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Putting The Shot

PUTTING THE SHOT (or WEIGHT), a form of athletic sports (q.v.) . It is the only weight event now remaining in the championship 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 Ib) was put from a joist about 6 ft. long with a run of 7 ft., the distance being measured from the impression made by the falling missile to the poi 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 hi 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 s6-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 i6-lb 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 1 30 Ib. 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 remarkable, among the most famous of Irish putters being W. J. M. Barry and Denis Hogan, the latter of whom won the amateur championship in seven consecutive years from 1893, and again in 1904 and 1905. The record in 1910 for the i6.-lb shot was 51 ft., made at San Francisco in 1909 by R. Rose.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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