8||22.75 m ( 74 ft 7+1⁄2 in)||glide||Werner Günthör||Switzerland||23 August 1988||Bern|
|9||22.67 m ( 74 ft 4+1⁄2 in)||spin||Kevin Toth||United States||19 April 2003||Lawrence|
|10||22.64 m ( 74 ft 3+1⁄4 in)||glide||Udo Beyer||East Germany||20 August 1986||Berlin|
|11||22.61 m (74 ft 2 in)||spin||Darlan Romani||Brazil||30 June 2019||Stanford|||
|12||22.54 m ( 73 ft 11+1⁄4 in)||spin||Christian Cantwell||United States||5 June 2004||Gresham|
|13||22.52 m ( 73 ft 10+1⁄2 in)||glide||John Brenner||United States||26 April 1987||Walnut|
|14||22.51 m (73 ft 10 in)||spin||Adam Nelson||United States||18 May 2002||Gresham|
|15||22.44 m ( 73 ft 7+1⁄4 in)||spin||Darrell Hill||United States||31 August 2017||Brussels|||
|16||22.43 m (73 ft 7 in)||spin||Reese Hoffa||United States||3 August 2007||London|
|17||22.32 m ( 73 ft 2+1⁄2 in)||spin||Michał Haratyk||Poland||28 July 2019||Warsaw|||
|3 August 2019||Władysławowo|||
|18||22.28 m (73 ft 1 in)||spin||Ryan Whiting||United States||10 May 2013||Doha|
|19||22.25 m ( 72 ft 11+3⁄4 in)||spin||Konrad Bukowiecki||Poland||14 September 2019||Chorzów|||
|20||22.24 m ( 72 ft 11+1⁄2 in)||glide||Sergey Smirnov||Soviet Union||21 June 1986||Tallinn|
|21||22.22 m ( 72 ft 10+3⁄4 in)||spin||Bob Bertemes||Luxembourg||4 August 2019||Luxembourg City|||
|22||22.21 m ( 72 ft 10+1⁄4 in) A||spin||Dylan Armstrong||Canada||25 June 2011||Calgary|
|23||22.20 m (72 ft 10 in)||glide||David Storl||Germany||9 July 2015||Lausanne|||
|spin||John Godina||United States||22 May 2005||Carson|
|25||22.17 m ( 72 ft 8+3⁄4 in)i||spin||Tomáš Staněk||Czech Republic||6 February 2018||Düsseldorf|||
Below is a list of all other performances (excluding ancillary throws) equal or superior to 22.40 m:
- Randy Barnes also threw 23.10 (1990), 22.66 (1989i) and 22.42 (1988).
- Ryan Crouser also threw 22.90 (2019), 22.82 (2021i), 22.74 (2019 & 2020), 22.72 (2020), 22.70 (2020), 22.69 (2021), 22.67 (2019), 22.66 (2021i), 22.65 (2017 & 2021i), 22.62 (2019), 22.60 (2020i), 22.59 (2020), 22.58 (2020i), 22.56 (2020), 22.53 (2018), 22.52 (2016), 22.47 (2017), 22.44 (2019), 22.43 (2017 & 2020) and 22.42 (2020).
- Joe Kovacs also threw 22.72 (2021), 22.57 (2017) and 22.56 (2015).
- Tom Walsh also threw 22.67 (2018), 22.60 (2018), 22.45 (2018) and 22.44 (2019).
- Ulf Timmermann also threw 22.62 (1985), 22.61 (1988), 22.60 (1986), 22.56 (1988), 22.55 (1989i), 22.51 (1986) and 22.47 (1986 & 1988).
- Darlan Romani also threw 22.55 (2019).
- Werner Günthör also threw 22.47 and 22.43 (both 1987).
- Brian Oldfield also threw 22.45 (1976 A).
- Christian Cantwell also threw 22.45 (2006) and 22.41 (2010).
- Adam Nelson also threw 22.40 (2008i)
- Darrell Hill also threw 22.40 (2018).
|1||22.63 m ( 74 ft 2+3⁄4 in)||glide||Natalya Lisovskaya||Soviet Union||7 June 1987||Moscow|
|2||22.50 m ( 73 ft 9+3⁄4 in) i||glide||Helena Fibingerová||Czechoslovakia||19 February 1977||Jablonec nad Nisou|
|3||22.45 m ( 73 ft 7+3⁄4 in)||glide||Ilona Slupianek||East Germany||11 May 1980||Potsdam|
|4||22.19 m ( 72 ft 9+1⁄2 in)||glide||Claudia Losch||West Germany||23 August 1987||Hainfeld|
|5||21.89 m ( 71 ft 9+3⁄4 in)||glide||Ivanka Khristova||Bulgaria||4 July 1976||Belmeken|
|6||21.86 m ( 71 ft 8+1⁄2 in)||glide||Marianne Adam||East Germany||23 June 1979||Leipzig|
|7||21.76 m ( 71 ft 4+1⁄2 in)||glide||Li Meisu||China||23 April 1988||Shijiazhuang|
|8||21.73 m ( 71 ft 3+1⁄2 in)||glide||Natalya Akhrimenko||Soviet Union||21 May 1988||Leselidze|
|9||21.69 m ( 71 ft 1+3⁄4 in)||glide||Vita Pavlysh||Ukraine||15 August 1998||Budapest|
|10||21.66 m ( 71 ft 3⁄4 in)||glide||Sui Xinmei||China||9 June 1990||Beijing|
|11||21.62 m (70 ft 11 in)||glide||Verzhinia Veselinova||Bulgaria||21 August 1982||Sofia|
|12||21.60 m ( 70 ft 10+1⁄4 in) i||glide||Valentina Fedyushina||Soviet Union||28 December 1991||Simferopol|
|13||21.58 m ( 70 ft 9+1⁄2 in)||glide||Margitta Pufe||East Germany||28 May 1978||Erfurt|
|14||21.57 m (70 ft 9 in)||glide||Ines Müller||East Germany||16 May 1988||Athens|
|15||21.53 m ( 70 ft 7+1⁄2 in)||glide||Nunu Abashidze||Soviet Union||20 June 1984||Kyiv|
|16||21.52 m (70 ft 7 in)||glide||Huang Zhihong||China||27 June 1990||Beijing|
|17||21.46 m ( 70 ft 4+3⁄4 in)||glide||Larisa Peleshenko||Russia||26 August 2000||Budapest|
|18||21.45 m ( 70 ft 4+1⁄4 in)||glide||Nadezhda Chizhova||Soviet Union||29 September 1973||Varna|
|19||21.43 m ( 70 ft 3+1⁄2 in)||glide||Eva Wilms||West Germany||27 June 1977||Munich|
|20||21.42 m ( 70 ft 3+1⁄4 in)||glide||Svetlana Krachevskaya||Soviet Union||24 July 1980||Moscow|
|21||21.31 m ( 69 ft 10+3⁄4 in)||glide||Heike Hartwig||East Germany||16 May 1988||Athens|
|22||21.27 m ( 69 ft 9+1⁄4 in)||glide||Liane Schmuhl||East Germany||26 June 1982||Cottbus|
|23||21.24 m (69 ft 8 in)||glide||Valerie Adams||New Zealand||29 August 2011||Daegu|
|24||21.22 m ( 69 ft 7+1⁄4 in)||glide||Astrid Kumbernuss||Germany||5 August 1995||Gothenburg|
|25||21.21 m (69 ft 7 in)||glide||Kathrin Neimke||East Germany||5 September 1987||Rome|
Best women's throw using a spin technique is 19.87 by Anita Márton and Jillian Camarena-Williams.
Below is a list of all other performances (excluding ancillary throws) equal or superior to 22.00 m:
- Natalya Lisovskaya also threw 22.55 (1988), 22.53 (1984 & 1988), 22.24 (1988), 22.14 (1987i) and 22.06 (1988).
- Helena Fibingerová also threw 22.32 (1977).
- Ilona Slupianek also threw 22.41 (1980), 22.40 (1983), 22.38 (1980), 22.36 (1980), 22.34 (twice in 1980), 22.22 (1980), 22.13 (1980), 22.05 (twice in 1980) and 22.04 (twice in 1979).
The following athletes had their performance (over 21.48 m) annulled due to doping offenses:
- Nadzeya Ostapchuk 21.70 (2010i)
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