A happy Johannes Vetter after winning the men's Javelin: Photo Credit: Getty Images

It was an emotional outing for Germany’s Johannes Vetter who claimed his first World title ahead of teammate and Olympic Champion Thomas Rohler, who surprisingly, didn’t finish on the podium after being displaced by Czech Republic’s Petr Frydrych who left it late, taking Bronze with his last throw and Personal Best (PB) of 88.32m.

Vetter was regarded as the man to beat in the men’s Javelin, following his outstanding throw of 94.44m earlier in the year which took him to No.2 position on the all-time list. Although none of the competitors hit the 90m mark, Vetter’s first throw of 89.89m was enough for GOLD.

Jakub Vadlejch secured the Silver medal with a PB of 89.73m gotten on his second attempt on Day 9 of the ongoing IAAF World Championships in London.

An overwhelmed Vetter said afterwards: “After Thomas and Jakob were done I was shaking until my last attempt because I had used all of my energy in the first two throws. Technically they were not perfect. I thought I could throw further. It does not matter how far you throw.  I threw enough for a GOLD medal.

“It was amazing for me. It was very emotional for me at the end of the competition because of the pressure in the last few weeks and days — it was very high. But the main reason is because I am so thankful for the team around me. I changed three years ago to a new coach, Boris Obergfoell. He is the key to my success, plus the physios and the medical team. I just want to celebrate now.”

Meanwhile, going by the wave of upsets that have engulfed the World Championships, Maria Lasitskene is one of the pre-championship favourite who actually delivered when it mattered most, taking GOLD in the women’s High Jump with a  mark of 2.03m.

The Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) has been one of the most consistent athletes this season and hasn’t suffered a defeat this year. She kept a clean slate all through the competition, only failing to clear her two attempts at 1.99m, and requested for the bar to be set at 2.01m, which she cleared without much fuss.

She was the last woman standing at 2.03m, and then made three attempts at 2.08m, just 1cm shy of Stefka Kostadinova’s World Record (WR). However it was not to be. Nevertheless, she would be content with retaining the title she won in Beijing two years ago.

She said, “This final was not too easy for me but thanks for the unbelievable atmosphere at the stadium and the crowd’s emotions, I coped with some problems I had. My two failed attempts at 1.99m woke me up.

“I decided to go to 2.08m because that is not only my personal record but also the national record of my country. A GOLD medal here was my main goal for this season but certainly I would like to raise the bar a bit higher. I didn’t like any one of my attempts at 2.08m.

“I hope I still have potential to break the world record this season. I am not sure how I will celebrate this win because my competition is on 15 August.”

Ukraine’s Yuliia Levchenko improved on her lifetime best, clearing a height of 2.01m to take Silver, while Kamila Licwinko scoped Bronze with a Season’s Best (SB) of 1.99m.


Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.


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