University sports meet throws out javelin, discus for 'grenade toss' event

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/24 17:33:39

A Chinese university is adding a little spark to its annual track and field meet with a fake grenade-throwing event.

The 500-gram grenade toss is open to all students at Shanxi Province's North University of China (NUC) in May.

The projectiles in question are weighted replicas of the Type 23 - a Chinese copy of a wooden-handled grenade used in Germany during WWI.

Li Jiangxia, director of physical education at NUC, said the event's popularity has blown up.

"Students rushed to sign up. Some came late and didn't qualify, they seemed really disappointed," said Li.

Grenade throwing is so popular that it's replacing more traditional events that saw low turnout, such as javelin and discus, teachers said.

The event is not just a gimmick. It's also a throwback to the school's history.

NUC is the site of the Taihang Industrial School. Founded by China's Eighth Route Army in 1941, the school was instrumental in developing weaponry and training PLA personnel. 

NUC student Wu Jianhang suggested adding the grenade event to the school's sports meet in 2017 - and he's primed to win it.

"I'm actively practicing my grenade tossing." Wu said. "I really hope I can experience this unique event."

The event is not entirely unique. Exactly a century earlier, The Ohio State University added a hand-grenade event to a track and field meet as a way to train young cadets heading to fight in WWI. However, it was short-lived. When the war ended, so did the event, according to the school's website.

Newspaper headline: Uni tosses out javelin for ‘grenade throwing’ event


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