DOHA, May 5, 2017 - “It is a national record, it’s a super special day for javelin,” the speaker at Qatar Sport Club stadium announced. Smiling happily as he walked away from the Diamond League meeting in Doha, German athlete Thomas Röhler surprised himself with a 93.9 meter throw, which allowed him not only to claim his first win this year, but also to set a personal best, a national record and a Diamond League record. It was Röhler’s second best throw ever.
Having started the Doha meeting with a 82.8 meter throw, Thomas Röhler wasn't expect anything more than 88 meters as a season-opener. However, his compatriot Johannes Vetter surprised the reigning Olympic Champion with a 89.68 throw. “I gave all my best, my personal best, and I also motivated Thomas with my 89 meter throw, he told me that,” third-placed Vetter said to AIPS.
Forced to push off his limits, Röhler edged the 24-year-old Vetter in his fourth attempt, taking his first title this year and breaking the long-standing Diamond League record of 90.13 meters set by Andreas Thorkildsen in 2006.
Talking to AIPS, the German gave credits to the team’s preseason training in South Africa: “I had good training, yes. We stayed away from track and we trained on grass.”
But what about the 21-year standing world record, 98.48 meters in possession of Czech Republic legend Jan Zelezny? “This is going to be a challenge for London because you know, it is still super far. But now it is about competing, making right decisions and training,” he admitted.
The 25-year old German champion still has time to prepare himself for getting his first title in World Championship, which will be held in London in August.