The hammer throw is a athletic throwing event where the object to be thrown is a heavy steel ball attached to a wire rope with a handle on the end of the rope. The name hammer throw is derived from older competitions where in fact a hammer was thrown. Such competitions are still part of the Scottish Highland Games.
Like other throwing events, the competition is decided by who can throw the ball the furthest. Competitors gain maximum distance by swinging the 7.26 kg (16 lb) hammer repeatedly around their head while stationary, and then rotating very quickly with the movement of the hammer before releasing the hammer at the front of the throwing circle.
While the men's hammer throw has been in the Olympic Games since 1900, the IAAF did not start ratifying women's marks until 1995. Women's hammer throw was first included in the Olympics at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, after having been included in the World Championships a year earlier.