This was supplanted by throwing from a 2.13-metre (7-foot) circle on the ground, which was increased to its current size in 1912. The modern throwing method is a smooth spinning action in which the athlete accelerates across the circle while completing around one and a half rapid spins. This requires tight control of the body with each foot placed precisely along the outer edge of the circle at start line.
The distance of the discus throw is measured when it leaves the hand; thus the technique of throwing formes an integral part of the sport. While some athletes achieve great distances with pure arm strength alone, most require significant technique modification as well.
Throwing formes has been shown to improve accuracy, consistency, and distance under pressure. These benefits can be realized even more so when combined with other athletic skills such as sprinting or jumping.
In addition to being good exercise for your arms, discus throwing also works your legs and core because you need to balance properly with each stride taken off the circle's perimeter. Also, watching the disc sail through the air gives you insight into how hard your opponent is throwing by the speed of the discus.
There are two types of throws: long and short. In a long throw, the aim is for the discus to travel as far as possible; in a short throw, the goal is to get the discus as close to the target as possible.
Early modern sportsmen threw the discus from an inclined pedestal, employing an exaggerated manner based on older depictions of the sport. Before then, the circumference of the circle depended on how far it was possible to throw the discus.
The first recorded length for the discus circle is 3 Roman feet (1 meter), which was used by Arcesilaus during the 4th century B.C. The Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope is said to have thrown the discus from a circle two thirds that distance. Other sources give lengths between 4 and 5 Roman feet (1.2 and 1.5 meters). Modern estimates range from about 60 yards (54 meters) to 80 yards (70 meters).
Discuses were made of wood with a leather or cloth cover. They weighed up to 15 kg (33 pounds). The term "discus" comes from the Greek diskos, which means "disk".
During Olympic games, only men's events are held on the discus track. Women and children's events include a variety of discus-like objects such as the javelin and hammer. However, there is no record of anyone having been able to throw one of these objects farther than could be achieved with a standard discus.
Discus throw is an athletics (track and field) event in which a discus-shaped object is thrown for distance. The discus must be thrown from a circle 2.5 metres (8.2 feet) in diameter and land inside a 40 degree sector designated on the ground from the center of the circle in contemporary competition. The maximum possible score on the modern discus is 150 points.
The first recorded women's discus championship was held at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. American Joan Barnes threw 102.4 meters (335.4 feet), one of her best throws, to win the gold medal. She had already won the silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1967 World Championships without reaching 100 meters. Canadian Nancy Ennis took home the bronze medal with a throw of 96.0 meters (316.4 feet). This remains the only time that Americans have swept the podium spots on the discus platform.
Barnes' performance broke a long-standing Olympic record by over 10 feet and has never been surpassed. She went on to become the first woman to be named USA Track and Field's Athlete of the Year.
In total, Americans have won nine of the twenty-one discus medals awarded at the Olympics. The next highest number of winners is Germany with three medals. All but one of these medals have gone to women.
At the international level, the event is used to determine qualification for the Olympics and world championships.