Javelin throw
at the Olympic Games
The 1948 javelin throw competition, Tapio Rautavaara (FIN)
Overview
SportAthletics
GenderMen and women
Years heldMen: 19082016
Women: 19322016
Olympic record
Men90.57 m Andreas Thorkildsen (2008)
Women71.53 m Osleidys Menéndez (2004)
Reigning champion
Men Neeraj Chopra (IND)
Women Liu Shiying (CHN)

The javelin throw at the Summer Olympics is one of four track and field throwing events held at the multi-sport event. The men's javelin throw has been present on the Olympic athletics programme since 1908, being the last of the current throwing events to feature at the Olympics after the shot put, discus throw and hammer throw. The women's event was first contested at the 1932 Olympics, becoming the second women's throws event after the discus in 1928.[1][2]

Two variants of the javelin have featured on the Olympic programme: a freestyle version was first contested at the 1906 Intercalated Games and then again the 1908 London Olympics. A one-off two-handed version was held at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

Medalists

Men

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1908 London
details
Eric Lemming
 Sweden
Arne Halse
 Norway
Otto Nilsson
 Sweden
1912 Stockholm
details
Eric Lemming
 Sweden
Julius Saaristo
 Finland
Mór Kóczán
 Hungary
1920 Antwerp
details
Jonni Myyrä
 Finland
Urho Peltonen
 Finland
Pekka Johansson
 Finland
1924 Paris
details
Jonni Myyrä
 Finland
Gunnar Lindström
 Sweden
Eugene Oberst
 United States
1928 Amsterdam
details
Erik Lundqvist
 Sweden
Béla Szepes
 Hungary
Olav Sunde
 Norway
1932 Los Angeles
details
Matti Järvinen
 Finland
Matti Sippala
 Finland
Eino Penttilä
 Finland
1936 Berlin
details
Gerhard Stöck
 Germany
Yrjö Nikkanen
 Finland
Kalervo Toivonen
 Finland
1948 London
details
Tapio Rautavaara
 Finland
Steve Seymour
 United States
József Várszegi
 Hungary
1952 Helsinki
details
Cy Young
 United States
Bill Miller
 United States
Toivo Hyytiäinen
 Finland
1956 Melbourne
details
Egil Danielsen
 Norway
Janusz Sidło
 Poland
Viktor Tsybulenko
 Soviet Union
1960 Rome
details
Viktor Tsybulenko
 Soviet Union
Walter Krüger
 United Team of Germany
Gergely Kulcsár
 Hungary
1964 Tokyo
details
Pauli Nevala
 Finland
Gergely Kulcsár
 Hungary
Jānis Lūsis
 Soviet Union
1968 Mexico City
details
Jānis Lūsis
 Soviet Union
Jorma Kinnunen
 Finland
Gergely Kulcsár
 Hungary
1972 Munich
details
Klaus Wolfermann
 West Germany
Jānis Lūsis
 Soviet Union
Bill Schmidt
 United States
1976 Montreal
details
Miklós Németh
 Hungary
Hannu Siitonen
 Finland
Gheorghe Megelea
 Romania
1980 Moscow
details
Dainis Kūla
 Soviet Union
Aleksandr Makarov
 Soviet Union
Wolfgang Hanisch
 East Germany
1984 Los Angeles
details
Arto Härkönen
 Finland
David Ottley
 Great Britain
Kenth Eldebrink
 Sweden
1988 Seoul
details
Tapio Korjus
 Finland
Jan Železný
 Czechoslovakia
Seppo Räty
 Finland
1992 Barcelona
details
Jan Železný
 Czechoslovakia
Seppo Räty
 Finland
Steve Backley
 Great Britain
1996 Atlanta
details
Jan Železný
 Czech Republic
Steve Backley
 Great Britain
Seppo Räty
 Finland
2000 Sydney
details
Jan Železný
 Czech Republic
Steve Backley
 Great Britain
Sergey Makarov
 Russia
2004 Athens
details
Andreas Thorkildsen
 Norway
Vadims Vasiļevskis
 Latvia
Sergey Makarov
 Russia
2008 Beijing
details
Andreas Thorkildsen
 Norway
Ainārs Kovals
 Latvia
Tero Pitkämäki
 Finland
2012 London
details
Keshorn Walcott
 Trinidad and Tobago
Antti Ruuskanen
 Finland
Vítězslav Veselý
 Czech Republic
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Thomas Röhler
 Germany
Julius Yego
 Kenya
Keshorn Walcott
 Trinidad and Tobago
2020 Tokyo
details
Neeraj Chopra
 India
Jakub Vadlejch
 Czech Republic
Vítězslav Veselý
 Czech Republic

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Jan Železný  Czechoslovakia (TCH)
 Czech Republic (CZE)
1988–2000 3 1 0 4
2 Eric Lemming  Sweden (SWE) 1908–1912 2 0 0 2
Jonni Myyrä  Finland (FIN) 1920–1924 2 0 0 2
Andreas Thorkildsen  Norway (NOR) 2004–2008 2 0 0 2
5 Jānis Lūsis  Soviet Union (URS) 1964–1972 1 1 1 3
6 Viktor Tsybulenko  Soviet Union (URS) 1956–1960 1 0 1 2
Keshorn Walcott  Trinidad and Tobago (TTO) 2012–2016 1 0 1 2
8 Steve Backley  Great Britain (GBR) 1992–2000 0 2 1 3
9 Gergely Kulcsar  Hungary (HUN) 1960–1968 0 1 2 3
Seppo Raty  Finland (FIN) 1988-1996 0 1 2 3
11 Sergey Makarov  Russia (RUS) 2000–2004 0 0 2 2
12 Vítězslav Veselý Czech Republic (CZE) 2012-2020 0 0 2 2

Medalists by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Finland (FIN) 7 8 7 22
2  Soviet Union (URS) 3 2 2 7
3  Sweden (SWE) 3 1 2 6
4  Norway (NOR) 3 1 1 5
5  Czech Republic (CZE) 3 1 2 5
6  Germany (GER)[nb] 2 1 0 3
7  Hungary (HUN) 1 2 4 7
8  United States (USA) 1 2 2 5
9  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 1 0 2
10  Trinidad and Tobago (TRI) 1 0 1 2
11  India (IND) 1 0 0 1
 West Germany (FRG) 1 0 0 1
13  Great Britain (GBR) 0 3 1 4
14  Latvia (LAT) 0 2 0 2
15  Kenya (KEN) 0 1 0 1
 Poland (POL) 0 1 0 1
17  Russia (RUS) 0 0 2 2
18  East Germany (GDR) 0 0 1 1
 Romania (ROU) 0 0 1 1

Women

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1932 Los Angeles
details
Babe Didrikson
 United States
Ellen Braumüller
 Germany
Tilly Fleischer
 Germany
1936 Berlin
details
Tilly Fleischer
 Germany
Luise Krüger
 Germany
Maria Kwaśniewska
 Poland
1948 London
details
Herma Bauma
 Austria
Kaisa Parviainen
 Finland
Lily Carlstedt
 Denmark
1952 Helsinki
details
Dana Zátopková
 Czechoslovakia
Aleksandra Chudina
 Soviet Union
Yelena Gorchakova
 Soviet Union
1956 Melbourne
details
Inese Jaunzeme
 Soviet Union
Marlene Ahrens
 Chile
Nadezhda Konyayeva
 Soviet Union
1960 Rome
details
Elvīra Ozoliņa
 Soviet Union
Dana Zátopková
 Czechoslovakia
Birutė Kalėdienė
 Soviet Union
1964 Tokyo
details
Mihaela Peneș
 Romania
Márta Rudas
 Hungary
Yelena Gorchakova
 Soviet Union
1968 Mexico City
details
Angéla Németh
 Hungary
Mihaela Peneș
 Romania
Eva Janko
 Austria
1972 Munich
details
Ruth Fuchs
 East Germany
Jacqueline Todten
 East Germany
Kate Schmidt
 United States
1976 Montreal
details
Ruth Fuchs
 East Germany
Marion Becker
 West Germany
Kate Schmidt
 United States
1980 Moscow
details
María Caridad Colón
 Cuba
Saida Gunba
 Soviet Union
Ute Hommola
 East Germany
1984 Los Angeles
details
Tessa Sanderson
 Great Britain
Tiina Lillak
 Finland
Fatima Whitbread
 Great Britain
1988 Seoul
details
Petra Felke
 East Germany
Fatima Whitbread
 Great Britain
Beate Koch
 East Germany
1992 Barcelona
details
Silke Renk
 Germany
Natalya Shikolenko
 Unified Team
Karen Forkel
 Germany
1996 Atlanta
details
Heli Rantanen
 Finland
Louise McPaul
 Australia
Trine Hattestad
 Norway
2000 Sydney
details
Trine Hattestad
 Norway
Mirela Maniani-Tzelili
 Greece
Osleidys Menéndez
 Cuba
2004 Athens
details
Osleidys Menéndez
 Cuba
Steffi Nerius
 Germany
Mirela Maniani
 Greece
2008 Beijing
details
Barbora Špotáková
 Czech Republic
Christina Obergföll
 Germany[3]
Goldie Sayers
 Great Britain
2012 London
details
Barbora Špotáková
 Czech Republic
Christina Obergföll
 Germany
Linda Stahl
 Germany
2016 Rio de Janeiro
details
Sara Kolak
 Croatia
Sunette Viljoen
 South Africa
Barbora Špotáková
 Czech Republic
2020 Tokyo
details
Liu Shiying
 China
Maria Andrejczyk
 Poland
Kelsey-Lee Barber
 Australia

Multiple medalists

Rank Athlete Nation Olympics Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Barbora Špotáková  Czech Republic (CZE) 2008–2016 2 0 1 3
2 Ruth Fuchs  East Germany (GDR) 1972–1976 2 0 0 2
3 Dana Zátopková  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1952–1960 1 1 0 2
Mihaela Peneş  Romania (ROU) 1964–1968 1 1 0 2
5 Tilly Fleischer  Germany (GER) 1932–1936 1 0 1 2
Trine Hattestad  Norway (NOR) 1996–2000 1 0 1 2
Osleidys Menéndez  Cuba (CUB) 2000–2004 1 0 1 2
8 Fatima Whitbread  Great Britain (GBR) 1984–1988 0 1 1 2
Mirela Maniani  Greece (GRE) 2000–2004 0 1 1 2
Christina Obergföll  Germany (GER) 2008–2012 0 1 1 2
11 Yelena Gorchakova  Soviet Union (URS) 1952–1964 0 0 2 2
Kate Schmidt  United States (USA) 1972–1976 0 0 2 2

Medalists by country

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  East Germany (GDR) 3 1 2 6
2  Germany (GER) 2 4 4 10
3  Soviet Union (URS) 2 2 4 8
4  Cuba (CUB) 2 0 1 3
 Czech Republic (CZE) 2 0 1 3
6  Finland (FIN) 1 2 0 3
7  Great Britain (GBR) 1 1 1 3
8  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 1 1 0 2
 Hungary (HUN) 1 1 0 2
 Romania (ROU) 1 1 0 2
11  United States (USA) 1 0 2 3
12  Austria (AUT) 1 0 1 2
 Norway (NOR) 1 0 1 2
14  Croatia (CRO) 1 0 0 1
 China (CHN) 1 0 0 1
16  Greece (GRE) 0 1 1 2
 Poland (POL) 0 1 1 2
18  Australia (AUS) 0 1 0 1
 Chile (CHI) 0 1 0 1
 Russia (RUS) 0 1 0 1
 South Africa (RSA) 0 1 0 1
 Unified Team (EUN) 0 1 0 1
 West Germany (FRG) 0 1 0 1
24  Denmark (DEN) 0 0 1 1

Intercalated Games

The 1906 Intercalated Games were held in Athens and at the time were officially recognised as part of the Olympic Games series, with the intention being to hold a games in Greece in two-year intervals between the internationally held Olympics. However, this plan never came to fruition and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) later decided not to recognise these games as part of the official Olympic series. Some sports historians continue to treat the results of these games as part of the Olympic canon.[4]

A men's freestyle javelin event was contested at the 1906 Games – the first time the javelin featured on the Olympic programme. The competition was dominated by Swedish athletes, who took the first four places.[5] Eric Lemming was a comfortable winner by a margin of over eight metres and he would go on to win the first two Olympic titles proper in 1908 and 1912.[6] A 100 metres finalist, Knut Lindberg, was the silver medallist,[7] while the third placer, Bruno Söderström, also won a pole vault medal that year.[8]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1906 Athens
details
 Eric Lemming (SWE)  Knut Lindberg (SWE)  Bruno Söderström (SWE)

Variants

1908 freestyle javelin throw

Following the freestyle javelin contest at the 1906 Intercalated Games, the event was continued at the 1908 London Olympics in spite of the addition of the standard style javelin as well. Eric Lemming won his second freestyle title, and his first officially recognised Olympics gold, and also won the standard style event as well.[6] The freestyle event was dropped after 1908.[9]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1908 London
details
 Eric Lemming (SWE)  Mikhail Dorizas (GRE)  Arne Halse (NOR)

Two-handed javelin throw

At the 1912 Stockholm Olympics a two-handed variant of the standard javelin throw competition took place. Each athlete had three attempts using each hand and their score was calculated by adding their best performances for the left and right hands. It featured two rounds, with the top three after the first round receiving a further three attempts with each arm.[10]

Finnish athletes completed a podium sweep as Julius Saaristo, the runner-up in the 1912 standard javelin event, took the gold medal. Eric Lemming, champion in the one-handed event, performed poorly with his left hand and finished in fourth place.[10]

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1912 Stockholm
details
 Julius Saaristo (FIN)  Väinö Siikaniemi (FIN)  Urho Peltonen (FIN)

References

Participation and athlete data
Olympic record progressions
Specific
  1. ^ Olympic Medalists Men. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  2. ^ Olympic Medalists Women. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  3. ^ Mariya Abakumova, from Russia, was disqualified in 2016, after retesting. Sayers was later confirmed as the bronze medalist.
  4. ^ 1906 Athina Summer Games Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-01-26.
  5. ^ Athletics at the 1906 Athina Summer Games: Men's Javelin Throw, Freestyle Archived 2010-08-05 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  6. ^ a b Eric Lemming Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  7. ^ Knut Lindberg Archived 2014-08-04 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  8. ^ Bruno Söderström Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  9. ^ Athletics Men's Javelin Throw, Freestyle Medalists Archived 2014-08-04 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.
  10. ^ a b Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games: Men's Javelin Throw, Both Hands Archived 2010-08-05 at the Wayback Machine. Sports Reference. Retrieved on 2014-04-19.