You are here: HOME > Products (Others) > Nishi Athletic Goods Co., Ltd.: Throwing Implements

Products (Others)

Nishi Athletic Goods Co., Ltd.: Throwing Implements

Outline


© Japanest NIPPON *Picture not related to content.

Nishi Sports: Sporting equipment maker approved by the world

Nishi Athletic Goods Co., Ltd. (a.k.a. Nishi Sports), founded by Teiichi Nishi, first opened its doors as a sporting goods store in 1951. Nishi himself was a 200-meter sprinter who participated in the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. The core motivation of the company, namely, to develop and provide event-compliant sporting equipment with the requisite high performance to aid competitors’ pursuit of success, no doubt originated from Nishi’s personal experience as an international athlete. Today, the company produces track and field equipment, watches and other measurement tools, athletic and training wear, training and fitness equipment, and care products.
Besides throwing implements, Nishi Sports produces goods for a wide range of athletic events including hurdles, batons, starting blocks, and jumping equipment, and many of these have come to be trusted by athletes the world over. Indeed, many of these have subsequently been approved by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations).


*Picture not related to content.

From a matter of millimeters to a difference of meters

The production process of throwing implements by Nishi Sports has been developed and refined from the combination of high research standards and skilled, high precision crafting techniques. In this article, we will delve into the manufacturing process behind the Nishi Sports hammer which has gone on to attract the largest share of the global market.

Firstly, the hammer’s characteristic spherical shape is cast from ductile iron shaved down to size with high precision. A numerical control lathe trims the 116–117-mm diameter material down to a 110.5-mm diameter sphere (a 0.5-mm margin from the minimum acceptable diameter is allowed). However, the trimming process is not entirely left up to automation; technicians inspect each product and adjust the lathe’s operating program as necessary. Although a single batch consists of between 20 and 30 of these spheres, the characteristics of the lathe’s blade will change gradually over the course of 30 trimming cycles. Technicians pay attention to the sound of the trimming process and inspect the shaved surfaces of the spheres in order to assess the condition of the blade, and the whole process is carried out under close observation and with the utmost care. Creating a perfect, error-free sphere is dependent on the blade’s condition, and therefore the technician’s experience and refined observational and technical skills are vital towards maintaining the quality and high manufacturing standard of the final product.

The spheres created by the above process are hollow. One of the key processes in hammer production at Nishi Sports involves injecting this cavity with a mixture of tungsten and lead. Both the injection material and process are unique to Nishi Sports hammers.

When throwing a hammer, the greater the distance between the center of rotation (i.e., the athlete) and the center of gravity of the hammer, the larger the gravitational force becomes, thereby potentially increasing the distance that the hammer may travel. In order to shift the hammer’s center of gravity farther away from the athlete while complying with regulation dimension and weight specifications, the hammer head’s density must be increased and its size reduced. For this purpose, Nishi Sports uses one of the densest elemental metals, tungsten (its density is 19.3 g/cm3). By combining three metals in the  hammer head – the ductile iron outer layer and the core mixture of tungsten and lead – its center of gravity is further shifted by a few millimeters. Competition regulations dictate that the center of gravity of the head must be within 6 mm of the geometric center. By making a difference of just a few millimeters within these specifications, Nishi Sports is staying ahead of the competition among other companies around the world.

The other constituent components of the hammer, such as the handle, the connecting wire between the handle and the head, and the spindle that connects the head and wire, are also constructed in a unique manner, making Nishi Sports hammers truly distinguished. The amount of technique and effort that Nishi Sports pours into each of their products while staying within the limits of the rules and regulations is reminiscent of that of athletes that are competing for gold.


Japanese technology soars above the international stage


The distances achieved by competitors in a throwing event are not solely determined by an individual’s athletic ability and throwing skills. The weather, venue configuration, and quality of throwing equipment can all exert significant influence on the result of a competition.
Let’s look at an example. In 1984, a men’s javelin thrower, Uwe Hohn of the German Democratic Republic, became the first athlete to break the 100-meter record. Increases in the projectile flight distance pose a greater risk to everyone  in the same arena, includeing other athletes (particularly those running on the outer tracks) and even spectators. Two years later in 1986, the IAAF revised its javelin specifications so that the throwing distance would decrease by approximately 10%; the center of gravity was required to be moved forward by 4 cm. Directly following this change, the throwing distance record lost approximately 11 m from the existing world record, and the 100 meter mark has not been broken in the years since. This example indicates that the quality and specification of equipment, particularly for throwing events, are important factors for athletes who are striving to break the record. It is only natural, then, that each piece of equipment that can bring the best out of athletes while adhering to rigorous IAAF regulations is a technological trove, created from a combination of the greatest technology and craftsmanship.

Throwing events are particularly popular in Europe, and yet the most popular equipment among these athletes usually Japanese-made. Nishi Sports continues to provide equipment which is strongly favored by world-class athletes. Their equipment, such as the shot, discus, and javelin, have been continuously approved as Official Sporting Equipment at international events such as the Olympics and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics since the 1985 Universiade in Kobe. Their continued status as endorsed event equipment points to the reliability, quality, and manufacturing consistency of the product, but in addition to this, these products are also highly favored by athletes. Athletes can choose which equipment to use from a list of four to six Official Sporting Equipment, and at the 2012 London Olympics, 77% of men’s and 31% of women’s hammer event finalists and 100% of men’s and 60% of women’s shot put finalists used Nishi Sports products.

Given the company’s exceptional track record, their tireless efforts in ongoing research and development, and their technicians’ skill and devotion, we cannot help but be excited for the future of Nishi Sports and further development of their products. We hope to see their products soar at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and, by the same token, at various international events all over the world.


Aug 2, 2016

About the author
Hiromi Jitsukata is a reporter for Japanest NIPPON
Hammer
F201 Hammer 7.260 kg
For Men
IAAF approved, JAAF
inspected
Diameter: 110 mm
Materials: ductile cast
iron, lead/tungsten
mixture
F241A Hammer 6.000 kg
For High School Boys/
Men Junior Standard
IAAF approved, JAAF
inspected
Diameter: 105 mm
Materials: ductile cast
iron, lead/tungsten
mixture
F242BB Hammer 5.000 kg
For Boys Youth Standard, Masters Standard
IAAF approved,
JAAF inspected
Diameter: 100 mm
Materials: ductile cast
iron
NF210B Hammer 4.000 kg
For Women, High School, Junior Standard
IAAF approved, JAAF
inspected
Diameter: 95 mm
Materials: ductile cast
iron, lead/tungsten
mixture
NF244A Hammer 3.000 kg
For Girls Youth Standard, Masters Standard
IAAF approved,
JAAF inspected
Diameter: 85mm
Materials: ductile cast
iron