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2004 Olympic Games Athens - Men's Discus Throw



Host City: Athina, Greece Format: Top 12 and ties and all those reaching 64.50 metres advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 21, 2004  
Date Finished: August 23, 2004  
(Competitors: 39; Countries: 26; Finalists: 12)  
    Venue(s): Olympic Stadium, Athens Olympic Sports Complex Spiros Loues, Maroussi
Overview by IAAF    2004-athens-stadium.jpg
There were two candidates for gold, defending champion Alekna, and European Champion Robert Fazekas (HUN). The Hungarian led the qualifying with 68.10 to Alekna’s 67.79, with Tammert (65.70) the only other thrower to reach the automatic qualifying mark of 64.50. In the final Fazekas began with 66.39, but was quickly overtaken by Tammert (66.66) and Alekna, who improved Lars Riedel’s Olympic record of 69.40 with 69.89. Fazekas, who had thrown a massive 71.25 in winning the 2002 World Cup, then threw 70.93, the second-longest throw ever in a major meeting. Alekna tightened up, throwing well only in the fifth round with 69.49. Behind them Tammert’s opening throw held up for third, until Kővágó hit 67.04 in the fourth. Riedel’s challenge for a medal dissipated with his third round groin injury which caused him to withdraw. Fazekas then took a victory lap, but the drama was not finished. Before the medal ceremony, the Hungarian was disqualified as he “refused to provide a complete urine sample”, according to the IOC. So the title was retained by Alekna.
Summary by      
The defending champion was Virgilijus Alekna (LTU) and he was back in Athina, having also won the 2003 World Championship. At the 2002 European Championship he had finished second to Hungary's Róbert Fazekas and these two were the favorites. Alekna opened in the final with 69.89 (229-3¾) which would be his best throw, with Fazekas recording 66.39 (217-9¾) in third place. But in round two, he recorded 70.93 (232-8½) to seemingly win the gold medal. But at doping control he provided an )inadequate) urine sample and refused to produce any more. He was later found


Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Jürgen Schult (GDR) 74.08 m Neubrandenburg, East Germany 6 June 1986
Olympic record  Lars Riedel (GER) 69.40 m Atlanta, United States 31 July 1996

The following records were established during the competition:

Date Event Name Nationality Result Record
23 August Final Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania 69.89 m OR
to have a bag with stored urine hidden on his body. He was disqualified and Alekna had his second consecutive gold medal.

The men's discus throw competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens was held at the Olympic Stadium on 21–23 August. It was originally planned to hold the discus throw at the Ancient Olympia Stadium, but it was discovered that the field was not large enough to accommodate the range of modern discus throwers, and would have posed a danger to spectators. As such, it was decided to move the discus throw and to hold the shot put at the ancient stadium, despite the fact that the shot put was not contested at the Ancient Olympic Games.

Hungary's Róbert Fazekas had initially finished first in the final, but committed an anti-doping breach for failing to submit a proper urine sample during the drug test and was thereby not allowed to present his gold in the medal ceremony, resulting to his disqualification.Lithuania's Virgilijus Alekna, who originally placed second in the final, eventually defended his Olympic title at the time of the medal ceremony, and was followed by Fazekas' teammate Zoltán Kővágó for the silver and Estonia's Aleksander Tammert for the bronze.

23 AUG 2004 General News

Men's Discus Throw Final

The three longest throws in Olympic history marked a momentous competition won by Hungary’s Robert Fazekas ** see note below - in an Olympic record of 70.93. In silver, was reigning Olympic and World champion Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania who did his best to harry the eventual gold medallist, while the bronze was also secured by Hungary, thanks to Zoltan Kovago.

You can’t argue with the quality of any competition which begins with Olympic records in the first two rounds, and tonight’s final had the added significance of the first ever 70m plus throw in Olympic discus throwing history.

The pre-event billing was for this final to be a two-man duel between Fazekas and Alekna and it played out exactly to that script.

Firstly the reigning champion, throwing last of the twelve finalists, opened with a mighty 69.89m, an Olympic record by 49cm.

Alekna, 32, had immediately placed his usual first round stamp on this competition and it was simply a matter of whether Hungary’s European champion could respond with an even higher gambit.

The 29 year-old wasted no time in answering this question, as having begun with a respectable 66.39 in round one, with his next attempt he responded with 70.93 which not only improved that short lived Olympic best but must have cut a deep groove in the Lithuania’s confidence.

There have only ever been thirty-five 70m plus competitions in the entire history of the event and significantly neither the Olympic, World or European titles have ever been won at a distance greater than 69 metres.

The magnitude of the task that he now faced seemed to dawn on Alekna, who on his next turn spun his implement into the gate of the throwing cage, and fouls were to follow in the third and fourth rounds too.

Meanwhile, Fazekas was compiling a consistent series based on the confidence of a man who knew he had thrown the killer punch. 69.35 and 68.92 were his third and fourth efforts.

By this stage the Hungarian – thanks to leading at the midway stage - was now throwing last in the competition immediately after Alekna, who with his fifth round effort raised the faint possibility of a gold medal challenge with an encouraging 69.49 release. Prior to the start of tonight’s competition this would have been an Olympic record!

However, the expression on the Lithuanian’s face as he exited the cage told a different story. He could hardly conceal his disappointment, even perhaps his despair that, even with all his energy engaged he could not approach the lead. Alekna had played his last hand.

Fazekas for his part replied in the fifth with 67.64, and when in the following round Alekna fouled out his last effort, he passed on his own sixth attempt, as the gold was of course already sealed.

There was further joy for Hungary as Zoltan Kovago, the 2001 European Under-23 champion, who incidentally beat Fazekas to the Hungarian national crown this summer, grabbed the bronze with a fourth round 67.04.

Notably, the final mirrored yesterday’s Hammer final in so many ways. Not just that the gold went to Hungary but in the consistency of the high level series produced by the winner, the unsuccessful game of catch-up played by the silver medallist, and in turn the runners-up own pre-eminence over the bronze medal winner.

”I‘ve studied Alekna a lot and I know that he usually has his longest throw on his first attempt,” confirmed Fazekas. “I, on the other hand, always start with a safety throw. After my second round throw I knew for sure he would not be able to catch me.”

”This victory is the result of four years hard work. Our coach and my friend Adrian Annus have been dreaming about this all our lives….Annus won yesterday and set the high standard.”

On a personal level the connections between the two Hungarian gold medallists are also strong. Adrian Annus, last night’s Hammer champion shares the same coach, Jozsef Vida, with Fazekas. Tonight’s winner also has his own pedigree as a Hammer thrower with a 75.33 personal best.

There was one tinge of sadness as the competition reached it’s midway point as Germany’s 1996 Olympic champion and five-time World gold medallist, Lars Riedel sustained an upper thigh injury on his third attempt, and though qualified for the final three throws, as the eighth best thrower (62.80) played no further part in the final.


NOTE. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on 24 August that Robert Fazekas, 29, refused to provide a complete urine sample after the men's Discus Final where he placed first, and accordingly is not awarded a gold medal or diploma.

Accordingly, Alekna takes the gold medal, Kovago, the silver, and Estonia's Aleksander Tammert (66.66m - Estonia), the bronze.

Discus Throw Men     Final 23 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 69.89     Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania LTU 13 Feb 72  
2 67.04     Zoltán Kővágó Hungary HUN 10 Apr 79  
3 66.66     Aleksander Tammert Estonia EST 2 Feb 73  
4 65.10     Vasiliy Kaptyukh Belarus BLR 27 Jun 67  
5 64.34     Frantz Kruger South Africa RSA 22 May 75  
6 64.33     Casey Malone United States USA 6 Apr 77  
7 62.80     Lars Riedel Germany GER 28 Jun 67  
8 62.58     Hannes Hopley South Africa RSA 26 Jan 81  
9 61.18     Torsten Schmidt Germany GER 9 Dec 74  
10 58.78     Libor Malina Czech Republic CZE 14 Jun 73  
11 57.84     Gábor Máté Hungary HUN 9 Feb 79  
  DQ     Róbert Fazekas        
21 AUG 2004 General News

Men's Discus Throw - Qualification Round

We must first address the present day fundamentals of the men’s Discus Throw. As an Olympic gold medal competition in 2004 it is an event which barring disasters, only concerns two competitors, the reigning Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania and Hungary’s European gold medalist Robert Fazekas.

The ability of the rest of the world’s elite has not gone backwards, simply Alekna and Fazekas have again taken the discipline into 70m territory this summer, and have a consistency over 68 metres which no one else can approach.

The Hungarian throwing in the second of two pools this morning was the best overall qualifier for Monday's final with 68.10, while his Lithuanian rival, throwing in the first group was next furthest (67.79). These were two of only three automatic qualifiers (64.50 or better) that this preliminary round could produce.

Notably, Alekna became the first 2000 Olympic throwing champion to progress into a final in Athens. The 32 year-old who is also the 2003 World gold medallist, did what Sydney winners Arsi Harju (Shot – injured prior to Games), Szymon Ziolkowski (men’s Hammer) and Ellina Zvereva (women’s Discus) had not been able to do in their events in Athens.

While Alekna needed all three of his throws to obtain the automatic qualification, Estonian Aleksander Tammert took his guaranteed spot in the final with a simple first round release of 65.70.

Alekna and Fazekas are the number one and two in the event in the IAAF World Rankings, and third placer on that table Lars Riedel of Germany, the former five times World champion, was the next best thrower this morning after the three automatics.

“Mr. Discus” the 1996 Olympic champion and 2000 silver medallist threw 64.20 to proceed to Monday’s final (23 Aug) and at the age of 37 might still grab yet another medal.

African record holder Frantz Kruger who had taken the bronze in 2000 behind Alekna and Riedel, also qualified with 62.32 but the surprise South African package was NCAA winner Hannes Hopley (63.89).

Hungary will have a full trio in the final with Gabor Mate (63.41) and Zoltan Kovago (61.92) joining Fazekas.

The other qualifiers for the twelve man conclusion to this discipline were Germany’s Torsten Schmidt (63.40) and Malina Libor (62.12) of the Czech Republic from Group A, and USA’s Casey Malone (63.27), and Kaptyukh of Belarus (63.04) from the final pool.

Discus Throw Men     Qualifying Round Group A 21 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 67.79   Q Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania LTU 13 Feb 72  
2 65.70   Q Aleksander Tammert Estonia EST 2 Feb 73  
3 63.89   Q Hannes Hopley South Africa RSA 26 Jan 81  
4 63.41   Q Gábor Máté Hungary HUN 9 Feb 79  
5 63.40   Q Torsten Schmidt Germany GER 9 Dec 74  
6 62.12   Q Libor Malina Czech Republic CZE 14 Jun 73  
7 61.55     Jarred Rome United States USA 21 Dec 76  
8 61.21     Jason Tunks Canada CAN 7 May 75  
9 60.60     Frank Casañas Cuba CUB 18 Oct 78  
10 60.05     Gerd Kanter Estonia EST 6 May 79  
11 58.97     Ian Waltz United States USA 15 Apr 77  
12 58.41     Emeka Udechuku Great Britain GBR 10 Jul 79  
13 57.98     Leonid Cherevko Belarus BLR 21 Apr 74  
14 56.06     Marcelo Pugliese Argentina ARG 2 Sep 68  
15 55.64     Vadim Hranovschi Moldova MDA 14 Feb 83  
16 54.66     Dragan Mustapić Croatia CRO 23 Mar 63  
17 53.30     Jaroslav Žitňanský Slovakia SVK 18 Feb 72  
  NM     Dmitriy Shevchenko Russia RUS 13 May 68  
  NM     Anil Kumar India IND 20 Jun 75  
Discus Throw Men     Qualifying Round Group B 21 August      
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
2 64.20   Q Lars Riedel Germany GER 28 Jun 67  
3 63.27   Q Casey Malone United States USA 6 Apr 77  
4 63.04   Q Vasiliy Kaptyukh Belarus BLR 27 Jun 67  
5 62.32   Q Frantz Kruger South Africa RSA 22 May 75  
6 61.91   Q Zoltán Kővágó Hungary HUN 10 Apr 79  
7 61.69     Mario Pestano Spain ESP 8 Apr 78  
8 61.39     Vikas Gowda India IND 5 Jul 83  
9 61.11     Rutger Smith Netherlands NED 9 Jul 81  
10 60.60     Wu Tao China CHN 3 Oct 83  
11 59.79     Michael Möllenbeck Germany GER 12 Dec 69  
12 58.47     Sávvas Panávoglou Greece GRE 14 Aug 74  
13 58.45     Aliaksandr Malashevich Belarus BLR 7 Apr 77  
14 58.19     Aleksandr Borichevskiy Russia RUS 25 Jun 70  
15 58.17     Ercüment Olgundeniz Turkey TUR 7 Jul 76  
16 57.57     Abbas Samimi Iran IRI 9 Jun 77  
17 57.18     Lois Maikel Martínez Cuba CUB 3 Jun 81  
18 56.33     Igor Primc Slovenia SLO 8 Jan 66  
19 55.53     Omar El-Ghazaly Egypt EGY 9 Feb 84  
20 51.10     Shaka Sola Samoa SAM 14 Mar 77  
  DQ   Q Róbert Fazekas        
Detailed View

Qualifying round

Rule: Qualifying standard 64.50 (Q) or at least best 12 qualified (q).


Rank Group Name Nationality #1 #2 #3 Result Notes
1 B Róbert Fazekas Hungary 63.88 68.10 68.10 Q
2 A Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania x 63.80 67.79 67.79 Q
3 A Aleksander Tammert Estonia 65.70 65.70 Q
4 B Lars Riedel Germany 64.20 64.20 Q
5 A Hannes Hopley South Africa 62.71 62.50 63.89 63.89 q
6 A Gabor Mate Hungary 57.40 62.43 63.41 63.41 q
7 A Torsten Schmidt Germany 56.86 60.63 63.40 63.40 q
8 B Casey Malone United States 59.99 63.27 61.83 63.27 q
9 B Vasiliy Kaptyukh Belarus 63.04 x 62.93 63.04 q
10 B Frantz Kruger South Africa 60.91 62.32 x 62.32 q
11 A Libor Malina Czech Republic 60.54 x 62.12 62.12 q
12 B Zoltán Kővágó Hungary x 61.91 60.77 61.91 q
13 B Mario Pestano Spain x x 61.69 61.69  
14 A Jarred Rome United States 59.35 x 61.55 61.55  
15 B Vikas Gowda India 61.35 61.39 59.87 61.39  
16 A Jason Tunks Canada 61.21 60.02 60.34 61.21  
17 B Rutger Smith Netherlands x 61.11 x 61.11  
18 A Frank Casañas Cuba 60.15 60.60 57.27 60.60  
19 B Wu Tao China 48.96 x 60.60 60.60  
20 A Gerd Kanter Estonia x 60.05 x 60.05  
21 B Michael Möllenbeck Germany 56.42 59.79 x 59.79  
22 A Ian Waltz United States 58.97 58.55 57.52 58.97  
23 B Savvas Panavoglou Greece 57.26 58.47 57.62 58.47  
24 B Aliaksandr Malashevich Belarus x 57.67 58.45 58.45  
25 A Emeka Udechuku Great Britain x 58.41 55.79 58.41  
26 B Aleksandr Borichevskiy Russia 58.12 58.19 57.86 58.19  
27 B Ercüment Olgundeniz Turkey 57.13 58.17 x 58.17  
28 A Leonid Cherevko Belarus 57.98 x 57.89 57.89  
29 B Abbas Samimi Iran 57.57 x 56.24 57.57  
30 B Lois Maikel Martínez Cuba 57.18 57.10 x 57.18  
31 B Igor Primc Slovenia 55.70 56.33 55.43 56.33  
32 A Marcelo Pugliese Argentina x 56.06 54.45 56.06  
33 A Vadim Hranovschi Moldova 53.77 52.30 55.64 55.64  
34 B Omar Ahmed El Ghazaly Egypt x 55.53 55.27 55.53  
35 A Dragan Mustapic Croatia 54.66 x x 54.66  
36 A Jaroslav Žitňanský Slovakia 53.30 x 51.87 53.30  
37 B Shaka Sola Samoa 50.36 51.10 50.97 51.10  
  A Anil Kumar India x x x NM  
  A Dmitriy Shevchenko Russia x x x NM  
Rank Name Nationality 1 2 3 4 5 6 Result Notes
1st Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania 69.89 x x x 69.49 x 69.89 OR
2nd Zoltán Kővágó Hungary 57.31 66.40 66.03 67.04 58.25 x 67.04  
3rd Aleksander Tammert Estonia 66.66 x 64.28 63.95 64.04 x 66.66  
4 Vasiliy Kaptyukh Belarus 65.10 59.82 62.88 63.44 64.89 63.63 65.10  
5 Frantz Kruger South Africa 64.34 x 61.01 62.53 x 60.73 64.34  
6 Casey Malone United States 62.80 60.34 x 64.33 62.73 63.65 64.33  
7 Lars Riedel Germany x 62.80 x 62.80  
8 Hannes Hopley South Africa 60.18 61.99 62.58       62.58  
9 Torsten Schmidt Germany x 61.18 61.10       61.18  
10 Libor Malina Czech Republic 57.39 x 58.78       58.78  
11 Gabor Mate Hungary 57.02 x 57.84       57.84  
  Róbert Fazekas Hungary 66.39 70.93 69.35 68.92 67.64 70.93 DSQ

Hungarian Stripped of Discus Title

Fazekas is disqualified after failing to provide a urine sample, the second track and field gold medalist to be punished at Athens over testing.

August 25, 2004|Philip Hersh | Chicago Tribune

ATHENS — Track and field set an Olympic record for infamy and tied another Tuesday.

For the first time in a single Olympics, more than one athlete in the sport has lost a medal over drug testing.

Even worse: Both are gold medalists.

The latest culprit is discus champion Robert Fazekas of Hungary, disqualified after he failed to provide a urine sample after winning Monday night. All medalists are tested.

Women's shotput champion Irina Korzhanenko of Russia was disqualified after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol.

The International Olympic Committee also announced Tuesday that high jumper Aleksey Lesnichiy of Belarus tested positive for the steroid clenbuterol after Friday's qualifying, in which he finished last. That allowed track and field to tie its record for most drug violations at a single Olympics, three, set in 1992.

In its decision on the discus case, the IOC executive board said it had suspicions that Fazekas may have been trying to "avoid delivery of his own urine." Because Fazekas refused to give a sample in front of witnesses, the IOC decision implied he could have been trying to carry drug-free urine to substitute for his own.

Only two track athletes previously were stripped of Olympic medals: Canada's Ben Johnson (gold, 100 meters) in 1988, and Finland's Matti Vainio (silver, 10,000 meters) in 1984.

Fazekas, who won the discus on Monday night with an Olympic record throw of 232 feet 8 inches, never got to wear the gold medal because the award ceremony wasn't held until Tuesday night. The title went instead to Lithuania's Virgilijus Alekna, who had finished second with a throw of 229 feet 3 inches. Another Hungarian, Zoltan Kovago, was bumped from bronze to silver. Fourth-place finisher Aleksander Tammert of Estonia moved to third.

At Tuesday's ceremony, the scoreboard showed highlights from Sunday's competition, including Alekna's "winning throw." Fazekas was listed as DQ, or disqualified. Alekna looked bemused as he stepped on the top podium to receive the gold. He held up his arms and then stood still for the Lithuanian anthem.

The IOC said the Hungarian delegation claimed Fazekas "was a deeply religious person who has always had difficulty to produce a sufficient quantity of urine in front of sample collectors."

Fazekas provided 25 milliliters of urine, one-third short of the required minimum sample. He refused to give another sample, saying he wasn't feeling well, the IOC said.

The Athens Olympics have produced a spate of doping cases.

Nine weightlifters have failed tests, including Greece's Leonidas Sampanis, who was stripped of a bronze medal in the 137-pound class after testing positive for testosterone.

A Kenyan boxer was sent home after failing an out-of-competition test, and two Greek baseball players, a Swiss cyclist, a Spanish canoe team member and an Irish distance runner were among athletes banned before the games.

Two Greek sprinters, Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, pulled out two days before the track and field events began in Athens after allegations that they ducked drug tests.

Fazekas, 29, was European champion in 2002 and silver medalist at the 2003 world championships. His coach is Jozsef Vida, who also coaches Adrian Annus, the Hungarian who won the hammer throw gold medal.

Fazekas, who is also a world-class hammer thrower, had been a modest performer for most of his career until his breakthrough in 2002, when he won the European and World Cup titles.




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