After throwing 93.90m, Rohler is “aiming for more” on the road to London

  • Home
  • News
  • After throwing 93.90m, Rohler is “aiming for more” on the road to London

Olympic javelin champion Thomas Rohler, who further adorned his CV in Lille last weekend as he helped Germany to regain the European Athletics Team Championships title, will compete in Ostrava on Wednesday after meeting the only man ahead of him in the all-time lists: Jan Zelezny.

Although Rohler and the Czech Republic’s world record-holder and three-time Olympic champion have spoken on several occasions, this will be their first opportunity to talk since the 25-year-old from Jena produced his prodigious season-opener of 93.90m at the Doha Diamond League.

“After I threw in Doha, Jan got a message to me via his team, congratulating me on my performance,” said Rohler. “I will see him when I go to the Ostrava meeting and I am really looking forward to that. He is a legend in our sport.'

“He has definitely been a role model for me. There is no perfect technique in javelin throwing. Everyone is different. We see this in Germany now when we have three top throwers, all with very different styles.

“But I think there are some similarities between my technique and Jan’s. I think we are very technically precise. We are neither of us super-big – instead we have strong, lean, flexible bodies. Jan had maybe the longest pull on the javelin ever, and he had very quick and precise feet.

“Maybe Steve Backley was better in terms of what he did with his chest but Zelezny threw more than 50 throws of 90m. He put everything together.”

As he heads towards the World Championships in London, Rohler – clear-eyed, articulate and super-smart – is endeavouring to do exactly the same. He has also drawn confidence from the fact Zelezny has predicted he is the man most likely to eclipse the world record of 98.48m the Czech set in Rohler’s home city on May 25, 1996.

However, Rohler’s individual ambitions were parked in Lille, where he posted on Facebook before his competition: “All in for the Team tomorrow.”

As things turned out, he had to settle for third place in Lille with a best of 84.22m behind a championship record of 87.95m from the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch and Greece’s Ioannis Kiriazis with 86.33m.

“Today the gusting wind unfortunately killed the game,” he posed. “Eight four metres and some points for the Team – now fingers crossed for day two in Lille.”

Normal service will no doubt be resumed in Ostrava as Rohler, who will also throw at the Diamond League meeting in Paris on 1 July, fine-tunes his preparations ahead of the World Championships.

“Doha was a really, really strong start to the season,” he said. “And I am still aiming for more as I look forward to the London World Championships.”

Rohler’s supercharged delivery in Doha sent the javelin arrowing to unexpected territory before juddering down into the turf beyond the 90 metre arc, just a metre of so in front of a TV cameraman. The measuring judges, meanwhile, scurried towards it from where they had been fielding all the other missiles.

Footage of the throw went viral on YouTube, provoking discussion about whether there needs to be another technical reappraisal of the discipline on safety grounds.

In 1986, the centre of gravity of the javelin was altered to hinder its flight and prevent the tendency the previous javelin design had of landing flat, thus making it difficult to judge whether it should be a legal throw or not.

Although moves to change the javelin were already underway in 1984, the potentially perilous achievement of East Germany’s Uwe Hohn in becoming the first man to throw over 100m – a monstrous 104.80m in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium that fell only metre or so from the end of the grass infield – added urgency to the alteration in order to prevent potential accidents.

Rohler is, frankly, very happy that his effort landed so close to the cameraman. Without doing him any harm, of course.

“People understand when they see the cameraman in those shots from Doha,” he said. “It went up on social media and people with nothing to do with track and field understand that something spectacular happened.

“So people will maybe think there was a 104m throw, then a world record of 98m from Jan, and now there’s this young German thrower attacking the mark.”

Rohler doesn’t believe that it should prompt any serious rule changes, however.

“You shouldn’t change the rules because of one 100m throw. You at least need to look at the average throwing distances,” he said.

“If I start throwing 95m at every athletics meeting, we should start to choose meets where the field is a long way, like it is here. There are many longer fields.

“If I do throw 100m I think it would be good for the sport. But technically, it is hard to hit with the javelins now. The new centre of gravity means you will never be able to get the javelin to sail in the way it did for Hohn.”

Assessing his season’s progress on the eve of competition in Lille, Rohler commented: “I had four competitions in nine days earlier this season. Now I am looking for another series. I want to win my competitions but it’s not going to be with 90m every time. In Turku the other week it was 10 degrees and raining. In circumstances like that, you just go to win it.”

No doubt the same philosophy will be employed in Ostrava and Paris as this missile of an athlete heads for London’s Olympic Stadium.

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Digital Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency