Why does the weight of the shot put be 7.257 kg?

The weight put is set at 7.257 kg (or 7.26 kg if rounded), a standard that stems from historical evolution and the setting of the rules of competitive sports. Originally, the weight of the lead ball was derived from the weight of the shells used by the European artillery units in the Middle Ages. At that time, the shell weighed about 16 pounds, which translates to about 7.257 kilograms in metric units. When the soldiers were resting, they would throw cannonballs back and forth as game items, and over time, this form of play gradually evolved into a form of athletic competition, which is now known as the shot put.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) formalized the rules of the modern shot put in 1956, stating that the weight of the men’s shot put is 16 pounds and 15 ounces (about 7.26 kilograms). This weight standard has been retained, taking into account the historical tradition on the one hand, and on the other hand, on the basis of the physical strength and technical consideration of the athletes, so that the competition is both competitive and fully demonstrates the strength and skill of the athletes.

As for why it is accurate to three decimal places, it is to ensure fair play and unify the equipment specifications in international competitions. Despite this, the modern weight standard for women’s shot put competitions is 4 kilograms, with no two decimal places.

The weight of 7.257 kg is particularly suitable for the adult men’s shot put. For women’s and junior competitions, the weight of the shot put will vary. The weight of the women’s shot put is usually 4 kg, while the junior competition usually uses 3 kg or less.

It is important to note that this weight is only an approximation, and in fact the produced shot put may vary slightly depending on the manufacturing tolerances. However, this standard weight provides a level playing field for athletes and ensures consistency and comparability of competition results.

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