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Olympic Hammer Throw Rules

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Equipment
The hammer is a three-part device that includes a metal ball, called the “head,” attached to a steel wire not longer than 121.5 centimeters with a grip or “handle” on the end. The hammer is the only throwing competition in which throwers may wear gloves.

Men throw a 7.26-kilogram ball, with a diameter ranging between 110-130 millimeters, while women throw a 4-kilogram version with a diameter of 95-100 millimeters.

Throwing area
The hammer is thrown from a circle with a 2.135-meter diameter. Competitors may touch the inside of the circle's rim but cannot touch the top of the rim during the throw. The thrower cannot touch the ground outside the throwing circle during an attempt, nor can he/she leave the circle until the hammer hits the ground. The circle lies within an enclosure to ensure the safety of the bystanders.

The competition
Twelve competitors qualify for the Olympic hammer throw final. In the 2004 Games, 35 men and 48 women participated in their respective qualification rounds prior to the final. The results from the qualification rounds do not carry over into the final.

As in all throwing events, the 12 finalists have three attempts apiece, then the top eight competitors receive three more attempts. The longest single throw during the final wins.

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