On Friday, javelin thrower Johannes Vetter will be one of the main actors on the 18th throwing day in Thum. The 28-year-old, born in Dresden, who has lived in Offenburg since October 2014 and trains with Boris Obergföll, who was twice third at the World Cup, is the world’s best of the year with an outstanding 96.29 meters. Further than the world champion of 2017 and third of …
On Friday, javelin thrower Johannes Vetter will be one of the main actors on the 18th throwing day in Thum. The 28-year-old, born in Dresden, who has lived in Offenburg since October 2014 and trains with Boris Obergföll, who was twice third at the World Cup, is the world’s best of the year with an outstanding 96.29 meters. Further than the world champion in 2017 and third in 2019, only the Czech world record holder Jan Zelezny threw the new javelin. Thomas Treptow spoke to Johannes Vetter on Monday.
Free press: You hold the meeting record in Thum. Do you remember when you set it up and how far the spear flew?
Johannes Vetter: I know all of my 90 meter plus results by heart. That was 93.88 meters, a week after the 2017 World Championships in London.
Why is it important for you to throw again in Thum before Tokyo?
This is one last endurance test. I’m sitting in the car right now and I’m going to Frankfurt, from where I’m flying to Newcastle, in order to start the Diamond League in Gateshead on Tuesday evening. After that, the throwing day becomes the last load unit to set another stimulus. And whether I throw far in training or in competition, I prefer to take the competition. Thum fits quite well a week before departure for Japan.
If you come to the Ore Mountains, Dresden is not far. Do you have time for a short visit to your old homeland?
No, unfortunately not. I’m going straight to Thum from Frankfurt on Thursday evening. I have to go back by Saturday morning at the latest, because I still have an appointment in Offenbach and in the evening I will be a guest at the current sports studio on ZDF.
On July 25, the plane takes off for Japan. They clearly lead the world best list and are still unbeaten this season. More favorite is not possible. How do you deal with this role?
I’m still relatively relaxed about it. I know that I can do something, and I know my potential, which I can actually tap permanently at the moment. The excitement will surely come bit by bit a few days before that. Still, I try to stay relatively relaxed. In addition, there is still some time before the Olympics and there is still a lot to do. There are still two competitions and a few training sessions ahead of me before I really concentrate on what’s going on in Tokyo at the beginning of August.
You have also shown an impressive series of seven 90-meter throws this season. Where does this stability and sovereignty come from?
I have a very good trainer and a very good medical environment that keeps me fit. Then I’m just a very ambitious athlete who has high goals and follows them strictly. In addition, last year I consciously didn’t leave anything out and performed at the competitions. I was able to take a lot with me. We stabilized that in training in winter, and now I’m reaping the credit.
Now comes the question of the world record that Jan Zelezny holds with 98.48 meters. Does that bother you?
What do you mean, it’s annoying? But I think there are more interesting questions.
Because of the corona pandemic, neither foreign nor local spectators are allowed to be in the stadium in Tokyo. Could that affect you in any way?
Yes and no. I am now used to throwing and delivering in front of a few or no spectators – and the spear has flown adequately far. That’s why I wouldn’t see that as an indicator for myself. But of course it is also a fact that it is always nicer when there are spectators.
Like at the European Football Championship?
Given the current situation, for example in the UK, where the incidence is approaching the 300 mark, I absolutely do not understand why the stadiums were full at the European Football Championship. And a smarter solution could certainly have been found at the Olympic Games. The plans that, for example, 10,000 spectators may enter the stadium for athletics, were completely thrown overboard. But if I compare the mentality of the Japanese with the English fans or the athletics fans with the football fans – then I could very well imagine 10,000 Japanese fans in a stadium with a capacity of 60,000. I think there are enough good hygiene concepts to keep the risk of infection lower than at the European Football Championship in Budapest, St. Petersburg or Wembley. That meets with complete incomprehension. That is downright paradoxical. The bottom line, however, is that it is about the health of the Japanese population and of us athletes. So I can understand the decision.
Four years have passed since the 2017 World Cup title. Is the Johannes cousin from then a different one today?
I think I have developed, changed and matured in a lot of things, both personally and athletically. On the one hand through a family stroke of fate and on the other hand also through sporty valleys that I have walked through. You learn a lot there. These are all experiences that are part of it, but also make me who I am and make me as strong as I am now.
After the 2017 world title, you won in Thum. Now it could be the other way around, first you win in Thum and then in Tokyo?
(laughs): Yes, I would take it that way.
Service The 18th Thumer Thrower Day starts on Friday at 4 p.m. with the discus throwing (youth), the first competition in the main program is at 5:15 p.m. the women’s discus throwing. The men’s javelin starts at 8.15 p.m. Other disciplines are the shot put (women / men) and discus (men). Tickets can be purchased at eventim and at the box office. 1000 spectators are allowed.