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  • Salinas had a good wind for the discus

    Salinas discus, May 19, 2004
    Carl Brown 218'5"
    Jason Tunks 217'
    Andy Bloom 215'
    Jared Rome 213'8"
    Ian Waltz 212'3"
    Chima Ugwu 211'8"
    Vikas Gowda 211'1"
    Brian Trinor 210'3"
    Only one throw measured for each thrower. Several throwers had the best series of their lives with no record of it except in their memories.

  • #2
    Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

    Only one throw measured for each thrower.
    >Several throwers had the best series of their lives with no record of it
    >except in their memories.


    I was reading about this the other day... what's the deal with not measuring all the throws? What's the point of having a meeting then?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

      Someday, someone is going to have to explain the physics of this quartering wind thing. Because the plate is thrown with a slight angle (bottom exposed to thrower), the wind picks it up and 'floats' it farther? When I have seen this phenomenon, it always seems as though the disc turns over at the end and crashes edge first.

      Left-handers get screwed? One must know how to milk the wind in order to most benefit? Throw with even more angle on the release?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

        Bloom gets an Olympic "A" qualifier!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

          >>Left-handers get screwed? One must know how to milk the
          >wind in order to most benefit? Throw with even more angle on the release?>>

          I wrote a piece on this back in the '70s. I'll dig it up and have it scanned then paste it in here later today. But the basic answer is that angle of wind is incredibly important. It's no coincidence that the left-handed Lance Deal abandoned his discus career and changed to the hammer.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

            Is Vikas Gowda red-shirting this year or has he just dropped out of school? (In other words, will he be back at UNC next year?) Anybody know?

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            • #7
              Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

              OK, this'll be one of the longer posts ever (and of interest not to many). This is from the December '70 issue. I made no attempt to spellcheck after the scan, so excuse what may be some silly errors the OCR induced:

              <<Imagine yourself in a sprint race where all competitors qualify for the finals on fastest-time in-the-heats basis. There is a nice aiding breeze of 20 mph. After all heats but yours have run, the officials decide to run your heat in the opposite direction. Into the wind. Not too pleased are you? Assuming equal ability you don't have too much chance of qualifying.

              Now imagine that you are discus thrower Ernst Soudek, throwing from the famed Long Beach ring. The other throwers, Jon Cole, Jay Silvester, etc., begin to throw. Whoosh. The right-hand quartering wind is carrying their discs into never-never land. Now it is your turn. Oh boy, now you too can make your platter play airplane, right? Wrong baby. You, Ernst Soudek, are left handed. The thought-to-be-beneficial breeze kills your throw.

              A heavy-handed analogy perhaps, but one which serves to introduce a problem which exists in track and field today and is growing worse.

              The importance of a quartering wind is due to the attitude the implement assumes while in flight. A right-handed thrower imparts a clockwise spin to the disc upon release, and the gyroscopic force generated forces the right side upwards. The discus slides across the incoming breeze in the same manner as a flat stone skipping across the water. If the wind is coming from the other quarter or the thrower is a lefty it will catch the top side of the disc and force it downwards.

              The chief critic of this disparity is Austrian Ernst Soudek, the world's left-handed "record holder" at 196'5". As he says, "In 10 years of throwing, I have only participated in one relatively big meet and had the wind favorable."

              Recent developments have not aidedthe lefty's lot. More and more, meet promoters, realizing the benefits o be gained from the wind, are moving their circles to the most advantageous spots on the field (for right-handers). This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself. The athletes like big tosses, and certainly so does the crowd. World recordman Jay Silvester is adamant on the subject of legislating against the wind, saying "It would take much of the glamor out of the event, and we need some excitement in track."

              Another factor hampering the port-sider is the continually shrinking sector (changes that right-handers aren't too crazy about either). The sector was reduced from 90° to 60° in 1959, and to 45° in May of 1969. With the larger sectors, if a beneficial to righty wind was blowing, it was sometimes possible for the lefty to change his starting position in the ring and release the plate down the right sector line. If the wind was close to straight on, this angle of flight would bring his disc into an advantageous position.

              The damage done by the wind is psychological as well as physical. Soudek says, "I haven't met one good thrower who did not let down upon discovering the wind was blowing from his bad side." Even Silvester has experienced this, in particular at Rotterdam this summer. Lefty Kees Koch, a 190'S" thrower came out of retirement to throw against Silvester and West Germans Hein Direck Neu and Dirk Wipperman. Silvester: "There was a breeze blowing and we gave Koch the best chance. I threw 203'9-1/2" but I must 'admit I was upset. I know I could have thrown over 210-feet with the wind. If left-handers must always put up with that I sympathize with them."

              What are the possible solutions? Most European facilities have a multiple-ring set-up, and the throwers decide as a group from which to throw. Soudek experienced this at the Austrian champs this year and relates, "What a philistine solution—I was outvoted 15 to one." Throwing from the ring he desired would have disadvanted 15 throwers rather than just one, however.

              Conditions should be equalized for all throwers, an obvious solution being that left and right handers should throw from different rings which would yield similar wind conditions. The sectors could be made to cross in the 180-200-foot range, enabling an easy comparison of marks by spectators and easing the judges' task. Silvester's only objection to this concerned a possible lack of spectator appeal. Soudek, naturally, is the leading proponent of this system, and is willing to split his throws three-three between the two rings.

              Soudek and fellow lefty Jim Reardon both got PRs in all-corner meets in Bowling Green, Ohio this summer, at 1965" and 186'0". These two, plus Koch and Australian Warwick Selvey, at 1933", are the only left-handers known by T&FN to have thrown over 185'0".

              Are these four throwers worth changing rules for? Any rule that is an unfair rule should be altered. With demographic figures showing that 8% of the world's population is left-handed it is possible that a significant number of lefties either give up or never attempt the event due to the odds against them ever being successful at the national or international level.>>

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              • #8
                Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                You make it sound like a sinister plot, but I happen to know that it's not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                  Almost forgot: that article had a sidebar that quantified distance. If you want to read long technical discussion, complete with greek letters denoting some of the physics, find the September 1965 issue of "Track Technique" which reprinted an article from "Lehka Atletika" of Czechoslovakia. The short version (sorry for the feet and inches--the base distance is 53.90m):

                  <<How significant is the effect of the wind on the discus? The following'table was compiled in 1965 by Czech national discus coach Jan Vrabel to show the effect of a wind blowing from either directly in front of, or directly behind the thrower. The basic throw is one of 176'10"(36°) in still air. The number of degrees in parentheses is the calculated optimum angle of release in regard to the pertinent wind factor.

                  ----------4.5mph --8.9mph --13.4mph --17.9mph ---22.4mph

                  into wind 177'10"(32°) 180'5"(28°) 184'8"(25°) 191'3"(24°) 198'6"(23°)

                  with wind 174'10"(38°) 175'6"(40°) 176'6"(42°) 178'2"(44°)

                  It may be noted that as the headwind increases, the length of the throw increases. Also the angle of re1ease decreases sharply. With a tailwind, the throw is shortened at first, then increases with the wind, though not as markedly as with a headwind.

                  While no factors are available for quartering winds, which all throwers agree is the most helpful. It may be assumed that the effect will be even greater because of the lifted edge of the disc.>>

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                  • #10
                    Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                    Thank you very much! But now my question is: in big meets the disc ring is pre-stipulated and laid out well in advance of knowing the actual conditions on meet day. So wouldn't that work out evenly for both sides? Sometimes it's a lefty's wind just by the law of averages.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                      big meets are held in big stadia where wind is rarely a factor

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                      • #12
                        Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                        Talking of discus winds reminds me (excuse whilst I slip in an historical reference here on the current events board) of the inimitable Ricky Bruch of Sweden, the king of the wind chasers. In 1970 he threw in 74 (!) "meets" although most of them were in his favorite windy stomping ground of Malmö (not to be confused w/ malmo) throwing against a couple of local 150-foot types just to make the meet legal.

                        Legend has it he had his own ring poured in the middle of a big open field. He had a friend who worked in a weather station over on the Danish side of the Skaggerak (or is it Kattegat? I always mix those two up) and when good gust would start whipping across the water the guy would call Ricky who would then invent a "meet" on the spot, head out with his loyal cadre and stripe in a sector that would catch the wind of the day perfectly. Oddly enough, though, is only ratified WR came in Stockholm.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                          Gowda is redshirting, but should be competing for Indian in the Olympics this summer.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                            I'm right handed, and whenever I release a discus, the right side is often slightly lower than the left, so a wind coming in from my right side will impair the flight of the disc. I've always thought a slight left wind was more beneficial to me. Of course, I think this is a result of dropping my arm when coming around for release.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Salinas had a good wind for the discus

                              >Recent developments have not aidedthe lefty's
                              >lot. More and more, meet promoters, realizing >the benefits o be gained from the
                              >wind, are moving their circles to the most >advantageous spots on the field (for
                              >right-handers).

                              I don't know how true that was in the 1970s, but it sure isn't true today, except for small, throws-only meets (like the one in Salinas) held in open fields. Big stadium will only have one ring for the discus, so it's just a matter of luck whether the wind is beneficial to right- orleft-hand throwers on any given day.
                              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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