Dainis Kūla

Dainis KūLa

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Dainis Kūla

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Dainis Kūla (born April 28, 1959 in Tukums) is a former Latvian javelin thrower who represented the Soviet Union at the international level for most of his career. He is most famous for controversially winning the gold medal in men's javelin throw at the 1980 Summer Olympics, becoming the second Latvian to achieve this (after Jānis Lūsis). He is also a World Championship bronze medalist, a three-time Soviet Champion and a two-time Universiade champion.

1980 Summer Olympics

Early in the training season for the 1980 Summer Olympics, Kūla threw 90.30 meters and in the run-up to the Olympics, he threw even farther: 92.06 meters, a mark he would never exceed in an official competition. The favorite though was Hungary's formidable Ferenc Paragi, who had thrown a new world record of 96.72 in April.

At the Olympics in Moscow, Kūla cleared the qualification stage easily but fouled on both of his first two throws in the final. As only the top eight of twelve finalists would be allowed the full six attempts, this meant everything hung on his third throw. Although the third throw flew far, it apparently landed flat and failed to pierce the field, which meant it too should have been ruled illegal. However, in front of the home crowd, the officials raised a white flag indicating that the throw was good; it was measured at 88.88, easily enough to advance him to the last three rounds (indeed...
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