Johannes Vetter’s 97.76 metres through the eyes of 100-plus phenom Uwe Hohn

4 mins read

New Delhi : The second-best javelin throw of all-time, recorded , sent officials surprised and scampering further than they had originally intended to check where the spear had precisely landed. The monstrous throw at Continental Tour Gold event in Chorzow, Poland, got India’s top javelin throwers browsing through the widely-viewed video of German Johannes Vetter.
The 27-year-old’s 97.76 metre eye-popping feat had landed adjacent to the shot-put throwing area at the other end of the field.
A few minutes later Vetter wore a broad smile posing in front of the electronic display board, flexing his right bicep and holding the javelin in his left hand.
For the first time in 24 years, Jan Zelezny’s 1996 world record of 98.48 metres looked under threat. But Vetter’s mammoth hand-launched rocket was also a reminder of Zelezny’s greatness. The Czech has recorded 32 of the top 100 throws in history, including five of the top-10, breaking the 90-metre barrier 34 times. Vetter, for now, is under the spotlight as much for what he can do next as much as what he achieved on Sunday.
Uwe Hohn, India’s chief javelin coach, is impressed. Hohn, also a German, is the only one to throw over 100 metres before the aerodynamics of the javelin changed three decades ago.
Vetter’s remarkable achievement, while watching his throwing technique will no doubt be threadbared at the national camp. “Yeah, because it’s connected to his technique. Vetter showed that it is not only about throwing hard but it is important to put energy into the javelin so it stays stable. The quality of the throw will be much better if energy goes straight into the javelin. It improves release speed and also the javelin does not lose so much speed,” Hohn told The Indian Express.
Vetter’s massive throw is a wake-up call for throwers around the world, including India’s best.
Neeraj Chopra (88.06 metres personal best) and Shivpal Singh (86.23m) who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics yet have been restricted to only training in Patiala even as competitions have begun in Europe.
Vetter rebounded after struggling with an ankle injury, that troubled him for two years. Chopra, with his share of injury-induced breaks, can take inspiration.
Three years ago, Vetter produced 94.44 at Lucerne breaking the 90-metre barrier three more times. The next 24 months were not extraordinary by the German’s high standards and he finished third at the 2019 World Championships. Yet in a year disrupted by the pandemic, as events cautiously opened up, Vetter has emerged as the man to beat.
Vetter spoke about being in the zone. “It was really close to a perfect moment. You can feel it in your body when you have a good throw,” Vetter said, after improving his personal best by over three metres.
Hohn has experienced the ‘feeling’ of near-perfection himself. “When I threw the world record it was pretty good and I was also in very good shape. That perfect feeling can help improve a few metres. I know what he means about this very good feeling,” Hohn said.

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