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What is Olympic Discus?


What is Olympic Discus? In this event, throwers spin to generate speed then hurl the metal plate down the field as far as they can. The sport evolved from stone-throwing hunting techniques and, much more recently, inspired the frisbee. The discus also has a proud heritage of its own, dating back to the ancient Greek Olympics.


Strength, agility and balance all come into play as the discus thrower executes the spins necessary to generate speed, power and, consequently, a long throw.


The men’s discus weighs 2 kilograms and has diameter of 22 centimeters. The women’s version weighs 1 kilogram and has a diameter of 18 centimeters.

The discus is thrown from a circle with a diameter of 2.5 meters. Discus throws are made from an enclosure to ensure the safety of bystanders.


Athletes in the discus must achieve an Olympic qualifying distance and must qualify for their nation’s Olympic team. A maximum of three competitors per country may compete in the discus.

A qualifying round reduces the Olympic discus competitors to 12 for the final. As in all throwing events, the 12 finalists have three throws apiece, then the top eight competitors receive three more attempts. The longest single throw during the final wins.

Read more about Olympic Discus Rules and Scoring.

Back to Olympic Discus main page

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