Czech Knife Throwers Dominate World Championships

Why are some of the biggest knife brands including SOG, Cold Steel, and Smith & Wesson making throwing knives? Maybe it’s because the growth in knife throwing has more blades flying than ever before. But with sanctioned events like the Big Throwers Meeting World Championship in Knife and Axe Throwing, for some it’s become more than just a leisure activity. The event was sponsored by LionSteel, and over 150 people from 12 countries descended on Maniago, Italy last week to take part in the competition.

Knife throwers from the Czech Republic dominated the event taking home a total of 37 medals. Along with many of his fellow countrymen, Adam Čeladin brought home hardware, winning gold in both Instinctive and Long Distance throwing.

In Instinctive Throwing, competitors use a half-spin or no-spin throwing style. Throws are made at 3m, 4m, 5m, 6m, and 7m, and points are allocated according to the accuracy of each throw. “I knew it was going to be hard,” says Čeladin. Though it was his first time attending the World Championships, Čeladin has been practicing Instinctive Throwing daily for the better part of 3 years. The result was a gold medal for the young Czech.

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Čeladin didn’t think he stood a chance to win Long Distance Throwing, a category that is particularly hard for the no-spin techniques that he specializes in. In Long Distance, throwers start 4m from the target and have three chances to stick a knife in order to remain in the competition. Despite having only practiced the style a handful of times, he got all the way up to 16m, where things started to get more serious. “At that range I knew I couldn’t make it with my style, so I had to come up with something really quick,” Čeladin told us.

That something was a slow, 2 ½ spin throw. It was an improvised throwing style, but it took Čeladin to an extremely difficult 19m. He missed his first two throws and adjusted for the third. “It was like the knife was spinning forever,” he says. “But somehow it stuck to the target.” That hit not only made Čeladin the World Champion Long Distance thrower, at a distance of 19.23m [63 feet], it was also the second longest distance ever thrown in the category. The spectators, arbiters, and throwers, Čeladin among them, were stunned. “I never expected this. It was really one of the happiest moments of my life,” he says.

When he’s not throwing knives, Čeladin is busy running his company Sharp Blades, makers of various sharp implements including axes, machetes, and, of course, throwing knives.