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What is the Hammer?

What is the hammer throw? It is a modern day Olympic track and field event where athletes hurl a steel ball attached to a wire. But it is much more than that. It is a sport with a long and rich history. You can learn more about the hammer throw in this section.


How much does the hammer weight? What are the rules? What does it look like? Catch up on the basics of the event.


The hammer throw traces its roots back thousands of years to the Celts. Throughout history, the event has morphed into what is now the modern day hammer throw.


Olympic History – Americans dominated the event after it was first added to the Olympics in 1900. However, throughout the course of the century their supremacy faded as the Soviets, Hungarians, and other European nations improved. The women’s hammer throw has been an Olympic event since 2000 and has seen its world record quickly improve.

Olympic Medalists – View a list of every Olympic hammer throw medalist.


All-Time Top 10 Lists – Yuriy Sedych of the Soviet Union holds the current men’s world record of 86.76 meters (284’7″) set in 1986. The current women’s world record holder is Anita Włodarczyk of Poland with a throw of 78.30m (256’10″) in 2010.

World Record Progressions – The men’s world record has improved by more than 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) in the past century while the woman’s record has quickly progressed since first being ratified in 1995.