Tokyo Olympics: Neeraj Chopra’s biggest challenger Johannes Vetter normalises 90m throw in javelin, aims for gold in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics: Neeraj Chopra's biggest challenger Johannes Vetter normalises 90m throw in javelin, aims for gold in Tokyo
Tokyo Olympics: Neeraj Chopra's biggest challenger Johannes Vetter normalises 90m throw in javelin, aims for gold in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics: Neeraj Chopra’s biggest challenger Johannes Vetter normalises 90m throw in javelin, aims for gold in Tokyo: German javelin superstar Johannes Vetter is all fired up for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics where he is a clear favorite to win gold after throwing farther than 90m seven times this year alone.

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Johannes Vetter has been in amazing form in 2021, consistently throwing over 90 meters. No other javelin thrower has been able to get close to him. It is this consistency that makes him favourite for gold in Tokyo, although it is difficult for him to describe what the secret is. “It is really difficult to explain to someone who has never thrown a javelin because there are so many small movements in such a short time. For example, when I land on my right leg and switch to my left leg, we are talking about 200 or 250 milliseconds, ” he said in an interview to Tokyo 2020 (Olympics.com).

Johannes is eyeing not only the top prize at Tokyo but also at smashing the long-standing world record of 98.48m set by three-time Olympic champion Jan Zelezny in 1996. The 28-year-old last year unleashed a monster throw of 97.76m at the Continental Tour Gold level athletics event in Chorzow, Poland in September 2020 and threatened Zelezny’s record. He not only broke his own national record but also put himself second on the all-time list of javelin throwers.

Notably, his 2021 personal best came just weeks ago, a 96.29m effort at the European Team Championships in Chorzow, Poland. It is the third-longest javelin throw of all time.

“I’m really proud of myself for what I did last year. And I mean, one more reason was just to show the whole society that it’s still possible to do something good and have big achievements also in those difficult times,” Vetter said.

Tokyo 2020 will mark the second occasion Vetter has competed at an Olympics. At Rio 2016, he finished fourth. During the post-competition interview, he cried. They weren’t tears of regret but of pride and gratitude.

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