The javelin throw is one of the most well-known and classic field events in sports, requiring competitors to use their entire bodies to push the javelin as far as possible. The javelin throw is a track and field event that involves throwing a javelin. The defined space where the javelin thrower has to run helps him/her/them acquire momentum. The men’s decathlon and the women’s heptathlon both have a javelin throwing event.

The sport arose from the common usage of the spear in hunting and fighting. It was extensively practiced in Ancient Greece before being included in the Olympic Games as part of the pentathlon in 708BC. Since 1908 for men and 1932 for women, it has been a part of the modern Olympic Games program. 


The javelin throw was first included in the pentathlon in the Ancient Olympic Games in 708 BC. It had two events: one for distance and the other for striking a target with precision. A thong (ankyle in Greek) was looped around the center of the shaft and used to throw the javelin. Athletes gripped the javelin by the ankyle, and when they let go of the shaft, the thong unwound, sending the javelin spiraling. In the early 1870s, throwing javelin-like poles at targets was reintroduced in Germany and Sweden.

javelin throw old

These poles evolved into the modern javelin in Sweden. Throwing them for distance became a popular sport in the 1880s there and in Finland. After a few 10-20 years or so, the regulations had changed. That is. Initially, the javelins were thrown without a run-up session, and the action of gripping them at the center was not always compulsory. Eventually, In the late 1890s, restricted run-ups were adopted, and they quickly evolved into the contemporary unlimited run-up.

Eric Lemming of Sweden was the first outstanding javelin thrower, setting the world record (49.32 meters) in 1899 and dominating the sport from 1902 through 1912. In Finland, the first documented women’s javelin marks were recorded in 1909. Originally, women threw the same javelin as males; but, in the 1920s, a lighter, shorter javelin was created for women. The women’s javelin throw was added to the Olympic program in 1932. The inaugural woman javelin thrower champion was Mildred “Babe” Didrikson of the United States.

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In the men’s javelin event, 32 of the 69 Olympic medals have gone to Norway, Sweden, or Finland. Finland is the only country to sweep the medals at a currently recognized official Olympic Games. In 1920 and 1932, it did so twice in addition to its 1912 sweep in the two-handed javelin; in 1920, Finland swept the first four places, which is no longer possible because each country is limited to three entrants. In the women’s javelin, Finland, on the other hand, has never been as successful. Since the decathlon’s inception in the early 1910s, the javelin throw has been an element of the decathlon.

Top javelin throwers of the world

1)Eric Lemming

eric lemming

Eric Otto Valdemar Lemming, a Swedish track and field athlete who competed in the 1900, 1906, 1908, and 1912 Olympics in a broad range of events, primarily including throwing and leaping, was born on February 22, 1880, and died on June 5, 1930. He was the first javelin thrower to impression the Olympic board and the audience. He possibly jump-started the sport of javelin throw in the Olympic games. Lemming won two gold medals in two different types of javelin throws at the 1908 Olympics. He earned another gold medal in the javelin at the 1912 Olympics.

2)Jan Zelezny

jan zelezny

This Czech javelin thrower is often regarded as the best in history. He owns the world record for the greatest four javelin throws, with a best throw of 98.48 meters set in 1996. He won gold in the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, 1996, and 2000, silver in the 1988 Olympics, and three World Championship championships in 1993, 1995, and 2001. He retired in 2006 and has served as an inspiration to those who have come after him.

3)Johannes Vetter

johannes vetter

On July 11, 2017, this German javelin thrower established a new world record of 94.44 meters. Vetter came in seventh place at the 2015 IAAF World Championships and fourth place in the 2016 Summer Olympics, just missing the podium. Vetter bounced back from his Olympic disappointment to win the 2016 ISTAF Berlin with 89.57m, putting him at the top of the world-class field. He’s still one of the favorites to win the World Championships this year in London.

4)Neeraj Chopra

neeraj chopra

Neeraj Chopra is India’s poster boy when it comes to the Javelin Throw, or perhaps sports in general. He was born on December 24, 1997, in Haryana’s Panipat district. He stunned the world by winning a gold medal at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships and breaking the world junior mark of 86.48 meters. With a throw of 85.23 meters in the Asian Athletic Championships in 2017, Neeraj earned another gold medal.

Chopra, therefore, joined a select group of athletes who have won a gold medal on their debut appearance at the Commonwealth Games. Following his outstanding efforts, he became the first Indian athlete to win the Asian Games gold medal in Javelin Throw.

5)Thomas Rohler

thomas rohler

Thomas Rohler holds a personal best of 93.90m in this event, which places him third all-time globally. He was the German national champion three times (2012, 2013, and 2015). He competed for Germany at the European Athletics Championships in 2012 and the World Athletics Championships in 2013. At the European Cup Winter Throwing and the European Team Championships, he has won several medals. His crowning achievement came at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where he won gold with a throw of 90.30 meters.

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6)Julius Yego

juilius yego

Yego is a Kenyan native. He earned the gold medal in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, when he threw the javelin 92.72 meters. Mr. YouTube Man is his moniker since he learned to throw the javelin by studying YouTube footage of javelin competitors. 

Yego holds both the African and Commonwealth records. And he once said that Jan Zelezny had a big influence on him.

7)Annu Rani

annu rani

With a throw of 58.83 meters, she holds the Indian Women’s Javelin Throw national record. She won a bronze medal in the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea, with a throw of 59.53 meters. Annu smashed her national record once more in September 2016 at the 56th National Open Athletics Championships. Her throw of 60.01 meters set a new national record, surpassing her previous mark of 59.87 meters. She is also the first Indian woman to surpass the 60-meter barrier, breaking four national records in two years. Annu is also the first woman from India to qualify for the World Championships.