Athletic event in which a hammer is thrown for distance. The hammer consists of a 16-lb (7.26-kg) metal ball attached to a spring steel wire handle that measures not more than 4 ft (1.2 m) in length. The thrower makes three full, quick turns of the body before flinging the hammer. The sport developed centuries ago in the British Isles; it has been a regular part of track-and-field competitions there since 1866 and an Olympic sport since 1900.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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