London 2012 shot put Google doodle a first

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London 2012 shot put Google doodle a first
London 2012 shot put is the first ever shot put related Google doodle featured during the Olympics.

Infact, it is the first time any of shot put, discus throw, javelin throw or hammer throw have 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 Goodle doodle.

The sport of shot put involves "throwing" or "putting" (throwing in a pushing motion) a heavy metal ball (the shot) as far as possible. It is common to use the term "shot put" to refer to both the shot itself and to the putting (throwing) action.

The first evidence for stone or weight throwing events date back more than 2000 years in the Scottish Highlands. In the 16th century King Henry VIII was noted for his prowess in court competitions of weight and hammer throwing.

In modern-day open competitions the men's shot weighs 7.260 kilograms, and the women's shot weighs 4 kilograms.

The men's shot put event at the 2008 Olympic games took place on 15 August at the Beijing Olympic Stadium. The gold was won by Tomasz Majewski of Poland with a throw of 21.51m. Christian Cantwell of the United States and Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus won the silver and bronze respectively.

The women's shot put event was held the next day at the Beijing Olympic Stadium. The gold was won by Valerie Vili of New Zeland with a throw of 19.73m. Natallia Mikhnevich and Nadzeya Astapchuk, both from Belarus, won the silver and bronze respectively.

The men's shot put world record belongs to Randy Barnes of the United States, for a 23.12m throw on 20 May 1990 at Los Angeles. Later that year, Barnes was banned from competing for 27 months after testing positive for the anabolic steroid methyltestosterone at a competition in Malmö, Sweden on August 7 that same year. He sued to have the suspension overturned, but lost.

Women's shot put world record rests with Natalya Lisovskaya of former USSR for a 22.63 m throw on 7 June 1987 at Moscow.

It is widely believed that the reasons the two shot put records have stood for so long is that they are tainted. Since authorities have cut down on doping, the performances have come down to a more "natural" level, with many calling for the records of the tainted athletes like Barnes to be erased.

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

Olympic Google doodles

For more Google doodles, visit this page.

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