An Illustrated History of the Hammer Throw
By Mike Rosenbaum, About.com Guide
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Tony Duffy/Allsport/Getty Images
Hammer throwing distances increased steadily from the '50s through the '80s. The first Olympic 60-meter throw occurred in 1952, the first 70-meter toss in 1968 and the first 80-meter throw in 1980. Yuriy Sedykh, shown here during the 1978 European Championships, was the first Olympic champion to top 80 meters with an 81.80-meter winning throw in 1980. Reasons for the increase in distances include equipment changes – such as more precisely-manufactured hammers and smooth-soled shoes that permit faster spinning – as well as improved training methods.