Vetter seals German javelin title with European-leading 87.36m

Johannes Vetter
Getty Images

Johannes Vetter won the javelin title at the German Championships in Braunschweig with 87.36m

Johannes Vetter won the javelin title at the German Championships with another European-leading mark of 87.36m and the 2017 world champion is hoping to further surpass this mark in the upcoming weeks.

Just nine days after throwing 86.94m in Kuortane where it was reported he produced a no-throw which landed near the 90 metre-line, Vetter improved his European lead to 87.36m in the third round in Braunschweig. His four valid throws were all in excess of the 84 metre-line and all four throws would have won the title even though the slippery runway was not to Vetter’s liking.

“Throwing 87 meters was great under these conditions anyway; for me it was about delivering and showing distance. I did that with 87 meters and a solid series. You could see that I can do even more. I hope for more in upcoming competitions,” said Vetter who has kept in an optimistic mood this year despite the cancellation and postponement of all the major international athletics fixtures due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

“I didn't let the current situation get me down and made the best of the situation. That's what I've done for the last few years, when I've had a hard time due to injuries and other personal problems. I'm a fighter.”

Vetter’s next competition will be the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku on Tuesday (11) evening followed by another domestic appearance in Leverkusen on Saturday. 

The head-to-head with European silver medallist and fellow 90 metre-plus thrower Andreas Hofmann didn’t quite materialise though. Making a belated season’s debut due to various ankle and foot injuries, Hofmann was limited to a best effort of 77.35m.

“On Thursday it wasn't that bad in practice and I drove to Braunschweig with a good feeling. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to knock one out,” said Hofmann who will also compete in both Turku and Leverkusen in the upcoming week.

Jumping off an abbreviated run-up of 16 steps and into a headwind, reigning world and European champion Malaika Mihambo won the long jump title in Braunschweig with a fifth round jump of 6.71m into a 1.2 m/s headwind, her first long jump competition since the indoor season.

“I am satisfied with the distance because I jumped off a very short run with only 16 steps. I have never done that,” said Mihambo. “This year I will not extend the run-up any more and will continue to jump from 16 steps. In preparation, things didn't go as I had wished. I also took enough time to heal my back injury.”

One week after improving to 10.08, Denis Almaz backed up this performance by winning the German 100m title in 10.09 while Lisa Marie Kwayie won a competitive women’s 100m in 11.30 from Rebekka Haase in 11.34.

There were also victories at the German Championships for reigning European champions Christin Hussong in the javelin with 63.93m and Mateusz Przybylko in the high jump with 2.28m but two-time European 3000m steeplechase champion Gesa Felicitas Krause was a non-finisher in her specialist event.

World fourth-placer Bo Kanda Lita Baehre cleared a lifetime best of 5.75m in the pole vault and Max Hess won the triple jump with 16.58m. 

Halasz approaches 80 metre-line at the Hungarian Championships

Bence Halasz just missed the 80 metre-line he is aiming to surpass this season but the world and European bronze medallist broke his two-year-old lifetime best at the Hungarian Championships in Budapest, extending his European lead to 79.88m to move to second on the 2020 world list.

“I’m extremely happy because I’ve been struggling for a very long time to fix my individual peak and get close to eighty metres,” Halasz told reporters. “I am confident that we will be able to break through this barrier this year.”

Luca Kozak won titles in both the 100m hurdles (12.97) and the 100m (11.64) and Balazs Vindics produced another of the highlights, winning the 800m in 1:46.50.

At the Czech Championships in Pilsen, 2017 world U18 champion Barbora Malikova upset Lada Vondrova in the 400m, 51.65 to 51.90. Only 18, Malikova's time was also a Czech U20 record and her first time under the 52 second-barrier.

The 400m hurdles went to Zuzana Hejnova as expected in 55.70 on her season's debut but another stalwart of the Czech team Barbora Spotakova had to settle for the runner-up spot in the javelin behind European silver medallist Nikola Ogrodnikova, 61.41m to 59.94m.

Other highlights included Filip Sasinek winning the 1500m in a fast 3:36.72 and Radek Juska winning the long jump with 8.10m. 

Elsewhere around Europe...

At the Portuguese Championships in Lisbon, Auriol Dongmo extended her world lead and national record to 19.56m in the shot put while Tsanko Arnaudov won the men's shot put with 20.77m. Former European champion Patricia Mamona won the triple jump with 14.26m.  

Big marks in the throwing events also highlighted the Lithuanian Championships in Palanga where reigning European champion Andrius Gudzius broke the 68 metre-line in the discus again with 68.16m. European bronze medallist Liveta Jasiunaite won the women's javelin with 60.27m and national record-holder Edis Matusevicius returned to form with 81.38m in the men's javelin.

Former European U23 champion Dovile Kilty also won the triple jump with 14.18m and Agne Serksniene took victories in both the 200m (23.43) and 400m (52.29).

At the Estonian Championships in Tallinn, the combined events dominated attention as Risto Lillemets improved his lifetime best to 8113 points in the decathlon while Mari Klaup won the heptathlon title with 6080 points. Martin Kupper also won the discus title with 61.82m ahead of 41-year-old Gerd Kanter with 58.62m.

All three Baltic nations held their national championships over the weekend with Gatis Cakss producing the highlight of the Latvian Championships in Jelgava, winning the javelin with 83.80m.

At the Croatian Championships in Zagreb, Filip Mihaljevic approached his European leading mark in the shot put with 21.58m and a special mention goes out to Marko Ceko who won three domestic titles: the long jump with 8.04m as well as the 100m in 10.46 and the 200m in 21.18.