How heavy is the metal ball (shot) used in men and women’s shot put at the Olympics?

Shot put is one of four track and field throwing events at the Summer Olympics. The weight of the shot (the metal ball) for men is different when compared to the one used for the women’s event.

Published : Jul 09, 2024 19:26 IST , Chennai - 1 MIN READ

FILE PHOTO: USA’s Ryan Crouser in action.
FILE PHOTO: USA’s Ryan Crouser in action. | Photo Credit: AP

FILE PHOTO: USA’s Ryan Crouser in action. | Photo Credit: AP

Shot put is one of the four throwing events in track and field at the Summer Olympics. Apart from discus, this throwing event has been a part of the Games programme since the first Olympics in 1896.

The weight of the shot (the metal ball) for men is 7.26kg/16lb, and for women, it is 4kg/8.8lb.

Though the men’s event has been there since the inception of the Games, the women’s event was added to the programme after fifty years - at the 1948 Olympics.

The shot used in the first modern Olympics was made of lead, while the modern-day shot is made of smooth iron or brass.

Its composition includes various materials such as sand, iron, cast iron, brass, and solid steel along with synthetic compounds like polyvinyl.

The first events resembling the modern shot put likely occurred in the Middle Ages when soldiers held competitions in which they hurled cannonballs. Shot put competitions were first recorded in early 19th century Scotland, and were a part of the British Amateur Championships beginning in 1866.

World Record
Indoor: Ryan Crouser (USA) - 22.82m (January, 2021)
Outdoor: Ryan Crouser (USA) - 23.56m (May, 2023)
Indoor: Natalya Lisovskaya (USSR) - 22.63m (June, 1987)
Outdoor: Helena Fibingerova (CZE) - 22.50m (February, 1977)
Olympic Record
Ryan Crouser (USA) - 23.30m (2020 Olympics)
Ilona Slupianek (GDR) - 22.41m (1980 Olympics)
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