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World's Longest Throw


RE: WORLD’S LONGEST THROW COMPETITION MAKES AMERICAN DEBUT AT OLD ORCHARD BEACH OLD ORCHARD BEACH, MAINE, July 23, 2005 — Two-time Olympic javelin thrower, Tom Petranoff, will be at Old Orchard Beach on Saturday, August 20, to offer Mainers and tourists the chance to set a world throwing record. Petranoff, inventor of the world famous TurboJav, a javelin training implement which is now offered as an official event for kids 14 and under at USA Track and Field meets, has created a traveling event which will have its American debut here at low tide, in front of the Brunswick Hotel. Petranoff and Maine Games executive director, Jeff Scully, co-organizers of the event in conjunction with Jason Webber and the Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department, expect participants to come from the Maine track and field community, but also from tourists visiting the seven-mile stretch of sandy beach at Old Orchard. “Wherever Tom Petranoff shows up with his TurboJavs and his portable throwing vector hundreds of people just seem to show up and many wind up trying to duplicate the proper javelin throwing mechanics needed to make it travel as far as 150+ feet or more,” says Scully, who invited Petranoff to hold a clinic at this year’s Maine Games track and field event in June. “He’s the pied-piper of throwing,” says Scully. “If anyone can be called the greatest throwing coach in America, it might have to be Tom.” The World’s Longest Throw competition will allow contestants to establish or challenge current world records for the TurboJav, softball/baseball throw, Frisbee and football. Petranoff, a USATF official will be on hand to sanction any new records and to sanction the meet as an official Maine Games and USATF event. In 1983 Petranoff set the first of his two world records in the javelin, by throwing the implement 327’ 2”. Suddenly, it was apparent that changes would have to be made to keep throwers from outdistancing the venue. ''They changed the rules,'' Petranoff recalls. ''They didn't want it to be a spectator participation sport.'' Read that: track fans becoming javelin catchers. And it's a good thing, he admits. There was that day in Eugene, Ore., to remind him of that fact. ''I threw a 95-meter throw, a 310-foot throw. It landed in lane three and almost took out Alberto Salazar, who was running the 10,000 [meters],'' Petranoff said. The sport answered by moving the center of gravity forward four centimeters on every men's jav, and thickening the tail, making the implement drop from the sky sooner. In the early 1990s Petranoff had an idea to develop a training device for young javelin throwers. The result was the TurboJav, a shorter version of a traditional javelin, with a rubber tip and fins on the back. The only way to make the TurboJav fly to maximum distances is to use the same proper mechanics needed to make a javelin perform properly. Today, nearly all youth track and field meets have added the TurboJav as an event for young throwers to the delight of Petranoff. “We’re seeing javelin throwers coming out of the woodwork now that they have been exposed to the TurboJav.” The Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department has been instrumental in bringing this event to the beach. “Jason Webber was so impressed with the potential for this event to bring the American debut of ‘The World’s Longest Throw’,” said Scully, “that he went out and convinced town officials that it was a great idea to host the competition and then got the local business community involved sponsoring the event as well.” Scully and Petranoff are very hopeful that this event will be successful. “I can see this becoming an annual event in Old Orchard Beach,” said Petranoff.” Scully agrees. “The Maine Games are always looking for new events for all Mainers to take part in, and to help promote exercise, and good physical fitness. This one fits nicely with our game plan.” For $10 participants of all ages can purchase an event T-shirt which allows them three throws in each event (TurboJav, baseball/softball, Frisbee, and football). Each participant this year will have the opportunity to establish not only the record for this meet, but also the official Maine Games record, as well as the potential to establish or break current US and World records. Proceeds will be split between the Maine Games and the Old Orchard Beach Recreation Department, which will be used to provide scholarships for their programs. For more information log on to either of the following websites: www.mainegames or www.oobmaine.com. ###

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