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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's Discus Throw

 

 

Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top 12 and ties and all those reaching 64.50 metres advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 16, 2008  
Date Finished: August 19, 2008  
(Competitors: 37; Countries: 29; Finalists: 12)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
Alekna was a slight favourite over World Champion Kanter, having defeated him 3-1 in 2008 prior to Beijing. The qualifying round saw the demise of all three US throwers, along with Zoltán Kővágó (HUN) and Iran’s talented Ehsan Hadadi (69.32 in June). Consistent Małachowski surprisingly led at the end of the first round in the final with 66.45, and by the end of the next round he had consolidated his lead with 67.82, ahead of Kanter (66.38) and Alekna (65.77). Harting went into silver medal position in round three with 67.09, and it was only in the fourth stanza, on consecutive throws, that Alekna (67.79), and Kanter (68.82) clicked. Alekna had the only other 67m throw (67.18) in the final round, before Kanter set off on a joyous victory lap. After winning his Olympic gold, the New York Times invited him to see how far he could throw a variety of familiar objects. The best he managed was 50m for a 400g tin of sardines
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The two favorites going into Beijing were Estonia’s Gert Kanter, world-ranked #1 in 2007 after winning the World Championships, and Virgilijus Alekna of Lithuania, Olympic gold medalist in 2000 and 2004, and World Champion in 2003 and 2005. But the longest throw in both the first two rounds of the final went to Poland’s Piotr Małachowski, who led with 67.82 (222-6). After two rounds he led, with Kanter second and Alekna third. None of the leaders improved in round three, but in round four, both Kanter and Alekna produced their best throw. Kanter’s 68.82 (225-9) would win him the gold medal, but Alekna’s 67.79 (222-5) could not get him past Małachowski, who won the silver medal, Alekna taking bronze. Finishing seventh was Rutger Smith (NED), who had also placed ninth in the shot put. This made him only the third weight thrower to make the finals of the shot put and discus throw since 1960 – Warwick Selvey (AUS) did it in 1960 and Erik de Bruin (NED) did it in 1984.
 

Records

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  Virgilijus Alekna (LTU) 69.89 m Athens, Greece 23 August 2004
 
        Results        

The men's discus throw event at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 16–19 August at the Beijing National Stadium.

The qualifying standards were 64.50 m (211.61 ft) (A standard) and 62.50 m (205.05 ft) (B standard).

Men's Discus Throw - FINAL

 
Tomasz Majewski’s victory in the Shot Put on the opening night of the Athletics competitions last Friday was something of a surprise, and when his Polish compatriot Piotr Malachowski, throwing in seventh position of the twelve Discus Throw finalists, opened with 66.45m, and improved in the next round to 67.82 to establish himself in the lead, we started to wonder was another surprise waiting in the Bird's Nest's wings?

After pounding the netting with his first release, Lithuania's two-time Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna put himself into the reckoning with 65.77 on his second try (to move into third at end of round). The other pre-final favourite Gerd Kanter of Estonia, the reigning World champion, also made his presence felt in the second round with a 66.38 effort for second.

In the third series, Germany’s World silver medallist Robert Harting put out a 67.09 effort but ultimately that was going to be the end of his challenge for a podium position in Beijing. He ended by fouling twice and recording 66.51, to finish in fourth.

The offensives of the ‘big-two’ stalled in the third. Kanter’s throw landed at 62.75. Nearer the beginning of the round the 64.42 by Alekna saw the Lithuanian verbally upbraiding himself for the wasted opportunity. Alekna self chastisement was enough to propel his fourth fling within three centimetres of the Pole’s lead (67.79) to take second position.

However, the defending champion immediately fell back again as Kanter with the very next throw pounded out 68.82 to take the lead from Malachowski.

The Pole’s immediate counter had a very flat trajectory and so we were not surprised when the discus hit the turf below 65, in fact a long way below, 63.91.

That was the medals decided, and of the top three only Alekna kept up a spark of form in the final throws with a 67.18 release which sent the heart pumping for the Lithuanian but did not stir any movement up the rankings.

Outside the medal chase, Russia’s Bogdan Pischchalnikov set a PB of 65.88 in the fourth series which by the end of the final would be good enough for sixth place, as in the last round Spain’s Frank Casanas moved from seventh to fifth with 66.49.

Prior to Kanter’s win Estonia had won just one men’s Discus Throw medal at Olympic level, the bronze taken by Aleksander Tammert four years ago. This time Tammert finished twelfth and last (61.38).

The Osaka World gold last summer allowed Kanter for the first time to step out of the shadow of Alekna's brilliance, and help to raise his championship stature closer to the level of his personal best. Kanter’s 73.38m from 2006 stands him as number three on the world all-time list.

“The Olympic title is the top of my career but it’s not such a good result,” said Kanter, “…I’ve been training pretty hard and this result doesn’t really show my potential.”

“My best chance (for a big throw) was in the fifth round, but that was during the women’s 400m final so I had to take a break. I lost concentration.”

To be fair to Kanter, whose modesty does him credit, the final fitted in very well with the usual winning level at Olympics with late 60m distances being on the money for gold in the past. Aside Lars Reidel and Alekna’s titles (1996 - 69.40; 2000 - 69.30; 2004 - 69.89), Kanter’s 68.82m victory would have taken every previous gold medal in Olympic history.

Kanter certainly knows how to celebrate. With slightly less elan than Usain Bolt, he sprinted down the home straight of the Olympic stadium with the Estonian flag raised above his head, and when he crossed the line, he thumped his chest in a victory salute mimmick of the Jamaican sprint ace.

The 29-year-old business management graduate came of age tonight, and considering Alekna is 36-years-old, and discus throwers tend to improve as they get older, Kanter has plenty of opportunities left to augment his growing reputation.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Discus Throw Men     Final 19 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 68.82     Gerd Kanter Estonia EST 6 May 79  
2 67.82     Piotr Małachowski Poland POL 7 Jun 83  
3 67.79     Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania LTU 13 Feb 72  
4 67.09     Robert Harting Germany GER 18 Oct 84  
5 66.49     Frank Casañas Spain ESP 18 Oct 78  
6 65.88     Bogdan Pishchalnikov Russia RUS 26 Aug 82  
7 65.39     Rutger Smith Netherlands NED 9 Jul 81  
8 63.43     Róbert Fazekas Hungary HUN 18 Aug 75  
9 63.42     Mario Pestano Spain ESP 8 Apr 78  
10 62.55     Rasheed Shafi Al-Dosari Qatar QAT 8 May 81  
11 61.98     Frantz Kruger Finland FIN 22 May 75  
12 61.38     Aleksander Tammert Estonia EST 2 Feb 73  

Men's Discus Throw qualification

 

The surprise was that Iranian Ehsan Hadadi who had been pummelling the Asian record all year with a best of 69.32m en route conquering World champion Gerd Kanter on three occasions, and defending double Olympic gold medallist Virgilijus Alekna, twice, could not progress to the final which will take place on Tuesday (19).

Possibly of significance, the 23 year-old former World Junior champion, had not competed since that 69.32 release in Tallinn, Estonia on 3 June, preferring instead to return to Minsk in Belarussia where he is coached by a Russian. He didn’t look injured but whatever the reason 61.34 was the best he could offer today.

The automatic mark for the final was 64.50 and six men made that mark (three form each of the two qualifying pools), with the joint favourites Alekna (65.84) and Kanter (64.66) among them. They continue to dominate this event, and this year, have the only 70m plus competitions in the world - two each - with Kanter’s 71.88 and Alekna’s 71.25 their best.

Spain will have high hopes of their two qualified men, national record holder Mario Pestano (64.42), and Frank Casanas, a former Cuban, who rescued his Olympics after two fouls by sending his implement spinning out to 64.99 with his last.

The entire medal podium from the Osaka Worlds last summer qualified…Germany’s Robert Harting (64.19) and the Netherlands’ Rutger Smith (65.65) were silver and bronze medallists behind Kanter (Alekna was 4th, carrying a calf injury) in Japan, and will be serious challengers again in Beijing.

Not so Zoltan Kovago of Hungary, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, who only managed a best of 60.79m. His disgraced colleague Robert Fazekas, who for doping control infringements was stripped of his Olympic title in 2004, made the final in the penultimate qualifying position (62.64).

Estonia’s Aleksander Tammert who rose to the bronze medal in 2004 with the Hungarian’s departure from the podium in Athens will join Kanter in the final after throwing 63.10.

Russia’s Bogdan Pishchalnikov needed all three throws to progress, propelling the discus out to 64.60 in the third to automatically qualify.

But after what occurred in the men’s Shot Put yesterday could we be celebrating a second Polish throwing gold at these Games? Piotr Malachowski, 25, like his compatriot the newly crowned Olympic Shot Put champion Tomasz Majewski yesterday leads the qualifiers with a first round 65.94m. Malachowsk was a finalist in Osaka, and set a national record of 68.65m at the end of July. Hmmm!

Rashid Shafi Al-Dosari of Qatar (63.83) and Finland’s Frantz Kruger (62.48), the 2000 Olympic bronze medallist were the other qualifiers.

And what happened to the strong USA trio? Total failure! The worst was Ian Waltz who has thrown 68.90 this year but could not go further than 60.02m today.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Discus Throw Men     Qualification 16 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 65.94   Q Piotr Małachowski Poland POL 7 Jun 83  
2 65.84   Q Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania LTU 13 Feb 72  
3 65.65   Q Rutger Smith Netherlands NED 9 Jul 81  
4 64.99   Q Frank Casañas Spain ESP 18 Oct 78  
5 64.66   Q Gerd Kanter Estonia EST 6 May 79  
6 64.60   Q Bogdan Pishchalnikov Russia RUS 26 Aug 82  
7 64.42   Q Mario Pestano Spain ESP 8 Apr 78  
8 64.19   Q Robert Harting Germany GER 18 Oct 84  
9 63.83   Q Rasheed Shafi Al-Dosari Qatar QAT 8 May 81  
10 63.10   Q Aleksander Tammert Estonia EST 2 Feb 73  
11 62.64   Q Róbert Fazekas Hungary HUN 18 Aug 75  
12 62.48   Q Frantz Kruger Finland FIN 22 May 75  
13 62.44     Gábor Máté Hungary HUN 9 Feb 79  
14 61.98     Märt Israel Estonia EST 23 Sep 83  
15 61.75     Dzmitry Sivakou Belarus BLR 15 Feb 83  
16 61.64     Michael Robertson United States USA 19 Dec 83  
17 61.34     Ehsan Hadadi Iran IRI 21 Jan 85  
18 61.32     Gerhard Mayer Austria AUT 20 May 80  
19 61.26     Casey Malone United States USA 6 Apr 77  
20 60.83     Ercüment Olgundeniz Turkey TUR 7 Jul 76  
21 60.79     Zoltán Kővágó Hungary HUN 10 Apr 79  
22 60.69     Vikas Gowda India IND 5 Jul 83  
23 60.24     Omar El-Ghazaly Egypt EGY 9 Feb 84  
24 60.18     Oleksiy Semenov Ukraine UKR 27 Jun 82  
25 60.02     Ian Waltz United States USA 15 Apr 77  
26 59.92     Abbas Samimi Iran IRI 9 Jun 77  
27 59.60     Jorge Fernández Cuba CUB 2 Oct 87  
28 59.52     Jan Marcell Czech Republic CZE 4 Jun 85  
29 59.25     Martin Marić Croatia CRO 19 Apr 84  
30 58.82     Jorge Balliengo Argentina ARG 5 Jan 78  
31 58.55     Benn Harradine Australia AUS 14 Oct 82  
32 58.22     Niklas Arrhenius Sweden SWE 10 Sep 82  
33 56.44     Hannes Kirchler Italy ITA 22 Dec 78  
34 56.29     Sultan Mubarak Al-Dawoodi Saudi Arabia KSA 16 Mar 85  
35 56.19     Vadim Hranovschi Moldova MDA 14 Feb 83  
36 54.19     Haidar Nasser Abdul Shaheed Iraq IRQ 13 Jul 81  
37 53.11     Eric Matthias British Virgin Islands IVB 13 Feb 84  
 
Detailed View
 

Qualifying round

Qualification: 64.50 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the final.

Rank Group Name Nationality #1 #2 #3 Result Notes
1 A Piotr Małachowski Poland 65.94     65.94 Q
2 A Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania 65.84     65.84 Q
3 B Rutger Smith Netherlands 64.09 65.65   65.65 Q
4 B Frank Casañas Spain x x 64.99 64.99 Q
5 B Gerd Kanter Estonia 59.65 64.66   64.66 Q
6 A Bogdan Pishchalnikov Russia 62.68 63.93 64.60 64.60 Q
7 A Mario Pestano Spain 64.42 61.16 x 64.42 q
8 A Robert Harting Germany 64.19 x x 64.19 q
9 B Rashid Shafi Al-Dosari Qatar 63.83 63.72 61.60 63.83 q
10 A Aleksander Tammert Estonia 57.79 61.57 63.10 63.10 q
11 A Róbert Fazekas Hungary x 61.61 62.64 62.64 q
12 B Frantz Kruger Finland x 58.60 62.48 62.48 q
13 A Gabor Mate Hungary x 55.15 62.44 62.44  
14 B Märt Israel Estonia 61.98 59.78 61.63 61.98  
15 A Dzmitry Sivakou Belarus 59.64 x 61.75 61.75  
16 A Michael Robertson United States 60.97 61.64 x 61.64  
17 B Ehsan Haddadi Iran 61.08 x 61.34 61.34  
18 B Gerhard Mayer Austria 61.32 x 58.13 61.32  
19 A Casey Malone United States 59.48 x 61.26 61.26  
20 B Ercüment Olgundeniz Turkey 58.99 60.83 x 60.83  
21 B Zoltán Kővágó Hungary 60.79 59.46 60.44 60.79  
22 B Vikas Gowda India 59.58 x 60.69 60.69  
23 A Omar Ahmed El Ghazaly Egypt 59.71 58.95 60.24 60.24  
24 A Oleksiy Semenov Ukraine 57.84 60.18 59.41 60.18  
25 B Ian Waltz United States 60.02 x x 60.02  
26 A Abbas Samimi Iran 58.01 59.92 58.85 59.92  
27 A Jorge Fernández Cuba x 59.60 59.58 59.60  
28 A Jan Marcell Czech Republic 59.52 x 56.31 59.52  
29 B Martin Marić Croatia 59.25 x 59.09 59.25  
30 B Jorge Balliengo Argentina 58.71 58.82 x 58.82  
31 A Benn Harradine Australia 58.55 57.50 57.91 58.55  
32 B Niklas Arrhenius Sweden 56.64 58.22 56.77 58.22  
33 B Hannes Kirchler Italy x x 56.44 56.44  
34 A Sultan Mubarak Al-Dawoodi Saudi Arabia 56.29 55.54 56.24 56.29  
35 A Vadim Hranovschi Moldova 56.19 x 55.78 56.19  
36 B Haidar Nasser Shaheed Iraq 54.19 x x 54.19  
37 B Eric Matthias British Virgin Islands 47.87 50.87 53.11 53.11  
 

Final

Rank Athlete Nationality 1 2 3 4 5 6 Result Notes[3]
1st Gerd Kanter Estonia 63.44 66.38 62.75 68.82 x 65.98 68.82  
2nd Piotr Małachowski Poland 66.45 67.82 66.98 63.91 65.78 x 67.82  
3rd Virgilijus Alekna Lithuania x 65.77 64.42 67.79 x 67.18 67.79  
4 Robert Harting Germany 65.58 64.84 67.09 x   66.51 67.09  
5 Frank Casañas Spain 59.54 62.16 64.46 64.11 64.97 66.49 66.49  
6 Bogdan Pishchalnikov Russia 64.09 64.25 61.13 65.88 x x 65.88 PB
7 Rutger Smith Netherlands 64.61 65.31 64.36 64.25 x 65.39 65.39  
8 Róbert Fazekas Hungary 62.25 63.43 62.49 x x 59.34 63.43  
 
9 Mario Pestano Spain 60.46 62.84 63.42       63.42  
10 Rashid Shafi Al-Dosari Qatar 59.62 x 62.55       62.55  
11 Frantz Kruger Finland 61.98 61.80 60.71       61.98  
12 Aleksander Tammert Estonia x 61.32 61.38       61.38  

 

 

 

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