A javelin is a light spear designed to be thrown. Historically it was a weapon, but from the Ancient Greeks to today it was used for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand.
The javelin throw is a sports event, one of the field events which survive from the original Olympic Games. The athlete holds the javelin in one arm and, while running, throws it as far as possible. It is an official Olympic sport.
Unlike other throwing events, javelin allows the competitor to build speed over a considerable distance.
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- The Ancient Olympic Games by Judith Swaddling