Athletes must throw the javelin, weighing either 600g or 800g (depending on the class of the athlete), as far as possible. Using either a run up, or seated in a frame, the athlete must release the javelin, launching it with one hand held over the shoulder.
The distance the javelin travels is measured from the end of the runway – or, in the case of the seated throws, the front of the circle – to the point the javelin first touches the ground, which must be within the lines of the throwing sector. If the tip of the javelin does not land first, the throw is not valid.
Visually impaired athletes are permitted to be accompanied by a guide, who can help to orientate them using their voice.
All throwing events are run as straight finals. Each athlete takes three throws and the best eight go on for a further three throws. The athlete with the furthest throw wins the gold medal. In seated throws with large numbers of entries, the first three throws may be taken in two separate circles, while the best eight then move to a single circle for their final three throws.
In the event of a tie, athletes’ second-best throws are compared, followed by their third, and so on.
Throwing events are not just about brute strength, but also about technique. Each throw has several aspects to it, such as the grip, the run up or the turn in the case of ambulant athletes, as well as the throwing action itself. The winning athlete will have every aspect of their throw perfect, enabling them to achieve the greatest distance.
Keys to success
Breaking the rules
Certain throws can be invalid and athletes can be penalised for infractions such as stepping out of the front of the runway or throwing circle, or lifting out of a seated position during the throw.
For more information, please go to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) website.