Christiaan ("Chris") Harmse (born 31 May 1973) is a South African hammer thrower. He has broken the African record seven times, and holds the championship record for both the African Championships and All-Africa Games.

Chris Harmse
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  South Africa
Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 2010 New Delhi Hammer throw
Bronze medal – third place 1998 Kuala Lumpur Hammer throw
Bronze medal – third place 2006 Melbourne Hammer throw
All-Africa Games
Gold medal – first place 1999 Johannesburg Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2003 Abuja Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2007 Algiers Hammer throw
Silver medal – second place 2011 Maputo Hammer throw
Silver medal – second place 2015 Brazzaville Hammer throw
African Championships
Gold medal – first place 1998 Dakar Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2002 Radès Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2004 Brazzaville Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2006 Bambous Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2008 Addis Ababa Hammer throw
Silver medal – second place 2010 Nairobi Hammer throw
Gold medal – first place 2012 Porto Novo Hammer throw
Silver medal – second place 2014 Marrakech Hammer throw
Silver medal – second place 2016 Durban Hammer throw

He has been a dominant presence in African hammer throwing since his first African Championships in Athletics in 1998 where he took gold with a championship record throw. He then went on to claim four consecutive African titles between 2002–2008, improving his own record along the way. His performances at the All-Africa Games have been equally dominant – he won his first title at the 1999 Games with a Games record and won twice more consecutively in 2003 and 2007, improving his record both times.

Although he won bronze medals at the 1998 and 2006 Commonwealth Games, he has had considerably less success on the world stage – despite four appearances at the World Championships in Athletics in his career, he has never qualified for the final of the event. Furthermore, he has never represented South Africa at the Olympics as he does not compete on Sundays, due to his religious views. Harmse is only the second Olympian to withdraw from the games for religious reasons.[1]

His personal best throw is 80.63 metres, achieved in April 2005 in Durban. This is the former African record,[2] being beaten in 2014 by Mostafa Al-Gamel from Egypt.

On 22 April 2017, Harmse gained his twenty-second consecutive national hammer throw title at the South Africa Senior Track and Field Championships - Potchefstroom – a record unmatched by any athlete at the country's national championships. This has also been recorded as a World Record for most consecutive National Athletic Titles. He achieved this by besting Renaldo Frechou, whom himself gained the lead on his last throw with a distance of 70.30 meters. Tshepang Makhethe unfortunately threw a foul on his last, which in itself looked to be a monster. Chris stepped into the circle and threw a distance of 70.53 meters, realizing his ultimate dream. Chris managed to overcome immense pain and was up to 2 weeks before the competition completely out due to his knees. His physio and he worked very hard to get him into the circle for this momentous day.

International competitionsEdit

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing   South Africa
1998 African Championships Dakar, Senegal 1st 72.11 m (CR)
Commonwealth Games Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 3rd 72.83 m
World Cup Johannesburg, South Africa 7th 68.34 m[3]
1999 Universiade Palma de Mallorca, Spain 13th 70.18 m
World Championships Seville, Spain 30th (q) 71.57 m
All-Africa Games Johannesburg, South Africa 1st 74.75 m (CR)
2001 Universiade Beijing, China 5th 76.07 m
2002 African Championships Radès, Tunisia 1st 76.07 m (CR)
World Cup Madrid, Spain 4th 77.16 m[3]
2003 All-Africa Games Abuja, Nigeria 1st 75.17 m (CR)
Afro-Asian Games Hyderabad, India 1st 75.67 m
2004 African Championships Brazzaville, Congo 1st 75.90 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 13th (q) 74.37 m
2006 Commonwealth Games Melbourne, Australia 3rd 73.81 m
African Championships Bambous, Mauritius 1st 77.55 m (CR)
World Cup Athens, Greece 7th 73.94 m[3]
2007 All-Africa Games Algiers, Algeria 1st 76.73 m (CR)
World Championships Osaka, Japan 24th (q) 71.07 m
2008 African Championships Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 1st 77.72 m (CR)
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany NM
2010 Continental Cup Split, Croatia 7th 71.06 m[3]
Commonwealth Games New Delhi, India 1st 73.15 m
African Championships Nairobi, Kenya 2nd 72.56 m
2011 All-Africa Games Maputo, Mozambique 2nd 74.66 m
2012 African Championships Porto Novo, Benin 1st 77.22 m
2013 World Championships Moscow, Russia 24th (q) 71.42 m
2014 African Championships Marrakech, Morocco 2nd 73.90 m
Continental Cup Marrakech, Morocco 7th 71.71 m[3]
2015 African Games Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo 2nd 73.49 m
2016 African Championships Durban, South Africa 2nd 67.67 m
2018 African Championships Asaba, Nigeria 5th 68.71 m