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Discus throw

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The discus throw is an athletics (track and field) throwing event. The discus, the object to be thrown, is a lens-shaped heavy disc with a diameter of 220 mm and a weight of two kilograms for the men's event, and one kg for the women's, with a smaller diameter of 182 mm. In U.S. high school track and field, boys typically throw a discus weighing 1.616 kg (3 lb 9 oz) and the girls throw the 1 kg women's disc. The discus consists mostly of wood, it has a metal core to reach the required weight. New models of discs are now made of aluminium and steel for a high rim-weight. A practice discus is often used in high school that is made out of hard rubber. This is cheaper and more durable.

Discus throwing is an ancient sport. In the 5th century BC the sculptor Myron produced a statue of a discus thrower (Discobolus), which is world-famous today.

To make a throw, the competitor starts in a slightly recessed concrete-surfaced circle of 2.5 metres diameter. They typically begin swinging the discus, while standing at the rear of the circle facing opposite to the direction they will throw and then rotate one and half times, before releasing the discus. The discus must land within a 40-degree or 60-degree arc marked by lines on the landing zone, and the competitor must not leave the circle until the discus has landed. The distance from the circle to where the discus has landed is measured. The competitor's best throw from the allocated number of throws is recorded, and the competitor who legally throws the discus the furthest is declared the winner.

As well as achieving maximum momentum in the discus on throwing, the discus's distance is also determined by the trajectory the thrower imparts, as well as the aerodynamic behaviour of the discus. The technique of discus throwing is quite hard to master and needs lots of experience to get right, thus most top throwers are about thirty years old or even older.


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