2016 was a momentous year for UK hammer throwing. The many highlights include:
- Sophie Hitchon's Olympic bronze, with a superb new UK record in the final round, was an outstanding achievement for an athlete ranked just 20th before the Games, and is Britain's first Olympic hammer medal for 92 years.
- Sophie, 4th in the European Championships, was ranked fourth in the world - the highest ever ranking by a UK woman hammer thrower and the best by any British hammer thrower since the 1920s.
- Britain had three male hammer throwers at the Olympics for the first time since 1988 - and three British men were in the European top 20 rankings for the first time since the 19th century!
- Chris Bennett - the first European male finalist since Paul Head in 1990 - had three competitions over 75m in 2016.
- Jake Norris - a wonderful second place in the inaugural European Youth Championships, with a British record of 79.20. Jake was second in the world youth rankings in 2016, and set a UK age 16 best with the 16 hammer as well.
- Taylor Campbell - followed a UK age 19 best of 71.39 with a season's best of 72.70 for sixth in the European U23 rankings
- Katie Head - a UK U17 record of 65.06 placed 6th in the world and fourth in Europe, taking Ollie Stevenson's record of 63.40 from early in the season.
- More great throwing by junior girls - U15 record of 58.06 by Phoebe Baggott and an age 13 best by Kirsty Costello (53.95)
Plus numerous personal bests and impressive titles at national age group and schools levels.
Much of this success is due to the activities of athletes and coaches in The Hammer Circle (the Association of British Hammer Throwers), the oldest-established and probably the most active of the specialist athletic event clubs in the UK. The Hammer Circle has been a major contributor to the improvements in British hammer throwing which has taken place over recent years.
Since its creation, The Hammer Circle has included nearly every leading UK thrower and coach, as well as many honorary members from other nations. All have contributed to the development of our unique & challenging event.