The Thrower's Page
#56 weight throw (superweight, or heavy weight throw)The #56 weight was an Olympic event until 1920. It was contested at the AAU(USA) national championships until 1966, when it was dropped from the main meet, but it had then been contested as a national championship event at a separate meet until about 1990. USATF recognizes and certifies the #56 weight throw American record, and the rules provide for a separate national championship.
The heavy weight, or "superweight," continues to be popular in masters competition. The most notable recent competitions for this event was Christian Erb's Weltklasse international throwers meeting in Ru"dlingen, Switzerland of 1998-2001. Masters competitions love all of the extra events and often include both the weight and superweight both indoors and out. The NCAA only contests the weight during the indoor season, but sometimes holds the competition in an outdoor facility using an outdoor weight. The women's superweight weighs #35, but the event has not been officially sanctioned by USATF for the women. I don't know the world or American best. Masters throwers throw lighter weights beginning at age 50. The weight and superweight is contested from a 7' hammer circle with hammer rules.
WORLD ALL-TIME LIST #56 (25.4kg) 16"(40.6cm) weight throw 1 16.59 Pavel Sedlacek (Cze) 26Aug00 Cejkovice 2 16.38 Illia Konovalov Rus 29Aug99 Ru"dlingen 3 16.18 Lance Deal US 29Aug99 Ru"dlingen 4 16.18 Vladimir Maska Cze 26Aug00 Cejkovice 16.15 Maska Cze 19Aug01 Ru"dlingen 5 15.91 Vasiliy Sidorenko Rus 13Aug00 Ru"dlingen 15.99 Maska Cze 13Aug00 Ru"dlingen 15.83 Konovalov Rus 13Aug00 Ru"dlingen 15.68 Maska Cze 98 Cejkovice 15.54 Sidorenko Aug98 Ru"dlingen 15.34 Konovalov Rus 19Aug01 Ru"dlingen 6 15.32 Chaussinand (Fra) 19Aug01 Ru"dlingen 7 15.30 Igor Astapkovich Rus 23Aug98 Ru"dlingen 15.18 Sedlacek 98 8 15.15 *George Frenn (PCC) 8Aug71 DesMoines AAU Ch 9 15.13 Konstantin Astapkovich Blr Aug98 Ru"dlingen 15.11 *Frenn (PCC) 69 AAU Ch 10 15.05 Adrian Annus (Hun) 19Aug01 Ru"dlingen - - - - - 3a 14.20 Kevin McMahon 29Aug99 Ru"dlingen WORLD BEST PROGRESSION 6.40 William Curtis US 1878 USA Ch 6.99 James McDermott US 1879 USA Ch 7.42 James McDermott US 1880 USA Ch 7.58 John Britton US 1882 USA Ch 7.66 Frank Lambrecht US 1883 USA Ch 8.01 Charles Queckberner US 1884 USA Ch 8.18 James Mitchel US 1888 USA Ch 8.46 Wilson Couden US 1888 AAU Ch 8.47 Wilson Couden US 1889 AAU Ch 10.01 Charles Queckberner US 1890 AAU Ch 10.58 James Mitchel US 1892 AAU Ch 10.74 James Mitchel US 1900 AAU Ch 10.90 John Flanagan US 1904 AAU Ch 11.79 John Flanagan US 1907 AAU Ch 11.83 Pat McDonald US 1911 AAU Ch 11.97 Frank Berst US 1942 AAU Ch 12.67 Henry Dreyer US 1951 AAU Ch 13.89 Bob Backus 1953 (ratified by AAU, not at AAU Ch) 14.64 George Frenn 1967 Pasadena AAU Ch 15.11 George Frenn US 1969 AAU Ch 15.15 George Frenn US 8Aug71 Des Moines AAU Ch 15.30 Igor Astapkovich Blr 23Aug98 Ru"dlingen 15.54 Vassily Sidorenko Rus 23Aug98 Ru"dlingen 15.68 Vladimir Maska Cze 5Sep98 Cejkovice 16.38 Illia Konovalov Rus 29Aug99 Ru'dlingen 16.59 Pavel Sedlacek (Cze) 26Aug2000 Ceykovice CURRENT AMERICAN BEST (not sure if ratified): 16.18 Lance Deal 29Aug99 Ru"dlingenThe #56 weight throw (#28 women) is also an event in Scottish highland games. However, Scottish rules require that you hold the weight with only one hand, so different (more discus-like) technique is used. Also, the Scottish weight can be 18" long, and it is thrown from a 9'-long rectangle on a grass or dirt surface. The WR is just under 50' (~15 meters).
The Irish NGB also contest a #56 weight sling: the weight is held with one hand, swung back through the legs, and forward for distance like a forward pud. The WR is 9.16 by John Menton in 1993 although Nick Sweeney hit 9.23 in 1994 with a longer-than-regulation weight.
The Irish NGB, Scottish highland games, and some strongman competitions, also contest a #56 weight for height (over a bar). This was also an early US track & field event in the late 19th and early 20th century. The WR is over 18 feet. The traditional technique is one handed swing through the legs and up over the back (another pud exercise). Recently, some athletes use a discus-style spin technique with a steep orbit.
Ultraweight In addition to the superweight, there are "Ultraweight" events, throwing weights which exceed the superweight--#98, #200, and #300 for men. There are no restrictions on the manner of throwing, and the implements themselves have less restriction in length and design--only that they have a handle, and that the handle is no further than 6" (15cm) from the mass of the implement. As such, various objects--kettlebells and even tractor suitcase plates--may be legal superweight implements.
12.5kg, 50cm weight throw: The Germans conduct a slightly longer, lighter weight throw. Also the Russians and Scandinavians conduct a 15kg weight throw. The best on the German weight is 34.01 by Heinz Weis in Mannheim, 23Sep89. The best American (or possibly Australian at the time) competing with the German weight throw is 27.92 by Peter Farmer Neu-Isenburg 15May76. The best woman throwing the 12.5kg, 50cm weight throw is 19.96, by Dawn Ellerbe US, Ru"dlingen in 2000.
Finally, I have heard that the French have historically had a 15kg/#33 weight throw.