The shot is a solid ball weighing between 2kg and 7.26kg, depending on the athlete’s class. Athletes must put the shot as far as possible. They start in a throwing circle, either standing or seated, with the shot in one hand touching their neck. The shot must be put from this position.
The distance the shot travels is measured from the front of the throwing circle to the point the shot first touches the ground, which must be within the lines of the throwing sector. At the front of the throwing circle is a 10cm high stop board. Athletes must not touch the top or sides of the throwing circle.
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 competitors, two separate circles may be used at the same time for athletes taking their first three throws. The best eight then move to a single circle for the 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.
Read more about classifications in Paralympic Athletics