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Speared by a javelin?

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  • Speared by a javelin?

    Today a co-worker upon hearing that I am a track and field "expert" asked me about an incident he said he has seen on TV, perhaps on "You've got to see this". Supposedly an official got "skewered" (his word) by an errant javelin.

    While I have heard of officials hit by wayward shotputs and I witnessed a sector-foul hammer landing in the middle of a group of 5000-m runners warming up, I have never heard of this javelin accident. Can anyone provide details?

  • #2
    Re: Speared by a javelin?

    Just found the video clip of it:

    http://www.momapa.com/videoclip/javelin.mpeg

    I remember seeing this a while ago. Looks like it was a decent meet (most probably televised live), but I can't make out who the athlete was. It looks like it took place in the early-nineties and the athlete is either British (not Backley, though), American, French, or Czech (judging by their kit).

    The official who got skewered actually lived afterwards and escaped with not much damage. I wonder how they measured the throw, though!!

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    • #3
      Re: Speared by a javelin?

      Thanks, Jon. Having seen it I must say that the throw was not 'errant', but rather that the official badly misjudged its flight.

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      • #4
        Re: Speared by a javelin?

        As I recall, the official later stated that he was distracted by another event going on at the same time, (he was watching it) and blamed himself solely for the "stabbing".

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        • #5
          Re: Speared by a javelin?

          Javelins that conform to the current rules tend to land point first. But in the old days, the implement would often land flat or nearly flat and then slither through the grass, sometimes for a good distance. People who were not very near the landing place could, and occasionally did, find themselves in danger. I know of at least one prominent official who took a jav in the ankle that way. It did quite a bit of damage--he needed surgery and was on crutches for months.

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          • #6
            Re: Speared by a javelin?

            If my memory is correct (something highly debatable these days) didn't Dallas Long sustain a major injury as a youngster at USC while trying to open a soda container with a javelin?

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            • #7
              Re: Speared by a javelin?

              I remember there being someone on some sort of 99 / rescue kinda program in the UK, where someone managed to throw a Javelin into the back of their head. They simply drew the javelin back too far when going to throw and then maybe misjudged the alingment of it... went straight into the back of his head..... and he lived!!

              This could start a whole new debate: which event is more dangerous - javelin or pole vault..??

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              • #8
                Re: Speared by a javelin?

                In high school, this guy on the team would run under throws and catch javelins out of the air.

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                • #9
                  Re: Speared by a javelin?

                  I watched two college teammates, Carl O'Donnell ('68 NCAA champ) and Foss Miller (national HS Record in '65), play catch from about 150ft. Needless to say, when the coaching staff saw it, they had a collective shit fit.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Speared by a javelin?

                    We were taught how to catch javelins by Sam Colson at Clemson. It wasn't that hard or that dangerous if you had half a brain, which is all you needed to go to Clemson in the mid-70's. No I don't teach it to the kids I coach

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                    • #11
                      Re: Speared by a javelin?

                      The clip is from Bislett Games and the thrower is a Finn, I think it was Juha Laukannen.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Speared by a javelin?

                        >The clip is from Bislett Games and the thrower is a Finn, I think it was Juha
                        >Laukannen.


                        Cheers, Peter. Do you know if (and how) they measured the throw?!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Speared by a javelin?

                          I can't remember the year, but the javelin tip never hits the ground so the throw couldn't be measured.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Speared by a javelin?

                            >I can't remember the year, but the javelin tip never hits the ground so the
                            >throw couldn't be measured.

                            if the javelin spears the guy all the way thru the shoulder at 85m mark & the guy runs screaming in agony down the pitch for another 20m & then falls over with the tip of the spear piercing the turf, & the throw is measured, is that a 105m,new WR ?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Speared by a javelin?

                              No, that would be considered illegal assistance and the throw would not count.

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