London 2012 javelin Google doodle a first

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London 2012 javelin is the first ever javelin throw related Google doodle featured during the Olympics.

Infact, until London Olympics, none of the sports of shot put, discus throw, javelin throw or hammer throw had found their place in a Google doodle. It is worth noting that a javelin thrower was in fact depicted on the opening ceremony London 2012 Google doodle. And then, on August 3, the sport of shot put was depicted in a Google doodle.

The sport of javelin throw involves "throwing" a spear-like object (called "javelin") approximately 2.5m (8 feet 2 inches) in length. The aim, of course, is to throw the javelin as far as possible, while following two key rules.

Javelin throwers are provided with a runway 4m (13 feet) wide and at least 30m (98 feet) in length, ending in a curved arc from which their throw will be measured; athletes typically use this distance to gain momentum in a "run-up" to their throw. The first rule is to stay within this area, until after the javelin has landed.

The javelin is thrown towards a "sector" covering an angle of 28.96 degrees extending outwards from the arc at the end of the runway. The second key rules is to make sure that the tip of the javelin lands within this sector, and the tip strikes the ground before any other part of the javelin.

shot_put-2012-hp.jpgThe sport of shot put was depicted in a Google doodle on August 3.

The javelin throw world record on the men's side is currently held by Jan Železný of the Czech Republic for a throw of 98.48m on 25 May 1996 at Jena, Germany. The women's world record holder is Jan's compatriot, Barbora Špotáková for a throw of 72.28m on 13 September 2008 at the 2008 IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany.

It is worth pointing out that men's javelin specification was changed with effect from 1986, and the women's from 2000. The purpose was to reduce the number of illegal flat landings, but a side-effect was to reduce the distance travelled. The prior world records in individual men's and women's javelin were invalidated.

As per the old specifications, the men's and women's world record holders were Uwe Hohn and Petra Felke, both from East Germany, with throws of 104.80m and 80.00m respectively.

The Men's Javelin Throw event at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 21 and 23 August at the Beijing National Stadium. The gold was won by Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway with a throw of 90.57m, while Latvia's Ainārs Kovals and Finland's Tero Pitkämäki finished second and third respectively.

The Women's javelin throw at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 19-21 August at the Beijing National Stadium. Barbora Špotáková of Czech Republic won the gold with a throw of 71.42m, while the silver and bronze were won by Mariya Abakumova of Russia and Germany's Christina Obergföll respectively.

It will be interesting to see what sport finds its place in Tuesday's Google doodle.


Olympic Google doodles


For more Google doodles, visit this page.

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