Does the junior IAAF athletic world championship represent a springboard for the success in the throwing events? A retrospective study.

The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness

PubMedID: 25034545

Piacentini MF, Comotto S, Guerriero A, Bonato M, Vernillo G, La Torre A. Does the junior IAAF athletic world championship represent a springboard for the success in the throwing events? A retrospective study. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014;54(4):410-6.
AIM
The aim of the present study was to analyze how many finalists of the IAAF World Junior Championships (WJC) in the throwing events were present in the senior IAAF ranking at the end of 2012.

METHODS
The results of the 8 male and the 8 female finalists of all throwing events of the last 5 editions of the WJC from the 2002 edition were gathered. We analyzed how many athletes were missing from the IAAF ranking in 2012. For those athletes that did not drop out we monitored their progression in performance comparing their WJC and their 2012 performance. Moreover, we evaluated if the relative age effects (RAE) influenced drop out rate.

RESULTS
Drop out rate was 58% in 2002, 59% in 2004, 39% in 2006, and 28% in 2008 and in 2010. The female javelin throwers showed the highest drop out rate (100%) in 2002, while the female hammer throwers showed the lowest drop out rate (0%) in 2008. Performance decreased for all male shot putters, discus and hammer throwers (P<0.001). For females and for male javelin throwers, performance increased (P<0.001). RAEs showed no significant influence on drop out rate

CONCLUSION
Even if 8 of the finalists won a medal at the Olympic Games or at the World Championships, it is still not clear if participation at the WJC is a prerequisite to success at a senior level, given the elevated drop out rate observed in the present study.