1) What is a “bench pull” and what is its utility?
Described accurately / perfectly below. It is used to balance all of the pec work that is done and also many German coaches believe you can actively place the discus behind you as opposed to it being ‘left behind’ passively.
2) Do they seem to train throwers now the same he did with the athletes mentioned from back in the 80s-90s?
They train the same (at least these two coaches do).