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Body Segment and Release Parameter Contributions to New-Rules Javelin Throwing

William C. Whiting, Robert J. Gregor, and Marie Halushka

Eight male javelin throwers were filmed while throwing new-rules javelins during competition at five meets over a 2-year period. Body segment kinematics and javelin release parameters were assessed relative to their contribution to throwing performance. The data suggest that successful throws, as judged by distance thrown, are characterized by higher release speeds, longer last-step lengths, less flexion of the front-leg knee during the final plant phase, and an orderly progression of peak speeds at the hip, shoulder, and elbow from the onset of double leg support until release. Individual variability in performance was associated with differences measured between several throwing variables. Limitations inherent to two-dimensional analysis were identified that highlighted the need for three-dimensional investigation of the javelin throw.

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Kinematic Analysis of Olympic Discus Throwers

Robert J. Gregor, William C. Whiting, and Raymond W. McCoy

The purpose of this investigation was to record the performance of all male and female competitors in the discus throw during the 1984 Olympic Games. The final rounds of the men's and women's discus throw were filmed at 120 fps using two high-speed 16mm LoCam cameras. Height, angle, and velocity of the discus and the thrower's trunk angle were measured at release in the best three throws of the Gold, Silver, and Bronze medalists in both the men's and women's division. Little difference was observed between men and women regarding the angle and velocity of release, and results were comparable with those from previous studies on elite performers. But differences were observed in foot position at release and height of release between men and women. It appeared the men had more vertical thrust in taking them off the ground prior to release and, even relative to their greater body height, released the discus with a higher arm position. The three-dimensional nature of this event precludes any further interpretation at this time.