In-form German lives up to his billing of favourite to take title from Czech Republic duo
Germany has dominated the men’s javelin in 2017. Firstly Thomas Röhler went No.2 on the all-time rankings behind Jan Zelezny with 93.90m. Then Johannes Vetter leapfrogged him on the world lists with a 94.44m effort.
Given this, the Germans were hotly tipped to take the title in London. With Andreas Hoffman also in great form this year, a clean sweep of the medals was even on the cards.
This total domination of the podium did not happen, but Germany still struck gold courtesy of Vetter, as Czech pair Jakub Vadlejch and Petr Frydrych took the minor medals.
There were none of the expected 90-metre throws either in a competition that struggled for the spotlight as it partly clashed with the men’s 5000m featuring home favourite Mo Farah.
Vetter had earlier thrown 91.20m in qualifying, but in the final his best effort of 89.89m, which he threw in the first round, was good enough to win.
Vadlejch, the 2016 Diamond League winner, also produced his longest throw in the first round with a 89.73m PB in round one, but his team-mate Frydrych, who is coached by Zelezny, left his best until the final round when he threw 88.32m to move into third, bumping Rohler down into fourth in the process.
Perhaps Röhler would have fared better if the final had been held a couple of nights earlier when the weather was much wetter. In Germany he is known as ‘Regenwerfer’, or rain thrower, due to his habit of doing well in wet weather, but Saturday night in the Olympic Stadium was warm and dry.
“It was amazing for me,” said Vetter, 24, who finished fourth in Rio last year but celebrated his gold in London by carrying a German flag around his lap of honour. “It was very emotional for me at the end of the competition because of the pressure in the last few weeks and days.
“But the main reason is because I am so thankful for the team around me. I changed three years ago to a new coach, Boris Obergföll. He is the key to my success, plus the physios and the medical team. I just want to celebrate now.”
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