Shot put

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Athletics
Shot put
Tomasz Majewski - 2. Memoriał Kamili Skolimowskiej - Warszawa, 2011-09-20.jpg
The double Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski.
Men's records
World United States Randy Barnes 23.12 m (1990)
Olympic East Germany Ulf Timmermann 22.47 m (1988)
Women's records
World Soviet Union Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m (1987)
Olympic East Germany Ilona Slupianek 22.41 m (1980)

The shot put (pronounced /ˈʃɒt pʊt/) is a track and field event involving "throwing"/"putting" (throwing in a pushing motion) a heavy spherical object —the shot—as far as possible. The shot put competition for men has been a part of the modern Olympics since their revival in 1896, and women's competition began in 1948.

History

Czechoslovakian shot putter Plihan at the 1957 East German Indoor Athletics Championships
Shot putter at the University of Nebraska, 1942, showing the circle and stopboard

Homer makes mention of competitions of rock throwing by soldiers during the Siege of Troy but there is no record of any dead weights being thrown in Greek competitions. The first evidence for stone- or weight-throwing events were in the Scottish Highlands, and date back to approximately the first century.1 In the 16th century King Henry VIII was noted for his prowess in court competitions of weight and hammer throwing.citation needed

The first events resembling the modern shot put likely occurred in the Middle Ages when soldiers held competitions in which they hurled cannonballs. Shot put competitions were first recorded in early 19th century Scotland, and were a part of the British Amateur Championships beginning in 1866.2

Competitors take their throw from inside a marked circle 2.135 metres (7.00 ft) in diameter, with a stopboard about 10 centimetres (3.9 in) high at the front of the circle. The distance thrown is measured from the inside of the circumference of the circle to the nearest mark made in the ground by the falling shot, with distances rounded down to the nearest centimetre under IAAF and WMA rules.

Legal throws

Czechoslovakian shot putter Jiří Skobla showing the correct technique for keeping the shot near the neck

The following rules are adhered to for a legal throw:

  • Upon calling the athlete's name, they have sixty seconds to commence the throwing motion.
  • The athlete may not wear gloves; IAAF rules permit the taping of individual fingers.
  • The athlete must rest the shot close to the neck, and keep it tight to the neck throughout the motion.
  • The shot must be released above the height of the shoulder, using only one hand.
  • The athlete may touch the inside surface of the circle or toeboard, but must not touch the top or outside of the circle or toeboard, or the ground beyond the circle. Limbs may however extend over the lines of the circle in the air.
  • The shot must land in the legal sector (34.92°) of the throwing area.
  • The athlete must leave the throwing circle from the back.

The athlete may enter the ring wherever they chose. Foul throws occur when an athlete:

  • Does not pause within the circle before beginning the throwing motion.
  • Does not complete the throwing movement within sixty seconds of having his or her name called.
  • Allows the shot to drop below his shoulder or outside the vertical plane of his shoulder during the put.

At any time if the shot looses contact with the neck then it is technically an illegal throw.

  • During the throwing motion, touches with any part of the body (including shoes):
    • the top or ends of the toe board
    • the top of the iron ring
    • anywhere outside the circle.
  • Throws a shot which either falls outside the throwing sector or touches a sector line on the initial impact.
  • Leaves the circle before the shot has landed.
  • Does not leave from the rear half of the circle.

Misconceptions

The following are either obsolete or non-existent but commonly believed rules:

  • The athlete must enter the circle from the back (none of the rule books contain such a clause).
  • The athlete entering the circle, then exiting and re-entering it prior to starting the throw results in a foul (all the rule books allow an athlete to leave a circle prior to starting a throw, but this still counts within the one minute time limit; the allowable method of exiting the circle varies by rule book).
  • Loose clothing, shoelaces, or long hair touching outside the circle during a throw, or an athlete bringing a towel into the circle and then throwing it out prior to the put results in a foul (these are no longer rules or never were rules—none of these actions provide unfair advantage to the thrower).

Competition

A shot putter with a representation of the circle and legal sector

Shot put competitions have been held at the modern Summer Olympic Games since their inception in 1896, and it is also included as an event in the World Athletics Championships.

Each competition has a set number of rounds of throws. Typically there are three preliminary rounds to determine qualification for the final, and then three more rounds in the final. Each competitor is credited with their longest throw, regardless of whether it was achieved in the preliminary or final rounds. The competitor with the longest legal put is declared the winner.

In open competitions the men's shot weighs 7.260 kilograms (16.01 lb), and the women's shot weighs 4 kilograms (8.8 lb). Junior, school, and masters competitions often use different weights of shots, typically below the weights of those used in open competitions; the individual rules for each competition should be consulted in order to determine the correct weights to be used.

Putting styles

Two putting styles are in current general use by shot put competitors: the glide and the spin. With all putting styles, the goal is to release the shot with maximum forward velocity at an angle of approximately forty degrees.

Glide

The origin of the glide dates to 1951, when Parry O'Brien of the United States invented a technique that involved the putter facing backwards, rotating 180 degrees across the circle, and then tossing the shot.

With this technique, a right-hand thrower would begin facing the rear of the circle, and then kick to the front with the left leg, while pushing off forcefully with the right. As the thrower crosses the circle, the hips twist toward the front, the left arm is swung out then pulled back tight, followed by the shoulders, and they then strike in a putting motion with their right arm. The key is to move quickly across the circle with as little air under the feet as possible, hence the name "glide".

Spin

In 1972 Aleksandr Baryshnikov set his first USSR record using a new putting style, the spin ("круговой мах" in Russian), invented by his coach Viktor Alexeyev.34 The spin involves rotating like a discus thrower and using rotational momentum for power. In 1976 Baryshnikov went on to set a world record of 22.00 m (72.18 ft) with his spin style, and was the first shot putter to cross the 22 metre mark.5

With this technique, a right-hand thrower faces the rear, and begins to spin on the ball of the left foot. The thrower comes around and faces the front of the circle and drives the right foot into the middle of the circle. Finally, the thrower reaches for the front of the circle with the left foot, twisting the hips and shoulders like in the glide, and puts the shot.

When the athlete executes the spin, the upper body is twisted hard to the right, so the imaginary lines created by the shoulders and hips are no longer parallel. This action builds up torque, and stretches the muscles, creating an involuntary elasticity in the muscles, providing extra power and momentum. When the athlete prepares to release, the left foot is firmly planted, causing the momentum and energy generated to be conserved, pushing the shot in an upward and outward direction.

Another purpose of the spin is to build up a high rotational speed, by swinging the right leg initially, then to bring all the limbs in tightly, similar to a figure skater bringing in their arms while spinning to increase their speed. Once this fast speed is achieved the shot is released, transferring the energy into the shot put.

Usage

Currently, most top male shot putters use the spin. However the glide remains popular, especially among Olympic and World Champions and among women, since the technique leads to greater consistency compared to the rotational technique. Almost all throwers start by using the glide. Tomasz Majewski notes that although most athletes use the spin,6 he and some other top shot putters achieved success using this classic method (for example he became first to defend the Olympic title in 56 years).

The world record by a male putter of 23.120 m (75 ft 10.236 in) by Randy Barnes was completed with the spin technique, while the second-best all-time put of 23.063 m (75 ft 7.992 in) by Ulf Timmermann was completed with the glide technique.

Measuring which technique can provide the most potential is difficult, as many of the best throws recorded with each technique have been completed by athletes under doping suspicions, or with a record of drug violations.citation needed The decision to glide or spin may need to be decided on an individual basis, determined by the thrower's size and power. Short throwers may benefit from the spin and taller throwers may benefit from the glide, but many throwers do not follow this guideline.

Types of shots

The shot put ball is made of different kinds of materials depending on its intended use. Materials used include iron, cast iron, solid steel, stainless steel, brass, and synthetic materials like polyvinyl. Some metals are more dense than others making the size of the shot vary, for example, indoor shots are larger than outdoor shots, so different materials are used to make them. There are various size and weight standards for the implement that depend on the age and gender of the competitors as well as the national customs of the governing body.

World records

The current world record holders are:

Type Athlete Distance Venue Date
Men
Outdoor Randy Barnes 23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) Westwood, Los Angeles, California, USA May 20, 1990
Indoor Randy Barnes 22.66 m (74 ft 4 in) Los Angeles, California, USA January 20, 1989
Women
Outdoor Natalya Lisovskaya 22.63 m (74 ft 234 in) Moscow, USSR June 7, 1987
Indoor Helena Fibingerová 22.50 m (73 ft 934 in) Jablonec, CZE February 19, 1977

Continental records

The current records held on each continent are:7

Area Men's Women's
Distance Athlete Nation Distance Athlete Nation
Africa 21.97 m (72 ft 034 in) Janus Robberts  South Africa 18.35 m (60 ft 214 in) Vivian Chukwuemeka  Nigeria
Asia 21.13 m (69 ft 334 in) Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi  Saudi Arabia 21.76 m (71 ft 412 in) Meisu Li  China
Europe 23.06 m (75 ft 734 in) Ulf Timmermann  East Germany 22.63 m (74 ft 234 in) WR Natalya Lisovskaya  Soviet Union
North and Central
America, and Caribbean
23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) WR Randy Barnes  United States 20.96 m (68 ft 9 in) A Belsy Laza  Cuba
Oceania 21.26 m (69 ft 9 in) Scott Martin  Australia 21.24 m (69 ft 8 in) Valerie Adams  New Zealand
South America 21.26 m (69 ft 9 in)8 German Lauro  Argentina 19.30 m (63 ft 334 in) A Elisângela Adriano  Brazil

Top ten performers

  • Accurate as of January 2014910

Men

Rank Mark Athlete Nationality Location Date
1 23.12 m (75 ft 10 in) Randy Barnes  United States UCLA May 20, 1990
2 23.06 m (75 ft 734 in) Ulf Timmermann  East Germany Khania May 22, 1988
3 22.91 m (75 ft 134 in) Alessandro Andrei  Italy Viareggio August 12, 1987
4 22.86 m (75 ft 0 in) Brian Oldfield  United States El Paso May 10, 1975
5 22.75 m (74 ft 712 in) Werner Günthör   Switzerland Bern August 23, 1988
6 22.67 m (74 ft 412 in) Kevin Toth  United States Lawrence April 19, 2003
7 22.64 m (74 ft 314 in) Udo Beyer  East Germany Berlin August 20, 1986
8 22.54 m (73 ft 1114 in) Christian Cantwell  United States Gresham June 5, 2004
9 22.52 m (73 ft 1012 in) John Brenner  United States Walnut April 26, 1987
10 22.51 m (73 ft 10 in) Adam Nelson  United States Gresham May 18, 2002

Women

Rank Mark Athlete Nationality Location Date
1 22.63 m (74 ft 234 in) Natalya Lisovskaya  Soviet Union Moscow June 7, 1987
2 22.45 m (73 ft 734 in) Ilona Briesenick  East Germany Potsdam May 11, 1980
3 22.32 m (73 ft 212 in) Helena Fibingerová  Czechoslovakia Nitra August 20, 1977
4 22.19 m (72 ft 912 in) Claudia Losch  West Germany Hainfeld August 23, 1987
5 21.89 m (71 ft 934 in) Ivanka Khristova  Bulgaria Belmeken July 4, 1976
6 21.86 m (71 ft 812 in) Marianne Adam  East Germany Leipzig June 23, 1979
7 21.76 m (71 ft 412 in) Li Meisu  China Shijiazhuang April 23, 1988
8 21.73 m (71 ft 312 in) Natalya Akhrimenko  Soviet Union Leselidze May 21, 1988
9 21.69 m (71 ft 134 in) Vita Pavlysh  Ukraine Budapest August 15, 1998
10 21.66 m (71 ft 034 in) Sui Xinmei  China Beijing June 9, 1990

Olympic medalists

Men

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1896 Athens
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 Robert Garrett (USA)  Miltiadis Gouskos (GRE)  Georgios Papasideris (GRE)
1900 Paris
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 Richard Sheldon (USA)  Josiah McCracken (USA)  Robert Garrett (USA)
1904 St. Louis
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 Ralph Rose (USA)  Wesley Coe (USA)  Lawrence Feuerbach (USA)
1908 London
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 Ralph Rose (USA)  Denis Horgan (GBR)  John Garrels (USA)
1912 Stockholm
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 Pat McDonald (USA)  Ralph Rose (USA)  Lawrence Whitney (USA)
1920 Antwerp
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 Ville Pörhölä (FIN)  Elmer Niklander (FIN)  Harry Liversedge (USA)
1924 Paris
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 Bud Houser (USA)  Glenn Hartranft (USA)  Ralph Hills (USA)
1928 Amsterdam
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 John Kuck (USA)  Herman Brix (USA)  Emil Hirschfeld (GER)
1932 Los Angeles
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 Leo Sexton (USA)  Harlow Rothert (USA)  František Douda (TCH)
1936 Berlin
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 Hans Woellke (GER)  Sulo Bärlund (FIN)  Gerhard Stöck (GER)
1948 London
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 Wilbur Thompson (USA)  Jim Delaney (USA)  Jim Fuchs (USA)
1952 Helsinki
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 Parry O'Brien (USA)  Darrow Hooper (USA)  Jim Fuchs (USA)
1956 Melbourne
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 Parry O'Brien (USA)  Bill Nieder (USA)  Jiří Skobla (TCH)
1960 Rome
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 Bill Nieder (USA)  Parry O'Brien (USA)  Dallas Long (USA)
1964 Tokyo
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 Dallas Long (USA)  Randy Matson (USA)  Vilmos Varjú (HUN)
1968 Mexico City
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 Randy Matson (USA)  George Woods (USA)  Eduard Gushchin (URS)
1972 Munich
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 Władysław Komar (POL)  George Woods (USA)  Hartmut Briesenick (GDR)
1976 Montreal
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 Udo Beyer (GDR)  Yevgeny Mironov (URS)  Aleksandr Baryshnikov (URS)
1980 Moscow
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 Vladimir Kiselyov (URS)  Aleksandr Baryshnikov (URS)  Udo Beyer (GDR)
1984 Los Angeles
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 Alessandro Andrei (ITA)  Mike Carter (USA)  Dave Laut (USA)
1988 Seoul
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 Ulf Timmermann (GDR)  Randy Barnes (USA)  Werner Günthör (SUI)
1992 Barcelona
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 Mike Stulce (USA)  Jim Doehring (USA)  Vyacheslav Lykho (EUN)
1996 Atlanta
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 Randy Barnes (USA)  John Godina (USA)  Oleksandr Bagach (UKR)
2000 Sydney
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 Arsi Harju (FIN)  Adam Nelson (USA)  John Godina (USA)
2004 Athens
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 Adam Nelson (USA)  Joachim Olsen (DEN)  Manuel Martínez (ESP)
2008 Beijing
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 Tomasz Majewski (POL)  Christian Cantwell (USA)  Andrei Mikhnevich (BLR)
2012 London
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 Tomasz Majewski (POL)  David Storl (GER)  Reese Hoffa (USA)

Women

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1948 London
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 Micheline Ostermeyer (FRA)  Amelia Piccinini (ITA)  Ina Schäffer (AUT)
1952 Helsinki
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 Galina Zybina (URS)  Marianne Werner (GER)  Klavdiya Tochenova (URS)
1956 Melbourne
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 Tamara Tyshkevich (URS)  Galina Zybina (URS)  Marianne Werner (EUA)
1960 Rome
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 Tamara Press (URS)  Johanna Lüttge (EUA)  Earlene Brown (USA)
1964 Tokyo
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 Tamara Press (URS)  Renate Culmberger (EUA)  Galina Zybina (URS)
1968 Mexico City
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 Margitta Gummel (GDR)  Marita Lange (GDR)  Nadezhda Chizhova (URS)
1972 Munich
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 Nadezhda Chizhova (URS)  Margitta Gummel (GDR)  Ivanka Khristova (BUL)
1976 Montreal
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 Ivanka Khristova (BUL)  Nadezhda Chizhova (URS)  Helena Fibingerová (TCH)
1980 Moscow
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 Ilona Slupianek (GDR)  Svetlana Krachevskaya (URS)  Margitta Pufe (GDR)
1984 Los Angeles
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 Claudia Losch (FRG)  Mihaela Loghin (ROU)  Gael Martin (AUS)
1988 Seoul
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 Natalya Lisovskaya (URS)  Kathrin Neimke (GDR)  Li Meisu (CHN)
1992 Barcelona
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 Svetlana Krivelyova (EUN)  Huang Zhihong (CHN)  Kathrin Neimke (GER)
1996 Atlanta
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 Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)  Sui Xinmei (CHN)  Irina Khudoroshkina (RUS)
2000 Sydney
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 Yanina Karolchik (BLR)  Larisa Peleshenko (RUS)  Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)
2004 Athens
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 Yumileidi Cumbá (CUB)  Nadine Kleinert (GER) Not awarded11
2008 Beijing
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 Valerie Vili (NZL)  Natallia Mikhnevich (BLR)  Nadzeya Ostapchuk (BLR)
2012 London
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 Valerie Adams (NZL)  Yevgeniya Kolodko (RUS)  Gong Lijiao (CHN)

World Championships medalists

Men

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Edward Sarul (POL)  Ulf Timmermann (GDR)  Remigius Machura (TCH)
1987 Rome  Werner Günthör (SUI)  Alessandro Andrei (ITA)  John Brenner (USA)
1991 Tokyo  Werner Günthör (SUI)  Lars Arvid Nilsen (NOR)  Aleksandr Klimenko (URS)
1993 Stuttgart  Werner Günthör (SUI)  Randy Barnes (USA)  Oleksandr Bagach (UKR)
1995 Gothenburg  John Godina (USA)  Mika Halvari (FIN)  Randy Barnes (USA)
1997 Athens  John Godina (USA)  Oliver-Sven Buder (GER)  C. J. Hunter (USA)
1999 Seville  C. J. Hunter (USA)  Oliver-Sven Buder (GER)  Oleksandr Bagach (UKR)
2001 Edmonton  John Godina (USA)  Adam Nelson (USA)  Arsi Harju (FIN)
2003 Saint-Denis  Andrei Mikhnevich (BLR)  Adam Nelson (USA)  Yuriy Bilonoh (UKR)
2005 Helsinki  Adam Nelson (USA)  Rutger Smith (NED)  Ralf Bartels (GER)
2007 Osaka  Reese Hoffa (USA)  Adam Nelson (USA)  Andrei Mikhnevich (BLR)
2009 Berlin  Christian Cantwell (USA)  Tomasz Majewski (POL)  Ralf Bartels (GER)
2011 Daegu  David Storl (GER)  Dylan Armstrong (CAN)  Andrei Mikhnevich (BLR)
2013 Moscow  David Storl (GER)  Ryan Whiting (USA)  Dylan Armstrong (CAN)

Women

Games Gold Silver Bronze
1983 Helsinki  Helena Fibingerová (TCH)  Helma Knorscheidt (GDR)  Ilona Schoknecht-Slupianek (GDR)
1987 Rome  Natalya Lisovskaya (URS)  Kathrin Neimke (GDR)  Ines Müller (GDR)
1991 Tokyo  Huang Zhihong (CHN)  Natalya Lisovskaya (URS)  Svetlana Krivelyova (URS)
1993 Stuttgart  Huang Zhihong (CHN)  Svetlana Krivelyova (RUS)  Kathrin Neimke (GER)
1995 Gothenburg  Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)  Huang Zhihong (CHN)  Svetla Mitkova (BUL)
1997 Athens  Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)  Vita Pavlysh (UKR)  Stephanie Storp (GER)
1999 Seville  Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)  Nadine Kleinert (GER)  Svetlana Krivelyova (RUS)
2001 Edmonton  Yanina Karolchik (BLR)  Nadine Kleinert (GER)  Vita Pavlysh (UKR)
2003 Saint-Denis  Svetlana Krivelyova (RUS)  Nadzeya Astapchuk (BLR)  Vita Pavlysh (UKR)
2005 Helsinki12  Olga Ryabinkina (RUS)  Valerie Vili (NZL)  Nadine Kleinert (GER)
2007 Osaka  Valerie Vili (NZL)  Nadzeya Astapchuk (BLR)  Nadine Kleinert (GER)
2009 Berlin  Valerie Vili (NZL)  Nadine Kleinert (GER)  Gong Lijiao (CHN)
2011 Daegu  Valerie Adams (NZL)  Nadzeya Astapchuk (BLR)  Jillian Camarena-Williams (USA)
2013 Moscow  Valerie Adams (NZL)  Christina Schwanitz (GER)  Gong Lijiao (CHN)

Season's bests

See also

References

External links