Physical fitness and motor competence performance characteristics of Chinese elite youth athletes from four track and field throwing disciplines-a cross-sectional study

Kewei Zhao*, Maximilian Uwe Siener, Yifan Zhao, Andreas Hohmann

*Korrespondierende*r Autor*in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


Purpose: For systematic athletic training and targeted talent development, it is essential to know the physical fitness and motor competencies of top athletes in detail. However, it can be difficult to identify differences in performance requirements and thus to provide adequate support, especially for sports that at first glance appear to have similar demands—such as track and field throwing disciplines. Therefore, the aim of the study was to examine the physical fitness and motor competence of top athletes from different throwing disciplines and to check whether the athletes’ performance parameters match the specific requirements of the respective sport. Methods: The study involved 289 male youth athletes (aged 14–18 years) across four distinct throwing disciplines: shot put (n = 101), hammer throw (n = 16), discus throw (n = 63), and javelin throw (n = 109). The performance evaluation comprised three anthropometric measurements and twelve motor performance prerequisites applicable to the throwing disciplines. Discriminant analysis and neural networks (Multilayer Perceptron) were implemented to determine the possibility of distinguishing among athletes from the four sports. Results: The study’s findings indicate that in male throwing athletes, disparities in general physical fitness and motor proficiency assessments discern the majority of talented young athletes based on their specific sport (discriminant analysis: 68.2%; multilayer perceptron analysis: 72.2%). This remains applicable irrespective of the classification method employed. Discus throwers possessed a height advantage, while shot putters and hammer throwers exhibited superior arm strength. Javelin throwers displayed better explosive strength and sprinting speed. Except for the hammer throwers, all events demonstrated a high level of explosive power in the medicine ball forward or backward throw test, which was especially crucial for shot put and discus athletes. Conclusion: The significance of physical fitness and motor competence tests in identifying and transferring talented athletes in track and field throwing disciplines has been affirmed. Using linear and non-linear classification methods, most athletes could be assigned to their correct sport. However, this also shows that slightly different training and talent identification is required for each of these sports. Furthermore, non-linear analysis methods can provide useful support for the development processes in junior competitive sports.
ZeitschriftFrontiers in Physiology
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 15.12.2023

Fachgebiete und Schlagwörter

  • discriminant analysis
  • discus throw
  • hammer throw
  • javelin throw
  • multilayer perceptron
  • shot put