Javelin Throwing Competition Photo Gallery 

Written by Cathy Siegismund
July 2001

In Polynesian javelin competitions, the competitors each have ten javelins which are long flexible sticks with sharpened rebar on the ends. The competitors are allotted a certain amount of time in which they throw their javelins at the target. The target is a coconut about 50 yards away and about 50 feet in the air. The competitor who hits the coconut closest to the top wins.

Spectators and competitors gather in a beach side park prior to the competition

Competitors practicing prior to the competition

Javelin warm-up and the team flags

Competitors dressed and waiting for the start of the competition

Competitors organizing their javelins prior to the competition

The javelin competition was a team competition with a large representation from the island of Anaa in the Tuamotus.

Tuamotuan contingent

Presentation of the competitors

Competitor selects a javelin

Competition begins and the competitors start throwing their ten javelins

The javelins are aimed with one hand like a pool cue and then thrown with the other hand, with a one-handed under-hand throw.

The coconut target with a few hits and more misses

All the javelins are thrown within the allotted time. They are then retrieved and the coconut removed off the pole, and measured to determine the winner of the round. A new coconut is then raised on the pole, and the competitors throw their javelins again. There are several rounds to determine the winners.

Competitors retrieving their javelins

Referee retrieving the coconut full of javelins for the measuring to determine the first round winner

Referees measure which javelin came closest to the top of the coconut to win the round

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