In the Discus, athletes must throw the discus as far as possible. The circular discus weighs 1kg for women. Athletes start in a throwing circle, which they must not leave until the discus has touched the ground. Athletes may hold and throw the discus in any manner they wish.
The distance the discus travels is measured from the front of the throwing circle to the point the discus first touches the ground, which must be within the lines of the throwing sector. All discus throws are taken from within a throwing cage, to protect officials, spectators and athletes.
In all throwing events, athletes start with a qualifying round. Throwing in turn, each athlete gets three attempts to achieve a qualifying distance, decided by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Technical Delegates. Once all throws have been completed, all athletes who have achieved the qualifying distance go through to the final. If fewer than 12 athletes achieve the qualifying standard, the best 12 athletes go through.
In the final, athletes have three initial throws, with the top eight after the first three rounds then having a further three throws. The athlete who performs the longest throw is the winner.
In the event of a tie, athletes’ second-best throws are compared, followed by their third, and so on.
Keys to success
Throwing events are not just about brute strength, but also about technique. Each throw has several aspects to it, such as the hold, the run-up or the turn, as well as the throwing action itself.
Find out more about the Women's Discus Throw competition at the Olympic Games on the International Olympic Committee website.