There’s more to field than the discus, shot put and javelin.
For athletes with a very high level injury, it’s difficult to get a good grasp on objects such as the discus or shot put. Fortunately, there is another option for a throwing event, and that’s the club throw.
The club throw is another field event meant for athletes with limited hand function. The club is a wooden object that looks like a small bowling pin that is weighted on the end. Rather than grasping with their palms, most athletes put the thinner part of the club between their fingers and throw.
“It’s really about the technique of it, not really the strength,” says Juan Hall. “It’s how you release it. I hold it between my pointer finger and thumb. My hands are kind of contracted, which kind of makes it easier for me but at the same time it’s kind of difficult when you swing back because it loosens up, so the technique is really key.”
A motorcycle accident in 2004 left Hall with a C6 spinal-cord injury which has resulted in him being a quadriplegic. The club throw has allowed Hall to get back into competitive sports.
The club throw is the Paralympic version of a Hammer throw. Athletes are strapped down to a chair for this event and they can choose to throw facing forward or backwards. The club is 14 ounces (oz) for both men and women. The athletes that compete in the club throw fall under the F31, F32 and F51 classes.