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Javelin Photo Sequence

Photo sequence of Steve Backley in 1992 - comments by Max Jones.

Picture 1
Photo 1
Photos 1 & 2:

These are taken after the withdrawal of the javelin and have been preceded by a ten-stride approach run

Steve uses 5-6 strides between withdrawal and the crossover phase

Note the effort to keep tall and the javelin steady and aligned
Picture 2
Photo 2
Picture 3
Photo 3
Photos 3 & 4

Steve commences the crossover with excellent left leg drive

Note the high throwing hand with the hand turn slightly in

The left shoulder is high with the left palm turned out which assists in keeping the left side in the direction of the javelin

The eyes focusing on a mid-field point are looking over the left shoulder
Picture 4
Photo 4
Picture 5
Photo 5
Photo 5:

Steve maintains his sideways on position with the whole of the left side still in the direction of the throw. Hips and chest are kept high, and the head is up and steady
Picture 6
Photo 6
Photos 6-9:

On the completion of the crossover, it is natural for all throwers to sink to absorb the shock of landing, but Steve fights this tendency, endeavouring to stay tall

It is a negative point to sink at the right hip for it will lose its strike capacity

Still sideways on which has produced 'torque' and he has kept the throwing arm relaxed and delayed

It is essential to control the point of the javelin at this moment - many throwers drop the throwing hand and subsequently raise the point with disastrous results

The hip strike begins as the right foot lands
Picture 7
Photo 7
Picture 8
Photo 8
Picture 9
Photo 9
Picture 10
Photo 10
Photo 10:

Steve benefits from his left side discipline since the premature opening of the left side will mean that the right arm will strike early, e.g. the classical bent arm throwing position. Steve attempts to stay as tall as possible and keep the javelin aligned. Note how the right foot continues to turn and drive the hips forward
Picture 11
Photo 11
Photo 11:

Classical Backley - strong hip drive leaving the javelin far back on a high right hand. The left leg is firm, absorbing the power of the right side and acting as a brace
Picture 12
Photo 12
Photo 12:

The 'bow' that javelin coaches talk about - note how the arm has yet to strike. How many world-class throwers can emulate this position? Note how Steve continues to keep both his head and chin up
Picture 13
Photo 13
Photo 13:

Perhaps, in my opinion, the key to Steve's superiority - the drive of the right foot continues even at this point (and beyond) - the rest of the world (mere mortals!) would have ceased driving and left the ground well before. Note the left leg is not collapsing but beginning to strike upwards and forwards to contribute to the throw
Picture 14
Photo 14
Photo 14:

The right foot is still down, and therefore the throw is long - loose ground contact, and the throw will be short
Picture 15
Photo 15
Photos 15 & 16:

Steve finishes the throw and follows through - throwing through the point of the javelin
Picture 16
Photo 16

Rules of Competition

The competition rules for this event are available from:

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Javelin Photo Sequence [WWW] Available from: [Accessed