Olympic javelin champ joins world sports Hall of Fame

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in Monaco welcomed 12 athletes into its Hall of Fame this year, including Latvian javelin thrower Jānis Lūsis, who will be honored at a live induction ceremony Friday evening.

Lūsis competed under the Soviet Union’s flag, but earned admiring fans among his fellow Latvians worldwide, winning four European Championship gold medals between 1962 and 1971 and a full set of Olympic medals – gold in 1968, silver in 1972 and bronze in 1964 – also setting two world records during his athletic career.

According to the IAAF on Lūsis’ biography page, the javelin master was “a model of high-level consistency for almost a decade,” and finished his stellar career at the 1974 European Championships and eighth at the 1976 Olympic Games.

The inductees are selected according to a set of strict minimum criteria of at least two Olympic or world titles plus at least one world record. This criteria was altered for 2013 and beyond to allow athletes whose achievements had an ‘extraordinary impact on our sport’ to be considered as well. All members must have been retired from the sport for a minimum of 10 years.

To keep the process as independent and as transparent as possible, the athletes considered for each induction are proposed by the IAAF Hall of Fame selection panel which consists of five athletics historians, all long-standing members of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (ATFS) including its president. The panel is chaired by IAAF senior vice president Bob Hersh, who has himself been a member of the ATFS for more than 35 years.

The athletes joining the IAAF Hall of Fame this year will be inducted live on stage during the 2014 World Athletics Gala in Monaco on Friday 21 November.

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