One of the most exciting events in track and field, these 5 hammer throw videos of world record holders will show you how awesome to watch it can be.
Similar to shot put and discus, the men’s hammer throw world record is among the oldest standing record in track and field. The men’s record hasn’t been topped since 1986.
Women’s hammer officially became a track and field event in 1994 and the record was broken twice in 2015 alone, which means the quality of these videos is actually quite good when compared to the men.
Sedykh, who compete for the Soviet Union and Ukraine, set the world record a total of 6 times between 1980 and 1986. His mark of 86.74 meters, or 284 feet and 7 inches, has stood as the men’s record for 3 decades. Below is video of Sedykh’s still-standing world record mark, which he achieved on August 30, 1986 in Stuggart, West Germany.
Sedykh, a 3-turner, also earned gold medals in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and 1980 Moscow Games as well as silver at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Showing how long and dominant his career was, he added a World Championship victory in 1991. He, along with Sergey Litvinov, helped push the world record from 80.64 meters to 86.74 meters in a period of 6 years.
The first woman to clear 80 meters, Wlodarczyk, from Poland, has set the world record on 5 separate occasions, most recently twice in 2015. Her top distance from August 1, 2015, in Poland is 81.08 meters, or 266 feet. She earned a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and also has World Championship victories from 2009 in Berlin and 2015 in Beijing.
Litvinov, along with Yuriy Sedykh, helped lead the Soviet Union during a period of domination in the hammer throw. He would set the world record 3 times between 1980 and 1983. He won 2 World Championships, in 1983 Helsinki and 1987 Rome.
You can see footage of Litvinov competing in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, where he won gold and set an Olympic Record with a distance of 84.80 meters. He also achieved a silver medal at the 1980 Moscow Olympics. This is one of the cooler videos on the list, as it comes from an angle on top of the hammer cage.
Heidler, a German athlete, threw a distance of 79.42 meters in 2011, which topped Wlodarczyk’s mark from the year prior. You can see Heidler’s world record hammer throw video below. She would hold on to the top spot for more than 3 years before Wlodarczyk re-gained it. She also earned gold at the 2007 Osaka World Championships, with silver in 2009 Berlin and 2011 Daegu and bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.
What can be said about one of the most influential and inspirational names in America’s Hammer throwing community. Between 1956 and 1965, Harold “Hal” Connolly would set the world record on 6 different occasions. The most recent American to win gold in the hammer throw in the Olympic Games, from 1956 in Melbourne, he was also the first American to throw further than 200 feet and the first man to hit 70 meters.
You can see classic black-and-white slow motion footage of Connolly competing below. Connolly passed away in 2010 at the age of 79.