With the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships fast approaching, reigning world champion Johannes Vetter will return to competition against the highest calibre of opposition at the German Championships in Nurnberg on 21-22 July.
Vetter hasn’t competed since the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku on 5 June due to a thigh injury but he will take to the runway in a competition for the first time in six weeks at 5.20pm local time on Sunday in the Max Morlock Stadium.
Vetter started his season brilliantly, throwing 91.22m in Potchefstroom on 27 February before smashing the competition record with 92.70m a fortnight later at the European Throwing Cup in Leiria, Portugal. He opened his summer campaign with 91.56m in the Doha Diamond League but he hasn’t surpassed the 90m line since then.
Ahead of his comeback, his coach Boris Obergfoll didn’t give too much away about how Vetter will perform on his return to competition. "I'm confident that he will perform well and be nominated for the European Championship," Obergfoll told German Eurosport. When asked how far he was expecting Vetter to throw in Nurnberg, Obergfoll was laconic. "As far as possible,” was the answer.
Vetter will be one of three throwers in the competition with lifetime bests in excess of 90 metres - the others being Olympic champion Thomas Rohler and Andreas Hofmann who have season’s bests of 91.78m and 92.06m respectively.
Hofmann has arguably showed the best recent form out of the German triumvirate, throwing 88.48m to win in Jena - Rohler’s birthplace - before improving to 88.58m in the Rabat Diamond League on Friday night, a mark which looked destined to win the competition until Estonia’s Magnus Kirt threw 89.75m in the sixth round.
Another highlight will be the men’s discus featuring Christoph and Robert Harting. The latter will be making his final appearance at the German Championships before he retires from competition altogether at the ISTAF in Berlin in September.
Olympic champion Christoph leads the 2018 German discus lists with 67.59m but Robert is only fifth with 65.13m also behind Martin Wierig (66.98m), Daniel Jasinski (66.59m) and David Wrobel (65.98m). With less than three metres separating the top five athletes, this will be one of the most competitive events on the programme.
More information on the 2018 European Championships:
- The Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships will be part of the first multi-sport European Championships along with co-hosts Glasgow.
- It will be a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the status of European Champions, uniting existing European Championships to celebrate the highest honour in European sport and celebrating the defining moments that create Champions.
- It is the continent’s ultimate multi-sport event, an 11-day celebration of European sport staged every four years.
- Seven of Europe’s leading sports (athletics, aquatics, rowing, golf, cycling, gymnastics, triathlon) will be brought together for the first edition.
- The European Athletics Championships in Berlin will be staged 7-12 August. The six other sports will be staged in Glasgow through 2-12 August.
- 4500 athletes and 52 nations will compete across the seven sports.
- Potential TV audience of over one billion with millions more across multiple digital platforms.
- Over half a million spectators expected.