Jan Zelezny’s world javelin record of 98.48m is considered one of the most impregnable world records on the books but Johannes Vetter came within one metre of the Czech’s legendary and long-standing mark at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow on Sunday (6) afternoon, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting.
Vetter was already second, albeit a distant second, on the world all-time list behind Zelezny with a lifetime best of 94.44m set in Lucerne in July 2017 but the German added more than three metres to his lifetime best in the third round, launching the spear out to 97.76m - the second longest throw in history with the current specification implement.
The 2017 world champion sent the officials scuttling far beyond the 90 metre-line to measure his fourth round as well. He backed up his 97.76m throw with another outstanding effort which was measured at 94.84m, a mark which has only ever been surpassed by Zelezny and Vetter himself. Vetter almost surpassed the 90 metre-line again in the fifth round with 89.95m before rounding off his series with a sixth round throw of 87.28m.
After two seasons in which he was dogged by persistent injuries, Vetter is in the form which will see him not only contend for major titles again but perhaps also surpass the world record. Vetter has won his last seven competitions, surpassing the 90 metre-line in three of them, and he will be looking to round off his resurgent season with domestic victories in Dessau on Tuesday and Berlin next Sunday.
Longest javelin throws in history
98.48m - Jan Zelezny (Jena, 25 May 1996)
97.76m - Johannes Vetter (Chorzow, 6 September 2020)
95.66m - Jan Zelezny (Sheffield, 29 September 1993)
95.54m - Jan Zelezny (Pietersburg, 6 April 1993)
94.64m - Jan Zelezny (Ostrava, 31 May 1996)
94.44m - Johannes Vetter (Luzern, 11 July 2017)
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) September 6, 2020