Javelin Video Archive - List of Olympic medalists in javelin throw - Men

Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/trinidadandtobago_small.png Keshorn Walcott 84.58m
tl_files/results/Flags/ukraine_small.png Oleksandr Pyatnytsya 84.51m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Antti Ruuskanen 84.12m
Prior to 2012 it was not even certain if there were any javelin throwers in Trinidad & Tobago. It was simply not an event at which that nation had produced any major throwers. But earlier in the year 19-year-old Keshorn Walcott had won the Central American & Caribbean Championships, throwing a world-class 82.83. Two weeks later he surprised again by winning the 2012 World Junior title. Prior to 2012, his PR had been only 75.77. But he was not considered one of the medal favorites in London. The qualifying was led by the favorite, Czech Vítězslav Veselý, with the two-time defending champion, Norwegian Andreas Thorkildsen, qualifying comfortably, along with former World Champion Tero Pitkämäki of Finland. In the final Walcott opened with 83.51 which led after the first round, nobody else surpassing 80 metres. He improved that in round two with 84.58 to continue in the lead, although Pitkämäki moved into second with 82.68 and Thorkildsen moved into third with 82.63, as Veselý struggled back in fifth with 81.69. The third round saw another surprise as Ukrainian Oleksandr Pyatnytsya moved into second with 84.51. And that settled the gold and silver medals, as nobody would surpass Walcott nor Pyatnytsya's marks. In the final rounds, Finn Antti Ruuskanen threw 84.12 to move onto the podium for bronze. Veselý improved in his final round with 83.34 but it was only good enough for fourth. Thorkildsen saw his attempt to three-peat fail as he finished sixth. Walcott became only the second Olympic champion from Trinidad & Tobago. He also became the first person to win an Olympic and World Junior title in the same year in athletics. His victory was also only the second time that the javelin was not won by a European, after Cy Young (USA) had won in 1952.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/norway_small.png Andreas Thorkildsen 90.57m
tl_files/results/Flags/latvia_small.png Ainārs Kovals 86.64m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Tero Pitkämäki 86.16m
The favorite was Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen, the defending Olympic and European Champion. In the technically difficult event he had been consistent over the past few years, winning silver at 2005 and 2007 World Championships. Thorkildsen led after round one with 84.72 (277-11), and produced the longest throw in each of the first three rounds, improving to 85.91 (281-10) and then 87.93 (286-10). The third-round mark would be enough to secure the gold medal, although he improved again in round five with the best mark of the competition, 90.57 (297-1). The battle for the other medals came down to two Finns, Tero Pitämäki and Tero Järvenpää and Latvian Ainārs Kovals. Järvenpää and Pitämäki were 2-3 thru the first three rounds, but Pitämäki moved ahead with a fourth-round throw of 85.83 (281-7). In the final round, Kovals threw a personal best of 86.64 (284-3) to take the silver medal and knock Järvenpää off the podium.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/norway_small.png Andreas Thorkildsen 86.50m tl_files/results/Flags/latvia_small.png Vadims Vasiļevskis 84.95m tl_files/results/Flags/russia_small.png Sergey Makarov 84.84m
American Breaux Greer led the qualifying with 87.25 (286-3) but injured his always sensitive knee in the process and would finish last in the final. The favorites were Ján Železný and Steve Backley again, along with Russian Sergey Makarov, the 2003 World Champion. Železný and Backley had had great careers but were now past their prime, Železný finishing ninth and Backley fourth, never in the medals. Makarov also did not have his best day, only able to get the bronze medal. In round two, Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen took the lead with 86.50 (283-9½) and that would be good enough for the gold medal. Nobody else could get over 85 metres. He had no major international credentials, although in 2001 he had set the world junior record with 83.87 (275-2). _Track & Field News_ quoted Thorkildsen as saying, “If you had said the words ‘Olympic champion’ to me yesterday, I wouldn’t have believed you. But now it sounds great.”
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/czechrepublic_small.png Jan Železný 90.17m OR
tl_files/results/Flags/uk_small.png Steve Backley 89.85m tl_files/results/Flags/russia_small.png Sergey Makarov 88.67m
The gold and silver medalists from Atlanta, Jan Železný and Steve Backley, were the favorites. Backley had won the last three European Championships, while Železný was, well, … Železný, considered the greatest javelin thrower ever. The Czech led the qualifiers with 89.39 (293-3¼). In the final he opened with 89.41 (293-4¼) to lead round one. Backley went ahead in the second round with 89.85 (294-9½) but Železný clinched the gold medal in the third round with 90.17 (295-10). Backley threw poorly after his best throw, fouling three times, and hitting only 80.99 (265-8¾) in the fourth round. It was Železný’s third consecutive gold medal, and fourth consecutive medal, in the event.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/czechrepublic_small.png Jan Železný 88.16m tl_files/results/Flags/uk_small.png Steve Backley 87.44m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Seppo Räty 86.98m
In May, Jan Železný had broken the world record with 98.48 (323-1¼), still the world’s best thru 2008. He had won the 1993 and 1995 World Champion and was a heavy favorite. In the final, Britain’s Steve Backley, the two-time European Champion, opened with 87.44 (286-10½) to lead. Železný surpassed that in round two with 88.16 (289-3) and those were their best throws, settling the gold and silver medals. Finland’s Seppo Räty came in third with his final toss, winning his third consecutive Olympic medal, but he would never get gold.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/czechrepublic_small.png Jan Železný 89.66m OR
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Seppo Räty 86.60m tl_files/results/Flags/uk_small.png Steve Backley 83.38m
Jan Železný had been the best javelin thrower for several years but had yet to claim a major title. Shortly before Barcelona he broke the world record with 94.74 (310-10). But that was with a new javelin designed by 1976 gold medalist Miklós Németh, and this was soon declared to be illegal. It could not be used in Barcelona, but Železný was the best with any spear. His round one throw of 89.66 (294-2) finished the competition, winnig the gold medal for him. The 1988 bronze medalist and 1987 World Champion, Seppo Räty, placed second with his second round throw.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Tapio Korjus 84.28m tl_files/results/Flags/czechrepublic_small.png Jan Železný 84.12m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Seppo Räty 83.26m
The new javelin was being used, as it had been since 1986, so the marks were much shorter than the 90+ metre throws of 1968-1980. The favorite was the huge Finn, Seppo Räty, the 1987 World Champion. Also considered was the world record holder with the implement, Czechoslovakian Ján Železný, who led the qualifying with 85.90 (281-10), and the first man to set a world record with the new jav, Klaus Tafelmeier (FRG). The leader in round one was another Finn, Tapio Korjus, but he had the third-longest throw ever with the new javelin. In round two, Železný and Viktor Yevsyukov both threw 82.32 (270-1) to take over. Räty came thru in the third round with 83.26 (273-2), and as the lead shifted around, Železný regained it in round four with 83.46 (273-10). Throwing third in the final round, he improved to 84.12 (275-2), but the last thrower was Korjus, and his 84.28 (276-6¼) brought him the gold medal, Železný claiming silver.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
Los Angeles
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Arto Härkönen 86.76m tl_files/results/Flags/uk_small.png David Ottley 85.74m tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Kenth Eldebrink 83.72m
The top javelinist in 1984 was easily East German Uwe Hohn. His 11 meets prior to July averaged 94.09, longer than any other mark in 1984. On 20 July 1984, he changed the event. That day in Berlin he broke the world record with 104.80 (343-10). The throw was so long that it started to raise safety concerns. He was close to literally throwing the javelin out of the stadium – or at least the infield – and putting runners or spectators in danger. Because of this the javelin specifications were shortly thereafter changed, and a new implement was in use from April 1986. Without Hohn nobody was favored in Los Angeles. Tom Petranoff (USA) led the qualifiers with 85.96 (282-0¼) but would finish only 10th in the final. The gold was won by Finland's Arto Härkönen, continuing his nation's tradition in the javelin. He was the first left-hander to win the Olympic javelin.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Dainis Kula 91.40m tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Aleksandr Makarov 89.64m tl_files/results/Flags/germany_small.png Wolfgang Hanisch 86.72m
The favorite was Hungary's Ferenc Paragi but he did not perform well, finishing 10th. East German Detlef Michel was also highly considered but did not even make the final. There were few other big names left in the final. The best Soviet thrower was the Latvian Dainis Kūla but in the final he opened with two fouls. On his third throw he got off a big toss, but it quite obviously landed flat and was a foul. However, the official waved the white flag, indicating a fair throw, and they measured it – at 88.88 (291-7¼) he was now in the lead. Writing in _Track & Field News_ Jim Dunaway noted, "'Incompetent officiating' is the kind of explanation one can make. 'Cheating' is the word many people used. Judge for yourself." In the next round Kūla hit 91.20 (299-2½) which would win him the gold medal. His teammate, Aleksandr Makarov improved in the final round to 89.64 (294-1¼), which earned him silver. Dunaway concluded, "The competition should be voided by the IAAF and either held again at some future date, or removed from the Olympic records."
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Miklós Németh 94.58m WR
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Hannu Siitonen 87.92m tl_files/results/Flags/romania_small.png Gheorghe Megelea 87.16m
The two leading Finns, Hannu Siitonen (1974 European Champion) and Seppo Hovinen, were favored. Hungary’s Miklós Németh had been world ranked since 1967 but had never won a medal at a major international event. He led the qualifying with 89.76 (294-6). Then in the final, he opened with a world record of 94.58 (310-3¾) and was never challenged. Siitonen won the silver medal while Hovinen was back in 7th place, one spot ahead of Soviet legend Jānis Lūsis. Németh’s father, Imre Németh, also won a gold medal, in the 1948 hammer throw.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/germany_small.png Klaus Wolfermann 90.48m tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Jānis Lūsis 90.46m tl_files/results/Flags/usa_small.png Bill Schmidt 84.42m
Defending champion Jānis Lūsis was again heavily favored, having won the last four European Championships. Nobody had approached him all year, and he had broken the world record in July. Lūsis led off with 88.88 (291-7¼) in round one to take the lead and held it until round five, with an improvement to 89.54 (293-9¼) in the third round. But in round five, the relatively unheralded German, Klaus Wolfermann threw 90.48 (296-10¼) to take the top spot. In the final round, Lūsis made a supreme effort to hold onto to his title, but came up two centimeters short – 90.46 (296-9½). This did give him a complete set of medals in the javelin, having won bronze in 1964.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
Mexico City
tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Jānis Lūsis 90.10m OR tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Jorma Kinnunen 88.58m tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Gergely Kulcsár 87.06m
Jānis Lūsis was an overwhelming favorite in a usually difficult to predict event. He had won the 1962 and 1966 European Championships, was the world record holder, and had 15 of the best 16 marks in 1968. Finland’s Jorma Kinnunen led in round one with 86.30 (283-1¾), but Lūsis threw 86.34 (283-3¼) in round two to take over. In round four the 1964 silver medalist, Gergely Kulcsár (HUN) threw 87.06 (285-7¾) to take the lead. That held up until the final round. Lūsis opened that round with the gold medal winner, 90.10 (295-7¼), and Kinnunen also bettered Kulcsár with 88.58 (290-7½) to win the silver medal.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Pauli Nevala 82.66m tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Gergely Kulcsár 82.32m tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Jānis Lūsis 80.57m
Just before the Olympics, Norway's Terje Pedersen threw 91.72 (300-11), which was a world record and was the first throw ever over 90 metres, and over 300 feet. But the favorites were Janusz Sidło, 1954 and 1958 European Champion, and the 1962 European Champ, Soviet Jānis Lūsis. Pedersen disappointed in the qualifying and did not make the final. Sidło led in round one with 80.17 (263-0¼), but Lūsis moved ahead in round two with 80.57 (264-4), which would be his best mark. Hungary's Gergely Kulcsár opened round four with 82.32 (270-1) to take the lead, but Finland's Pauli Nevala surpassed that in the round with 82.66 (271-2½), winning the gold medal, as nobody got over 80 metres in the final two rounds.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Viktor Tsybulenko 84.64m tl_files/results/Flags/germany_small.png Walter Krüger 79.36m tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Gergely Kulcsár 78.57m
The world record holder in 1960 was American Al Cantello, who had thrown 86.04 (282-3½) in 1959 in Compton, California. Cantello was AAU Champion in 1959-60 and was considered a contender for a medal, but would place only 10th. The top European was Janusz Sidło, 1954 and 1958 European Champion, 1956 Olympic silver medalist, and a former world record holder. He also had problems in Roma, placing eighth. The gold medal went to Soviet Viktor Tsybulenko who won by over five metres with his first round throw of 84.64 (277-8¼). It was his only major international title, but he would win silver at the 1962 European Championships.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/norway_small.png Egil Danielsen 85.71m OR tl_files/results/Flags/poland_small.png Janusz Sidło 79.98m tl_files/results/Flags/ussr_small.png Viktor Tsybulenko 79.50m
The javelin world record had taken a beating since 1952, due to new, more aerodynamic javelin designs, pioneered by American javelinist Franklin “Bud” Held and his brother, Dick. Bud Held used the new javelin to better the world record three times in 1953 and 1955. But a few months before Melbourne Poland’s Janusz Sidło pushed the jav out to 83.66 (274-5¾) for another record. The 1954 European Champion, he was the favorite. Norway’s Egil Danielsen was also considered a contender, based on a solid 1956 season. Defending champion Cy Young led the qualifiers but would struggle in the final, finishing 11th. Sidło led after three rounds with 79.98 (262-5), which would be his best mark, and would win the silver medal. Then in the fourth round, Danielson launched a low throw that seemed to stay airborne forever, breaking the world record with 85.71 (281-2½).
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/usa_small.png Cy Young 73.78m OR tl_files/results/Flags/usa_small.png Bill Miller 72.46m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Toivo Hyytiäinen 71.89m
The event was considered open with no favorite going into Helsinki. The Finns were always formidable, led by Toivo Hyytiäinen, the 1950 European Champion. The United States was surprisingly good, with three medal contenders in Cy Young, Bill Miller, and Franklin "Bud" Held. Held would later set several world records but placed only ninth in Helsinki. But Young and Miller won gold and silver, respectively, pushing Hyytiäinen back to the bronze medal. Young won the gold with his second throw of 73.78 (242-0¾). He was no relation to Cy Young, the baseball pitcher, though both were great throwers.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Tapio Rautavaara 69.77m tl_files/results/Flags/usa_small.png Steve Seymour 67.56m tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png József Várszegi 67.03m
Tapio Rautavaara won the gold medal to continue the Finnish tradition of great javelin throwing. He won with his first round throw. American Steve Seymour, the 1947-48 AAU Champion, placed second with his third round throw, needing a good throw at that point to move up from 10th and get three more throws. Rautavaara was a very interesting character. He was bronze medalist at the 1946 European Championships, and was Finnish javelin champion in 1944-45, and 1947-49, in addition to his Olympic gold medal. But he was also a top archer and competed on the Finnish team that won the World Team Championship in 1958, and he was Finnish champion in archery in 1955. But Rautavaara is best remembered in Finland for his singing and acting. He toured Finland performing in the 50s and early 60s, and eventually recorded over 300 songs. He began acting in films and television after World War II, and appeared in over 20 movies.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/germany_small.png Gerhard Stöck 71.84m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Yrjo Nikkanen 70.77m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Kalervo Toivonen 70.72m
By 1936 Matti Järvinen, the defending gold medalist, had set 10 consecutive world records. He had won the 1934 European Championship by almost seven metres and was an overwhelming favorite until a few weeks before the Olympics, when he injured his back. Hurting in Berlin he could throw only 69.18 (226-11¾) and would place fifth. His Finnish teammates, Yrjö Nikkanen and Kalervo Toivonen, won the silver and bronze medals, but the gold went to German Gerd Stöck who triumphed with his fifth-round throw of 71.84. Stöck was also shot put bronze medalist in Berlin. In 1938, Nikkanen twice broke Järvinen’s world record but placed second to Järvinen at the 1938 European Championships.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
Los Angeles
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Matti Järvinen 72.71m OR tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Matti Sippala 69.80m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Eino Penttilä 68.70m
Since 1930, Matti Järvinen had set six world records (five ratified) in the javelin and was a heavy favorite in Los Angeles. His first five throws were all over 70 metres, all good enough to win the gold medal, with his best of 72.71 (238-6¾) coming in the third round. Järvinen’s two brothers, Kalle Järvinen and Akilles Järvinen also competed in Los Angeles, Akilles getting silver in the decathlon and Kalle placing 12th in the shot put.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Erik Lundqvist 66.60m OR tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Béla Szepes 65.26m tl_files/results/Flags/norway_small.png Olav Sunde 63.97m
Erik Lundqvist (SWE) was the dominant thrower in 1928, winning all but one of his meets. The world record holder was Eino Penttilä, but he performed poorly at the Olympics, finishing only sixth. In Amsterdam Lundqvist won with his first-round throw of 66.60 (218-6). Thirteen days later, he broke the world record with 71.01 (232-11¾), the first-ever throw over 70 metres.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Jonni Myyrä 62.96m tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Gunnar Lindström 60.92m tl_files/results/Flags/usa_small.png Gene Oberst 58.35m
Finland’s Jonni Myyrä was defending champion and world record holder with 66.10 (216-10½). He trailed Gunnar Lindström (SWE) after the qualifying but improved in the final rounds to 62.96 (206-6¾) to win the gold medal. Lindstrom broke Myyrä’s world record with 66.62 (218-7) in October 1924. Myyrä later emigrated to the United States, having some financial problems in Finland and may have left the country with a large amount of money from his local bank. He never returned to Finland, dying in San Francisco in 1955.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Jonni Myyrä 65.78m OR tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Urho Peltonen 63.60m tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Pekka Johansson 63.10m
The Finns began their dominance of this event by taking the first four places. Jonni Myyrä won the first of two consecutive gold medals quite easily. This is all the more amazing when one learns that in the warm-ups, Myyrä was struck in the shoulder by a javelin thrown by James Lincoln of the United States! Myyrä was also the world record holder, having thrown 66.10 in Stockholm on 25 August 1919.
video is not yet available.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Eric Lemming 60.64m OR
tl_files/results/Flags/finland_small.png Julius Saaristo 58.66m tl_files/results/Flags/hungary_small.png Miklós Kovács 55.50m
Javelin throwing in 1912 was immensely popular in Scandanavia, and there was little doubt that an athlete from that region would win. Of the 24 competitors in this event, 17 were from Scandanavia (3 Germans, 2 Russians, 1 Austrian, 1 Hungarian), and 14 of the top 15 places went to Scandanavian athletes. The world record at the time of the Olympics was 61.45, set on 25 May 1912 by Finland’s Julius Saaristo. Saaristo was likely the co-favorite with the defending champion, Sweden’s Eric Lemming.
But Lemming dominated the event. He defeated Saaristo in both the qualifying and the final, winning by two metres. It was his fourth, and final, javelin gold medal at the Olympics. In 1906 he had won the event at Athens, while at London in 1908, he won both the conventional and freestyle javelin events.
Games Gold Silver Bronze
tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Eric Lemming 54.83m tl_files/results/Flags/norway_small.png Arne Halse 50.57m tl_files/results/Flags/sweden_small.png Otto Nilsson 47.11m
Eric Lemming defended his gold medal in this event, and would win again in 1912, matching John Flanagan's record of three consecutive field event Olympic championships. Lemming was the first great javelinist. In the era before officially recognized world records, he set his first world best in 1899, and between then and 1912 he set 12 marks that could be considered world records. His final mark, 62.32, set in Stockholm on 29 September 1912, became the first officially recognized record in the javelin.
video is not yet available.

souce: sports-reference.com, wikipedia