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PUTTING THE SHOT (or WEIGHT)

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 672 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PUTTING THE SHOT (or WEIGHT), a form of athletic sports (q.v.). It is the only weight event now remaining in the champion-ship programme which requires a " put " as distinct from a throw, a put being a fair and square push straight from the shoulder, quite distinct from throwing or bowling, which are not allowed in putting the shot. The exercise originated in Great Britain, where, before the formation of the Amateur Athletic Association, the shot (a round weight of 16 lb) was put from a joist about 6 ft. long with a run of 7 ft., the distance being measured on the joist, or a line continuing it, opposite the impression. Hence the putter failed to get the full benefit of any put save a perfectly straight one. The present British rule is that the put shall be made from a 7-ft. square, and the distance taken from the first pitch of the shot to the front line of the square or that line produced, as by the old method. In America the put is made from a 7-ft. circle, and the distance measured from the pitch to the nearest point of the circle, which has a raised edge in front to prevent overstepping and consequent fouls. Individual putters have slight variations of method, but the following description is substantially good for all. The putter stands in the back part of the square or circle with his weight entirely upon his right leg, which is bent. The body is inclined slightly backward, the left arm stretched out in front as a balance, and the right hand, the shot resting in the palm, is,held against, or an inch or two from, the neck below and behind the right ear. From this position a hop forward is made with the right leg, the foot landing in the middle of the square and the balance being preserved, so that the right shoulder is kept well back. Then, letting the right leg bend well down, the athlete springs up with a rapid twist of the body, so that the right shoulder is brought forward, and the right arm is thrust forward with all possible force, the secret being to throw all the weight and power of the body and arm into the put at the very moment of delivery. Mere brute strength and weight have less to do with successful shot-putting than in hammer-throwing or throwing the 56-lb weight, and on this account some comparatively light men have repeatedly beaten larger and taller putters. Thus G. R. Gray, a Canadian by birth, who for many years held the world's record of 47 ft. for the 16-1b shot, was a smaller and less powerful man than several whom he defeated; and another champion of light weight was W. F. Robertson of Scotland, who weighed only 150 lb. Among the best putters of earlier times were E. J. Bor, London Athletic Club, who made a put of 42 ft. 5 in. in 1872; W. Y: Winthrop and G. Ross. The talent of Irish athletes both in Great :Britain and America for weight putting and throwing is' remittkable, among the most famous of Irish putters being W. J.'I.4RB rry and Denis Hogan, the latter of whom won the amateur chart i!on ship in seven consecutive years from 1893, and again in 91eu;nd 1905. The record in 1910 for the 16-lb shot was 51 ft.} rita42el*t San Francisco in 1909 by R. Rose.T . azj
End of Article: PUTTING THE SHOT (or WEIGHT)
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GEORGE PUTTENHAM (d. 1590)
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ROBERT VON PUTTKAMMER (1828-1900)

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