Thomas Petranoff,
Senior Contributor

Thomas Petranoff is a retired American track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He held the world record (old implement javelin) from May 1983 to July 1984; his 99.72 m (327 ft) throw was almost the length of an American football field (360 feet/110 meters).

During his career, he was a silver medalist at the World Championships in 1983 and represented the United States at the Summer Olympics in 1984 and 1988.

He transferred to South Africa in the 1990s and was twice a winner at the African Championships. His personal best with the new implement javelin is 89.16 m (292.5 ft). In the final years of his competitive career, he returned to the United States and won a medal at the 1999 Pan American Games.

Petranoff is also the inventor of the "Turbo Javelin." This implement is used for javelin practice, especially indoors. Made of heavy-duty plastic and a rubber tip, the turbo javelin is very safe and ideal for indoor practice, and makes a good substitute for younger throwers as the official javelin can be dangerous. It is now used in its own competitions for people of all ages.

Thomas Petranoff now lives in Florida; he has coached for institutions such as Boston University.