Zelezny tries his arm at pitching

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The Independent Online
The Olympic gold medal javelin thrower Jan Zelezny was aiming for a lucrative new career yesterday with a trial as a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.

Hoping Zelezny can throw a baseball as well as a spear, the Braves will assess the Czech athlete's pitching abilities from the bullpen mound at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.

"You never know where you can find another good arm," the Braves general manager, John Schuerholz, said.

The Braves believe the dynamics of the javelin throw and baseball pitching are similar.

"A javelin thrower pulls his arm back three-fourths of the way, just like a pitcher," Paul Snyder, the scouting director, said. "They also have to learn to drive off their back leg. It's a natural."

The trial was fixed long before the Olympic Games in Atlanta. Zelezny, who won his second gold medal in successive Games last week, said then that the tryout would be more than a publicity stunt. In addition to his Olympic training, he has practised throwing a baseball.