Athlete Profile

    Japan Japan
    08 OCT 1974
Koji Murofushi (Getty Images)


Discipline Performance Wind Venue Date Records Results Score
Discus Throw 41.93 CM, Madrid (ESP) 21 SEP 2002 730
Hammer Throw 84.86 Stadion Juliska, Praha (CZE) 29 JUN 2003 AR, NR 1269


* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2016


Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records Results Score
Hammer Throw 64.74 Nagoya (JPN) 24 JUN 2016 959


Discus Throw

Performance Place Date
2002 41.93 CM, Madrid (ESP) 21 SEP 2002


Hammer Throw

Performance Place Date
2016 64.74 Nagoya (JPN) 24 JUN 2016
2014 73.93 Fukushima (JPN) 07 JUN 2014
2013 78.03 Luzhniki, Moskva (RUS) 12 AUG 2013
2012 78.71 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 05 AUG 2012
2011 81.24 DS, Daegu (KOR) 29 AUG 2011
2010 80.99 Guidobaldi, Rieti (ITA) 28 AUG 2010
2009 78.36 Portland, OR (USA) 06 SEP 2009
2008 81.87 Nagoya (JPN) 21 JUL 2008
2007 82.62 Guidobaldi, Rieti (ITA) 09 SEP 2007
2006 82.01 Olympic Stadium, Athina (GRE) 16 SEP 2006
2005 76.47 Tokyo (JPN) 04 JUN 2005
2004 83.15 Yokohama (JPN) 23 SEP 2004
2003 84.86 Stadion Juliska, Praha (CZE) 29 JUN 2003
2002 83.33 Doha (QAT) 15 MAY 2002
2001 83.47 Toyota (JPN) 14 JUL 2001
2000 81.08 Yokohama (JPN) 09 SEP 2000
1999 79.17 Kumamoto (JPN) 24 OCT 1999
1998 78.57 Bangkok (THA) 13 DEC 1998
1997 75.72 Marugame (JPN) 19 OCT 1997
1996 71.84 Tokyo (JPN) 08 SEP 1996
1995 72.32 Fukushima (JPN) 19 OCT 1995
1994 67.48 Hiroshima (JPN) 10 OCT 1994
1992 65.78 Olympic Stadium, Jamsil, Seoul (KOR) 18 SEP 1992

Honours - Olympic Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 82.91 Olympic Stadium, Athina (GRE) 22 AUG 2004
3. Hammer Throw 78.71 Olympic Stadium, London (GBR) 05 AUG 2012
5. Hammer Throw 80.71 National Stadium, Beijing (CHN) 17 AUG 2008

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 81.24 DS, Daegu (KOR) 29 AUG 2011
2. Hammer Throw 82.92 Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton (CAN) 05 AUG 2001
3. Hammer Throw 80.12 Stade de France, Paris-St-Denis (FRA) 25 AUG 2003
6. Hammer Throw 78.03 Luzhniki, Moskva (RUS) 12 AUG 2013
6. Hammer Throw 80.46 Nagai Stadium, Osaka (JPN) 27 AUG 2007

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 82.01 Olympic Stadium, Athina (GRE) 16 SEP 2006
2. Hammer Throw 80.08 CM, Madrid (ESP) 20 SEP 2002

Honours - World U20 Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
8. Hammer Throw 65.78 Olympic Stadium, Jamsil, Seoul (KOR) 18 SEP 1992

Honours - Asian Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 80.45 Colombo (SRI) 10 AUG 2002
2. Hammer Throw 74.17 Fukuoka (JPN) 19 JUL 1998

Honours - Asian Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 78.72 Busan (KOR) 08 OCT 2002
1. Hammer Throw 78.57 Bangkok (THA) 13 DEC 1998

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 81.42 Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart (GER) 10 SEP 2006
3. Hammer Throw 78.99 Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart (GER) 14 SEP 2008
3. Hammer Throw 77.95 Gottlieb-Daimler Stadion, Stuttgart (GER) 23 SEP 2007
4. Hammer Throw 79.12 Szombathely (HUN) 07 SEP 2003

Honours - Grand Prix Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 81.14 Stade Charléty, Paris (FRA) 14 SEP 2002
2. Hammer Throw 80.32 Suhaim bin Hamad Stadium, Doha (QAT) 05 OCT 2000

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 79.50 Stadio Olimpico, Roma (ITA) 29 JUN 2001

Honours - National Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Hammer Throw 76.42 Tokyo (JPN) 09 JUN 2013
1. Hammer Throw 72.85 Osaka (JPN) 08 JUN 2012
1. Hammer Throw 77.01 Kumagaya (JPN) 11 JUN 2011
1. Hammer Throw 77.35 Marugame (JPN) 05 JUN 2010
1. Hammer Throw 73.26 Hiroshima (JPN) 27 JUN 2009
1. Hammer Throw 80.98 Kawasaki (JPN) 27 JUN 2008
1. Hammer Throw 79.24 Osaka (JPN) 30 JUN 2007
1. Hammer Throw 80.17 Kobe (JPN) 01 JUL 2006
1. Hammer Throw 76.47 Tokyo (JPN) 04 JUN 2005
1. Hammer Throw 82.09 Tottori (JPN) 06 JUN 2004
1. Hammer Throw 83.29 Yokohama (JPN) 08 JUN 2003
1. Hammer Throw 79.15 Kanazawa (JPN) 09 JUN 2002
1. Hammer Throw 78.83 Tokyo (JPN) 10 JUN 2001
1. Hammer Throw 76.39 Sendai (JPN) 08 OCT 2000
1. Hammer Throw 74.06 Tokyo (JPN) 05 OCT 1997
1. Hammer Throw 70.38 Osaka (JPN) 09 JUN 1996
Results in:

Hammer Throw

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result
24 JUN 2016 Nagoya Japanese Ch., Nagoya JPNJPN B F 12. 64.74

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Updated 24 July 2008

Koji MUROFUSHI, Japan (Hammer Throw)

Born: October 1974, Shizuoka Prefecture
1.87m / 99kg
Lives and trains in Aichi Pref.
Team: MIZUNO Track Club

The defending Olympic champion and Asian record holder (84.86) at the Hammer Throw, Koji Murofushi, is the eldest son of Shigenobu Murofushi, who is also known as the “Iron man of Asia.” Shigenobu is a former National record (75.96) holder and four-time Olympian in the event. He was eighth in Munich (1972) and eleventh in Montreal (1976).

The elder Murofushi won five Asian Games titles from 1970 to 1986 and twelve National Championships. His mother, Serafina Moritz, won the Javelin Throw in the 1968 European Junior Championships and represented Romania in the Olympic Games. Yuka, Koji’s younger sister, holds the National record at both the Discus Throw (58.62) and Hammer Throw (67.77). She competed at Hammer in the 2004 Olympics and 2005 World Championships. Yuka, who was born in 1977, also threw Discus in the 2007 World Championships. 

Influenced by his father, who turned to coaching after retiring from elite competition (Shigenobu is now a professor at Chukyo University), Koji was raised in an environment where mingling with elite athletes and top coaches were a way of life. Having shown exceptional athletic ability from his youth, Koji participated in various sports in his childhood. In 1990, after entering Narita High School, the well known elite sports high school, Koji started to throw a Hammer seriously.

Koji was guided by two exceptional coaches. His father was teaching him throwing technique while Tsuguo Takita, a well respected coach for junior athletes, was responsible for general physical conditioning.  In 1991, his junior year in high school, Muruofushi set a National high school record (68.22) with a 6.35kg hammer. He then improved his record eleven times in six competitions, all the way to 73.52.

Furthermore, with a standard 7.26kg (16lb) hammer, Murofushi recorded eight high school records (including a tie) in five competitions. By 1992, he had extended the record to 66.30. 

In 1993, Murofushi entered Chukyo University, where his father is a member of faculty, and promptly set a National junior record (68.00). In 1995, he surpassed 70m for the first time with 71.02 in April and won at the National Championships for the first time in June.  His undefeated streak at the National Championships is continuing to this day. He also participated in the World Championships (Göteborg) for the first time in 1995.

After graduating from college in 1997, Murofushi joined Mizuno. In the same year, at the World Championships in Athens, he made the Final, where he finished tenth. As for the record, Murofushi surpassed 75m for the first time in 1997. Then, in April of 1998, he threw 76.65 to surpass his father’s National record, which had lasted 14 years. In subsequent years, Murofushi set eighteen national records in thirteen meetings.   

In May of 2000, he won the IAAF GP in Osaka with a throw of 80.23, his first over 80m. Although he finished only ninth at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Murofushi extended his National record to 81.08 while surpassing the 80m barrier in five meetings. In July 2001, he set an Asian record of 83.47, thus eclipsing a mark held by Andrey Abduvaliyev by 1cm. The following month he won a silver medal with 82.92 throw in the World Championships, in Edmonton. It was the first throwing medal by a Japanese in either the Olympics or World Championships.   

Although he failed to improve his personal best in 2002, Murofushi won the GP Final, one of his goals for the year. After a solid winter training base he moved up a notch in 2003. Although it was merely a training meeting, in his first competition of the year, Murofushi not only threw 82.36 but, for the first time in his life, all his throws were over 80m. Then, in his second meeting of the year, at the IAAF Osaka GP, he was even better. Not only did he throw 82.95 but all his throws were over 81m.

In his third competition, all but one of Murofushi’s throws were over 80m, culminating in 82.67. And, in the National Championships, his fourth competition, he threw 83.29, the third best throw of his career. Then, in June, he competed in the Memorial Josefa Odlozila in Prague. In his fifth throw Koji threw 84.86 thus improving his Asian record. At the time, it was third best throw in history and the best throw in the last fifteen years. He also threw 84.80m in the sixth round. 

Based on these results, Murofushi was the favourite going into the World Championships, in Paris. Unfortunately, a month before the championships, he injured his lower back during weight training. To add insult to injury, one week before the Worlds, he fell during the throwing session and banged his right elbow hard onto the throwing circle. In the process he hurt the nerve leading to his ring finger. Despite all these problems, Murofushi decided to compete in Paris and won a bronze medal with 80.12. With this effort, Murofushi was selected to represent Japan in the Athens Olympics. 

In Athens, Adrian Annus of Hungary, who threw 83.19 in the third round, was Murofushi’s main competition. Murofushi countered with 82.35 in the fourth round to close the gap. After a foul with his fifth throw, Murofushi threw 82.91, which was not quite enough to overtake Annus. However, a week later the IOC stripped Annus of the gold medal for doping violation.

Murofushi thus moved up a spot to win the Olympic gold medal, which was the first for a Japanese thrower. Furthermore, not only it was the first for Japan in an event other than the marathon since World War II, but it was also the first gold in a men’s event since Naoto Tajima won the Triple Jump in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. 
Although he missed the 2005 IAAF World Championships due to lower back injury resulting from earlier injury to his right lower ribs, in 2006 Murofushi was supreme. Not only he was undefeated in eight competitions from the Golden Spike meeting, in Ostrava in May, to the Super Meet, in Yokohama in September, but Murofushi also won at the World Athletics Final, in Stuttgart, and the World Cup, in Athens. Although he was only sixth with 80.46 in the 2007 World Championships, in Osaka, Murofushi was selected to represent Japan in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games based on his top-eight finish in the Worlds. 

In the 2008 season, Murofushi won at the National Championships, his season opener, with 80.98, thus extending a streak at the Nationals to fourteen. Furthermore, on 21 and 27 July, in small competitions at Chukyo University, he recorded throws of 81.87 and 80.34. He is rounding into shape just in time for the Olympics.  

Since 1997, besides being an elite athlete, Murofushi was a student of exercise physiology at Chukyo University conducting research on the biomechanics of the Hammer Throw. In March 2008, he was awarded a PhD degree. The superb throwing technique that Murofushi inherited from his father was honed not only through standard biomechanical study, but also through research on movement used in martial arts and other ancient Japanese traditional motion. Furthermore, Murofushi is known to mingle with international athletes and coaches, which is made possible by his English language skills.

In recent years, Murofushi has extended his activities to giving lectures and conducting workshops and clinics on the topics of Hammer Throw. Furthermore, he is a member of the IAAF Athletes’ Commission and is running for the IOC Athletes’ Commission.

Personal Bests

Hammer Throw: 84.86, Asian record (2003)
Discus Throw: 44.64 (1996)
Javelin Throw: 68.16 (1992)

Yearly Progression

Hammer Throw: 1990-57.82(6.351kg); 1991-68.22(6.351kg); 1992-73.52(6.351kg); 1993-68.00 (National Junior record); 1994-69.54;1995-72.32; 1996-73.82; 1997-75.72; 1998-78.57 (National record); 1999-79.17(National record);  2000-81.08 (National record); 2001-83.47 (Asian record); 2002-83.33; 2003-84.86 (Asian record); 2004-83.15; 2005-76.47; 2006-82.01; 2007-82.62; 2008-81.87

Career Highlights

1992 8th World Junior Championships
1993 2nd Asian Championships
1994  2nd Asian Games
1995 2nd Asian Championships
1995 q World Championships
1995 15th World University Games
1997 10th World Championships
1997 8th World University Games
1998 2nd Asian Championships
1998 1st Asian Games
1999 6th  Word University Games
1999  q World Championships
2000 9th Olympic Games
2000 2nd GP Final
2001 2nd  World Championships
2002 1st  Asian Championships
2002 1st  GP Final
2002 2nd World Cup (9th Discus Throw)
2002 1st Asian Games
2003 3rd World Championships
2003 4th World Athletics Final
2004 1st Olympic Games
2006 1st World Athletics Final
2006 1st World Cup
2007 6th World Championships
2007 3rd World Athletics Final

Prepared by Ikumi Kodama for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. © IAAF 2008.