Biomechanical Analysis of a World Record Javelin Throw: A Case Study

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics

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Robert J. GregorUniversity of California, Los Angeles

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Marilyn PinkDaniel Freeman Hospital, Inglewood, CA

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As part of an ongoing project to evaluate elite track and field throwers in the United States, the javelin competition was filmed during the 1983 Pepsi Invitational Track Meet. A high-speed video camera (Spin Physics SP2000) was positioned orthogonal to the javelin runway to record the release of all throws. During this competition, Tom Petranoff’s world record (99.72 m) was filmed at 200 fields per second. Subsequent frame-by-frame digitization yielded results consistent with reports in the literature. Release velocity was 32.3 m/s and represents one of the highest values ever reported. Angle of release was .57r, javelin attitude at release was .64r» and angle of attack was .07r. While optimum values for these release parameters, in light of published results, remain open to discussion, the results presented here represent unique information on a world record performance and can serve as a basis of comparison for future performances.

Dr. Gregor was a consultant to the Department of Physical Therapy, Daniel Freeman Hospital, at the time this study was conducted.

Direct all correspondence to Marilyn Pink, RPT, Dept. of Physical Therapy, Daniel Freeman Hospital, Inglewood, CA 90301.

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