Kinanthropometric profile and morphological prediction functions of elite international male javelin throwers

Por: Ankebe Kruger, Colette Underhay, Hans de Ridder e Heinrich Grobbelaar.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Kinanthropometric components, including common measures like age, stature, body mass, skinfolds etc. and aspects like proportionality, somatotype and body composition are important role players in sporting performance.[1] Although various researchers have already investigated the relationship between morphological characteristics (kinanthropometry) and performance of international javelin throwers, there is insufficient new information with regard to the morphology of elite javelin throwers. The purpose of this study was therefore to describe the body composition and somatotypes of elite international javelin throwers and identify the variables that discriminate best between elite javelin throwers and other sportsmen.

Methods

A total of 19 elite international male javelin throwers with a mean age of 26.4.±4.54 years and a control group of 19 rugby players with a mean age of 19.2±0.85 years were measured. Anthropometric variables and techniques selected were primarily those described in Norton and Olds (1996).[1] Data analysis was performed using Statistica 6 (StatSoft, Inc., 1984-2003). Descriptive statistics were performed for the relevant variables of this study. A forward stepwise discriminant analysis was applied to determine which variables were needed to predict (separate) the elite javelin throwers from the control group (rugby players). The discriminatory power of the classification functions was established using the jack-knifed classification matrix.

Results

The elite international javelin throwers had a mean body mass of 97.0 kg, stature of 187.5 cm, percentage body fat of 11.9% and percentage muscle mass 2.5-5.9-1.4. Body mass, fat mass, muscle mass, acromial-radial length, radial styllion length, mesomorphy, bi-iliocristal breadth and AP chest depth were the variables that discriminated best between the elite javelin throwers and the control group. The classification matrix prediction models had an overall accuracy of 100% in re-classifying the javelin throwers and control group back into their event groups.

Discussion/conclusions

Kinantropometric studies on elite athletes help in the understanding of the morphological, biomechanical and physiological demands of modern training methods and the optimal requirements for successful participation as well as determining the selection criteria for the identification of talented young athletes. [2] Therefore the results of this study could help in identifying young talented athletes and also guide in training methods to help attain the required body composition for optimum performance in javelin throwing.

References

[1] Norton, K. & Olds, T. (1996). Anthropometrica: a textbook of body measurement for sports and health courses. Marrickville, NSW: Southwood Press. 411p.
[2] De Ridder, J.H. et al. (2000). Kinanthropometry in African sports: Body composition and somatotypes of world class male African middle-, long distance and marathon runners. (In K.Norton, T.Olds, J..Dollman eds. Kinanthropometry VI. Proceedings of the Sixth Scientific Conference of the International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry. Adelaide, Australia, October 13 - 16, 1998. Underdale, Australia:ISAK).

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