The modern or Olympic hammer throw is an athletic throwing event where the object is to throw a heavy metal spherical object attached to a wire and handle. The name 'hammer throw' is derived from older competitions where an actual sledge hammer was thrown. Such competitions are still part of the Scottish Highland Games, where the implement used is a steel or lead weight at the end of a cane handle. Like other throwing events, the competition is decided by who can throw the sphere the farthest. The men's hammer weighs 16 pounds (7.257 kg) and measures 3 feet 114 inches (121.5 cm) in length and the women's hammer weighs 8.82 lb (4 kg) and 3 feet 11 inches (119.5 cm) in length. Competitors gain maximum distance by swinging the hammer above their head to set up the circular motion. Then they apply force and pick up speed by completing one to four turns in the circle. In competition, most throwers turn three or four times.
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