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Olympic Javelin Throw Rules

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Equipment
The javelin consists of three main parts: a metal head, a solid or hollow shaft and a cord grip.

The men’s javelin weighs at least 800 grams and is between 2.6-2.7 meters long. The shaft can be made of either wood or metal. The women’s javelin weighs at least 600 grams and measures between 2.2-2.3 meters long.

Throwing area and rules
The runway is between 30-36.5 meters long. Throwers may place as many as two markers in the runway. The javelin is held at the grip and thrown over the shoulder or the upper part of the throwing arm. Spinning is illegal.

To constitute a legal throw, the javelin’s metal tip must break the ground.

The competition
Twelve competitors qualify for the Olympic javelin throw final. In the 2004 Games, 34 men and 45 women participated in 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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