Women have been throwing the javelin at the Olympics since 1932—when Babe Didrickson won the gold while establishing herself as one of America’s greatest female athletes. This year’s gals are pretty impressive, too. The 2012 London Olympics has a incredible slate of ladies looking to set records while letting loose with a spear that’s just a little over 8′ in length. Don’t get scared, though. The javelin started out as a weapon, but these Olympians are throwing a lighter version that’s made for distance instead of penetration. These Olympian contenders are still real warrior women, and we’ve got eight amazing ladies who are as beautiful as they are athletic. Check out these gals who’ll give you some real momentum—and then admire the ladies of the heptathlon, too, and some other gals of track and field…
Rachel Yurkovich – USA
It’s been a tough road to the Olympics for this American gal. Rachel made a strong showing at the 2008 Olympic trials, but failed to qualify because her previous scores didn’t meet the A standard. The 25-year-old only got in this year because another athlete had the same problem—but Rachel is still looking determined to make a real impression at this year’s Games.
Madara Palameika – Latvia
This statuesque blonde is an imposing presence on the track and field. She’s also a tough contender, with the 25-year-old making her Olympics debut after a strong showing in the 2011 U23 European Championships.
Leryn Franco – Paraguay
She’s notorious for being a model athlete. In fact, Leryn Franco is a model and an athlete, and she drew some attention for hitting the catwalk right before heading to London for this year’s Games. Leryn isn’t looking to be a real contender this year, but the 30-year-old did just come in 2nd place at this year’s Ibero-American Championships.
Elizabeth Gleadle – Canada
It’s her first time at the Olympics, but this 23-year-old Vancouver gal already has a lot of momentum on the field. She’s coming to London after a first-pace finish at the 2012 National Championships in Calgary.
Maria Abakumova – Russia
This athlete is a real threat to her competition, as she heads to London after winning the gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Sout Korea. She set a record there, and won the silver at the 2008 Olympics. She’s only 26, too, so she’s competing this year in her prime.
Asdis Hjalmsdottir – Iceland
There’s a long tradition of Nordic women winning the javelin throws, but Asdis wasn’t anything special in the 2008 Games. She began to come back strong in 2009, though, and currently holds the Icelandic world record.
Lina Muze – Latvia
You’re getting some seriously young talent with Lina Muze. She’s only 19 years old, but is coming to the Olympics with two silver medals from recent Junior Championships.
Vira Rebryk – Ukraine
She set her personal best back in 2008, but that’s still the world record in her home country. Now this 23-year-old is hitting London after a first-place finish in the 2012 European Championships.