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Gerd Kanter
Osaka07 D4A Discus VC.jpg
Kanter in Osaka in 2007
Personal information
Nationality Estonian
Born 6 May 1979 (1979-05-06) (age 42)
Tallinn, Estonia
Height 1.96 m (6 ft 5 in)
Weight 127 kg (280 lb)
Country  Estonia
Sport Athletics
Event(s) Discus
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 73.38 m (2006)

Gerd Kanter (born 6 May 1979) is a retired Estonian discus thrower. He was the 2007 World Champion in the event and won the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and bronze in London 2012. His personal best throw of 73.38 m is the Estonian record and the third best mark of all-time.

He made his first Olympic appearance in 2004 and established himself a year later by taking the silver medal at the 2005 World Championships. He was runner-up at the 2006 European Athletics Championships and won further medals at the World Championships in 2009 (bronze) and 2011 (silver).

He won the 2012 and the 2013 IAAF Diamond League in discus throw.


He competed at the 2004 Olympics, but did not reach the final. The season 2005 was his breakthrough year as he won silver medals at the World Championships and World Athletics Final, took home a victory in the European Cup and won the World University Games. He also threw more than 70 metres for the first time.

On 4 September 2006 in Helsingborg, Sweden, Kanter threw more than 70 metres in four different rounds (69.46 – 72.30 – 70.43 – 73.38 – 70.51 – 65.88). The best mark of 73.38 m was an Estonian record and the third best in history – only Jürgen Schult (74.08 m, 1986) and Virgilijus Alekna (73.88 m, 2000) have thrown further.

Kanter was the silver medalist at the 2006 European Athletics Championships, finishing behind Virgilijus Alekna, and became the world champion in the discus at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he took the Olympic gold medal with a throw of 68.82 meters, one meter ahead of second-place finisher Piotr Malachowski of Poland.

In March 2009 he won the European Cup Winter Throwing event in Los Realejos, Tenerife, Spain with 69.70 m. On 22 March 2009, he set a world indoor best of 69.51 m in Växjö, Sweden. At the 2009 World Championships in Athletics he returned to defend his world title. He had a best throw of 66.88 m, which was enough for the World bronze medal. He took victory in the Wexiö Indoor Throwing competition in 2010, although his winning throw was some way behind his indoor record set the previous year. Still, he started strongly outdoors, having a long early-season throw of 71.45 m in California – the eleventh best throw ever at that point.

He finished just outside the medals at the 2010 European Athletics Championships, coming fourth, but managed to win the silver medal at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics behind Robert Harting. He ended that year with a season's best throw of 67.99 m at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial.

He retired from competition after the 2018 season.


Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  Estonia
2001 European U23 Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 5th 57.73 m
2002 European Championships Munich, Germany 12th 55.14 m
2003 World Championships Paris, France 25th (q) 56.63 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 19th (q) 60.05 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 5th 63.28 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 2nd 68.57 m
Universiade İzmir, Turkey 1st 65.29 m
World Athletics Final Monte Carlo, Monaco 2nd 66.01 m
2006 European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 68.03 m
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 2nd 68.47 m
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 1st 68.94 m
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 66.54 m
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 1st 68.82 m
World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 1st 68.38 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 3rd 66.88 m
2010 European Championships Barcelona, Spain 4th 66.20 m
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 2nd 66.95 m
2012 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 2nd 66.53 m
Olympic Games London, Great Britain 3rd 68.03 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 65.19 m
2014 European Championships Zurich, Switzerland 2nd 64.75 m
2015 World Championships Beijing, China 4th 64.82 m
2016 European Championships Amsterdam, Netherlands 3rd 65.27 m
Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 5th 65.10 m
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 12th 60.00 m
2018 European Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 64.34 m


  • Estonian Sportsman of the Year: 2007, 2008, 2011
  • European Athlete of the Month: April 2009, April 2010, September 2014


EST Estonian Red Cross Order 1Class BAR.svg Order of the Estonian Red Cross, 1st Class: 2009
EST Order of the White Star - 4th Class BAR.png Order of the White Star, 4th Class: 2006
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