Germany’s reigning Olympic and European javelin champion Thomas Rohler defied strong headwinds that restricted the distances to win at for the third time at his own JenJavelin Festival in his home city of Jena, throwing 82.56m on Saturday (8).
After victories in the first two editions of the competition in 2016 and 2017, last year Rohler had to settle for second place behind his compatriot Andreas Hofmann but without the latter in the field this time around, Rohler was the clear favourite.
However, he didn’t have things his own way.
Sweden’s Kim Amb opened with 81.69 and that remained the only throw over 80 metres during the first three rounds as Rohler and the rest of the 11-man international field came to terms with the challenging conditions.
However, the 27-year-old born-and-bred Jena thrower showed his mettle in the fourth round when he launched his implement out to 82.56m, which was to prove the winning throw, although Poland’s 2017 European U20 champion Cyprian Mrzyglod showed that he could be a medal contender at the European Athletics U23 Championships next month when he finished his series with 82.31m in the sixth round to overtake Amb for second place and give Rohler a brief scare.
"It was a super event. I was the organiser and competing as an athlete. We had extremely difficult winds, but I got 82 metres with a throw that was quite relaxed, I hit it well and, in these conditions, I am satisfied and will take 82 metres,” Rohler reflected later.
His next competition will be at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Turku, Finland on Tuesday. Another date in his diary is The Match Europe v USA Minsk 2019 on 9-10 September, after he competed in Team Europe colours at the IAAF Continental Cup last September.
The women’s event in Jena, held earlier on Saturday afternoon, saw a battle between the two most recent European champions and it was Belarus’ Tatsiana Khaladovich, the 2016 gold medallist, who prevailed and moved from third to first with her last round effort of 62.93m
Throwing last, Germany’s Berlin 2018 winner Christin Hussong had gone throughout the competition in the lead after opening with 62.40m but couldn’t respond and finished second.
Full results (details in German) are available here.
The JenJavelin Festival has taken place for the last two years on a specially laid Mondotrack WS surface after Röhler met Mondo representatives at the 2017 IAAF Athletics Awards and stated that he wished to train on this track because of the unique non-slip properties of that surface.
Two 100-metre strips were installed at the Jena Javelin Centre in April 2018 in exchange for the Club’s commitment to let Mondo use the javelin runways until 2024 as a test area for certain track surfacing materials, all allowing the use of the 12mm spikes used by javelin throwers.
Over the next five years, Mondo plans to inspect and substitute the runways with an improved version of the track material based on the resistance and performance recorded, both onsite and in their laboratories.