Myyra proves a class above in the javelin

Look back at some of the competitors from the Olympic Games from the 1920s and 1930s, and the passage of time does not flatter. Some athletes can look pedestrian against the ultra-trained competitors of today, but the throwing action of Jonni Myyra would have been a class act in any generation.  

Picture by 1924 IOC

Myyra arrived at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris with a fine pedigree in major international competition already under his belt.

It was a time when the Scandinavian powerhouses Finland and Sweden took it in turns to share the javelin spoils; it was a national sport in both countries.

Myyra finished eighth in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm and threw a marvellous Olympic record in Antwerp four years later to take the gold medal as Finns occupied all four top places.

That win was all the more remarkable after he was struck in the arm by a stray javelin thrown while he rested by the side of the athletics field.

1924 IOC

Myyra easily qualified from the starting field of 29 throwers for the six-man final in Paris four years later.

The slow motion replay of Myyra’s winning throw could have been taken yesterday.

He accelerated beautifully at the end of his run-up, arching his back to a gravity-defying angle before unleashing a lightning fast throw out to the far reaches of the Olympic Stadium.

His winning throw of 62.96m was more than two metres further than any other athlete but some way short of the 65-66m of which he was capable. Second place went to Sweden’s Gunnar Lindstrom.

Lindstrom would break Myyra’s world record at a meeting in Sweden just months after his silver medal in Paris.