Coconut Shy – Part 2

The other throwing events follow the pattern of the rest of the games and involve athletes hurling discuses, javelins, and hammers at a coconut. In the discus the coconut is set on a plinth at a distance of 55 metres from the throwing circle. If the discus lands within two metres of the coconut the thrower receives 1 point; a throw landing within one metre receives two points and if the discus knocks over the plinth then 5 points are awarded. Ajai Singh from Bangalore has won the discus 6 times, including a record score of 14 in 1997, when he hit the coconut twice in six throws, the only time this has ever been achieved in a single competition.

The hammer contest is run along similar lines except that the coconut is 60 metres from the throwers. The scoring system is the same. Again Ajai Singh holds the record with 15 points in 1999, though he only hit the coconut once on this occasion.

The javelin contest is run differently. Six coconuts are set out in a straight line at intervals of 1 metre, 50 metres from the throwers, which is well within reach of most good club athletes. The throwers receive a point if they knock off any of the coconuts in any of the 10 rounds of throws. Gaetano Berlusconi from Italy won the contest 9 times between 1987 and 2004, including a record score of five in 1999 when he hit a coconut four times in the last five throws to edge out Kendrick Mills from the USA by a point.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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