Past Athletes

Personal Data

Surname: MurofushiFirstname: KojiCountry: JapanDate of birth: 1974-10-08Height: 187 cmWeight: 96.0 kg

Career Data

Discipline: HammerOlympic Games (1 medal - 1 gold)World Championships (3 medals - 1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
  • Hammer: 1st (2004)
  • Hammer: 1st (2011), 2nd (2001), 3rd (2003)


If I had a hammerFourth Olympics

Born to athlete parents, Japan's Koji Murofushi was trained in the obscure, mainly Eastern European art of hammer throwing from an early age and while he goes to London in the twilight of his career he also goes on the back of his 2011 Daegu world championship triumph.

Murofushi's mother was the Romanian javelin champion from 1970 while his father and long-time coach was Japanese hammer champion and national record holder for 23 years. Both were also Olympians.

So Koji, born in Aichi in October 1974 was virtually pre-destined to thrive in the athletics arena. Now 37 and heading out to London in peak mental condition, he will be easy to spot on the field.

The thing that marks out Murofushi from his peers is his tight style. He enjoys precise control of the centrifugal force over the two turns of the hammer and the astonishing speed and controlled footwork with which he performs the four body spins is a sight to behold.

The defending world champion, who also took the silver medal a decade ago at Edmonton 2001 and the bronze in Paris in 2003, stands at 1.87m and weighs in at around 90kg, but appears, while oozing power, relatively slender inside the 2.135m circle.

He shot to fame in 2003 at a meeting in Prague where he established a landmark throw of 84.86m, which is by far the best throw from anyone from an Asian country and a mark that has been fifth on the all-time records list ever since.

Brimming with this confidence and newfound recognition, he set off for the Athens Games with high hopes and when the original winner Hungary's Adrien Annus was caught doping, Murofushi was moved up from silver medallist to Olympic champion.

The Japanese then suffered a spell of poorer form, albeit peppered with Grand Prix wins here and there, before reemerging at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Doping again seemed set to hand him a medal after he originally finished fifth.

Both the silver and bronze medallists were first disqualified before eventually being reinstated on appeal.

He now goes to London having won the Japanese title 17 consecutive times.

He is also Japan's most likely track and field medallist for the 2012 Games, where he will go one better than his father, who only managed to go to three Summer Games.

Having set the world's best mark in 2001, 2003 and in 2010 after missing the 2009 worlds with back pain, the prospect of a gold medal in London seems well within his capabilities.


Japanese Koji Murofushi celebrates after winning the men's hammer throw final at the Olympic Stadium 22 August 2004 during the Olympic Games in Athens. Adrian Annus of Hungary won the Olympic Games men's hammer, Koji Murofushi of Japan took silver with Ivan Tikhon of Belarus winning bronze. AFP PHOTO ERIC FEFERBERGJapan's Koji Murofushi competes during the men's hammer throw final at the National Stadium as part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 17, 2008.   AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS
1United States462929104
3Great Britain29171965
5South Korea138728

Mary Antoinette Rivero's tie for fifth place in Taekwondo is the closest any Filipino athlete came to a medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

The Philippines last reached the final round swimming 80 years ago when Jikirum Adjaluddin and Teofilo Yldefonso ended up in the final six in the 1932 Los Angeles Games.

The Philippines will shoot for its first gold medal in six of the following events in the 2012 London Olympics: Athletics, BMX, Boxing, Cycling, Shooting and Swimming.

The Philippine basketball team wound up fifth place—best finish for an Asian country in the Olympics to date—in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the first time basketball was played as an Olympic sport.

Arianne Cerdena won a gold in bowling at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, but Cerdena's gold was not included in the medal tally since bowling was considered only as a demonstration sport.

The Philippines has only won medals in three events since joining the Olympics in 1924.

The Philippines is the first nation in the tropics to ever participate in the Winter Olympic Games.

Teofilo Yldefonso is the first Filipino to win a medal and the only one to take home multiple medals. He finished third both in the Men's 200 meter breastroke during the 1928 and 1932 Olympics.

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, though not competing, carries the Philippine flag at the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

1972 was the last year the Philippine men's basketball team, which then paraded William 'Bogs' Adornado, Danny Florencio and Yoyong Martirez among others in its line up, has qualified for the Olympics.

Men's boxing has for medals in the Olympics with Anthony Villanueva, silver in the Featherweight Division of the 1964 Games in Tokyo; Leopoldo Serantes, third in 1988 Seoul; Roel Velasco, third in Barcelona; and his brother Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco, second in the 1996 Atlanta Games.

The largest delegation the Philippines has ever sent to the Games was 53 in the 1972 Munich Olympics.

The Philippines is the first country to compete and win an Olympic medal among Southeast Asian countries.

The Philippines has not won a medal since Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco settled for silver in boxing via a controversial decision during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

John Baylon, a nine-time Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, and Jerry Diño were the last Filipino Olympic qualifiers in the discipline Judo, having vied in the 1992 Barcelona Games.

The Philippines participated in the Winter Olympics three times, in 1972 (Juan Cipriano and Ben Nanasca, alpine skiing), in 1988 (Raymund Ocampo, luge) and in 1992 (Michael Teruel, alpine skiing).

With only eight athletes in six sporting events for the London Games, this will be PH's smallest delegation since 1996.

The men's Philippine Basketball team is the first country to ever score 100 or more points in the 1948 Olympics after clobbering Iraq,102-30.

The Philippines holds the record for winning the most medals without a gold haul with seven bronze and two silvers for a total of nine.

Harry Tañamor, the only Filipino predicted to win by the Sports Illustrated in its Olympic Preview edition, bows out in the first match up in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.