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Comment : Throwing Events

By John Sidgwick

SYDNEY 2000, 30 September - Turning to the "throwing" events in athletics, surely there is a case for including the most elementary of all throwing activities, that of throwing a stone? The Olympic throwing events are about as artificial as anybody could imagine: discus, javelin, shot put and the supremely ridiculous hammer (a ball-and-chain thing that should provide retired exponents with steady employment in the house-destruction industry).

Kids all over the world do not practise distance-throws with discuses, javelins, heavy steel balls and balls-and-chains. What they do is to chuck stones. So, let there be an Olympic Stone - the specifications of such a stone should keep the Olympic Authorities employed for at least a decade. (CultureKiosque readers in those countries where the game of cricket is practised will recall that at one time, many athletics meetings included an event called "Throwing the Cricket Ball", a highly-popular item.)

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