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Masato Maeda, Eiji Shamoto, Toshimichi Moriwaki, and Haruo Nomura

The present paper presents a new sensor to measure 6 components of force and 2 components of deflection applied to the javelin during the throw. Since the javelin is deflected and vibraled during throwing, measurement of force and deflection applied to the javelin will provide important information for throwers in how to better throw the javelin and to design javelins with better dynamic characteristics. The sensor is designed not to significantly change the static and dynamic characteristics of the javelin. The force sensor performs well in terms of linearity and crosstalk, and the javelin equipped with this sensor has similar characteristics to ordinary javelins. The present paper also presents an example of measurement in the javelin throw.

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Paavo V. Komi and Antti Mero

A two-dimensional film analysis was performed on five men and six women finalists in the javelin throw of the Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984. In addition to the great interindividual variation in the measured kinematic and kinetic parameters, the results indicated that in men the winner had the highest release velocity of javelin (29.12 m × s−1), and that a significant (p < .01) relationship could be obtained between the release velocity and throwing distance. Despite great variation in throwing distance in women (55.88 m - 69.56 m) the release velocities were in relatively small range (20.73 m × s−1 - 23.62 m × s−1). High impact loading was specific to the last foot contact on the ground. It was characterized by a short duration (0.032 s) and high velocity knee flexion (12.66 ± 2.11 and 12.27 ± 3.81 rad × s−1, respectively, for men and women). The respective knee extension velocities averaged 5.80 ± 2.00 and 7.60 + 5.17 rad × s−1. Despite the fact that a small number of analyzed world-class throws revealed only some biomechanical differences between good and poorer performance, the results can be used to identify some new criteria for successful performance in javelin throw.

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Mero Antti, Paavo V. Komi, Tapio Korjus, Enrique Navarro, and Robert J. Gregor

This study investigated body segment contributions to javelin throwing during the last thrust phases. A 3-D analysis was performed on male and female javelin throwers during the finals of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The subjects were videotaped from the right sight of the throwing area by two NAC high-speed cameras operating at 100 frames per second. Both men’s and women’s grip of javelin and body center of mass displayed a curved pathway to the right from the left (bracing) foot during the final foot contact. The position of the body center of mass decreased at the beginning of the final foot contact, but after the decrease period it began to increase. Simultaneously with the increase, the peak joint center speeds occurred in a proper sequence from proximal to distal segments and finally to the javelin at release. Release speed correlated significantly with throwing distance in both male and females.

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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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Roger Bartlett, Erich Müller, Christian Raschner, Stefan Lindinger, and Caroline Jordan

The aim of this study was to compare the plantar pressures and forces recorded from both feet of two groups of javelin throwers of different performance levels, in order to investigate differences between skill levels. The study was carried out using an EMED insole system on a Tartan javelin runway at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Most of the differences (at p < .01) between the two groups were found in the two foot contacts during the delivery stride. Higher maximum total forces (forces on the whole foot) and maximum pressures were recorded for the more skilled or club throwers during the right foot contact at the beginning of this stride. For the left foot landing before release, the club throwers exhibited higher overall maximum forces and overall pressures (the largest forces and pressures recorded on any of the different foot regions) than the novices. The differences between the groups in the medial forefoot region contributed significantly to this result.

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Roger Bartlett, Erich Müller, Stefan Lindinger, Fritz Brunner, and Calvin Morriss

This study compared three-dimensional release parameters and important features of the throwing technique for male javelin throwers of three different skill levels (elite, club, novice), recorded using three-dimensional cine or video. As expected, significant differences (p < .01) in throw distances and release speeds were found between all three groups. The only other release parameter for which a significant difference was found (between club and novice groups) was the yaw angle. The increase in release speed with increasing skill across the groups may be attributable in part to greater run-up speeds. Also important were significantly greater peak speeds of the throwing shoulder, elbow, and hand during the delivery stride for the elite group compared to the other groups. Significantly longer acceleration paths at the start of the delivery stride and a delay in elbow flexion until after final foot strike for the elite throwers were also important in generating greater release speeds.

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Robert J. Gregor and Marilyn Pink

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.

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Alan MacPherson, Dave Collins, and Calvin Morriss

This article considers interesting differences between the mental focus employed by an elite athlete javelin thrower (E1) when contrasted with three international standard javelin throwers (I1, I2, I3). Athletes’ mental focus was recorded in both competition and training using self-report measures. In addition, kinematic analysis through point of release was examined for both categories of athlete. In both conditions, E1 demonstrated lower patterns of movement variability. Interestingly, a contrasting mental focus was recorded among athletes I1, I2, and I3 when compared with athlete E1. Tentative conclusions are drawn concerning the optimum sources of information for athletes before task execution in self-paced athletic events.

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Dave Collins, Calvin Morriss, and John Trower

Execution of the optimum technique is the basis of high-level performance in sport. Unfortunately, however, even well-established technique can be unintentionally lost, with disastrous results for achievement. The present case study describes the design, execution, and evaluation of an intervention to aid the recovery of optimum technique in an elite javelin thrower. Using contrast style drills, in association with mental skills to promote effective learning, the intervention worked on critical performance factors identified through three-dimensional kinematic analyses. Analysis of the performer’s technique at a recent major championship provided a comparison of these performance factors and, therefore, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention.

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Christian von Sikorski, Thomas Schierl, Carsten Möller, and Kai P. Oberhäuser

The international media coverage of athletes with physical disabilities (AWD) shows diverse quantitative and qualitative shortcomings. This study explores what effects a specific visual framing in a print article about disability sports has on recipients’ attitudes toward a depicted AWD. In an experiment with a 3 (framed conditions) × 2 (participants’ contact with people with disabilities) betweensubjects design, 88 participants were randomly assigned to 1 of the 3 (framed) conditions. The participants read a sports news article with a photograph of a 1-armed javelin thrower with no spectators, a few spectators, or a large crowd shown in the background. After examining the participants’ responses to a questionnaire, an ANOVA showed that the participants’ attitudes toward the depicted AWD were significantly more positive when the visual frame included spectators in the background of the picture.