Hungary & Serbia, the two leading nations that gave the youth javelin throw leaders in 2021. Both young athletes had a remarquable year!

Herczeg and Vilagos celebrate their performance at the JenJavelin Festival in Jena (Sept 18. 2021)

With a new Hungarian U18 javelin throw record of 80.44m (700g javelin ) György Herczeg was chosen for the ‘Athlete of the Year’ in Hungary. He was also the age group leader with 800g with a distance of 73.74m, the only thrower who could pass 70m with senior equipment in 2021 (at the U20 EU Athletics Championship, Tallinn).

Adriana Vilagos broke the world U18 record with 500g javelin with 70.10m! Serbia’s olympic hope were not only the ‘Athlete of the year’ in 2021, but won the prestigious Women’s ‘Rising Star’ award by European Athletics. Besides Adriana won all the competition in her age group, she was also the winner of the U20 World Athletics Championship in Nairobi, Kenya. The winning distance was 61.46m, close to her PB of 62.36m (also world leader of U18 and U20 in 2021).

One of the next targets for both young athletes is the U20 World Athletics Championship in Cali, Columbia (August 1-6, 2022).

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Miklós Németh (born 23 October 1946) is a Hungarian Olympic champion and former World Record holder in the javelin throw. Born in Budapest, he is the son of Imre Németh who won the Olympic gold in the hammer throw at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Nemeth’s winning effort at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal was also a world record for the event. His mark of 94.58 meters came in the first round of throwing, completely demoralizing Nemeth’s dazed competitors. Silver medalist Hannu Siitonen of Finland, whose record, thrown in June 1973, was 93.90 meters,[1] could do no better than 87.92 — more than 6.5 meters (nearly 22 feet) behind Miklos Németh. He was elected Hungarian Sportsman of the year for his achievement.

Nemeth’s gold medal performance stood as the global standard in the javelin until 23 April 1980, when fellow Hungarian Ferenc Paragi launched the spear 96.72 meters. (WIKIPEDIA)

All competition results of Miklós Nemeth LINK

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The performance of october in track and field, javelin thrower György Herczeg (2004) from Hungary 80.44m in javelin throw (700g) NR u18 in Vác (Hungary) during Miklos Nemeth Meeting

With his throw György leads both U18 700g and 800g (with a throw of 73.74m, Tallinn U20 European Championship Q1). World Atletics Link to U18 ranking list 2021.

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Zelezny’s javelin world record celebrates its silver anniversary / by World Athletics

Javelin specifications had been amended from the start of April 1986, changes which had been in the offing for several years in response to massive throws in the men’s event and safety concerns. A turbulent decade followed which saw more rule modifications and no less than 13 world records ratified.

However, the upheavals to the record books came abruptly to an end when Czech javelin legend Jan Zelezny launched his implement out to 98.48m in the German city of Jena on 25 May 1996.

On Tuesday, this mark celebrates its silver anniversary, having been the standard for the event for 25 years.

To demonstrate how venerable that mark is, to date there have been 142 performances beyond 90 metres, achieved by just 20 different throwers, but only two men – the German pair of Johannes Vetter and Thomas Rohler – have come within five metres of Zelezny’s world record.

Continue on ….

Is Jan Zelezny’s world javelin record on borrowed time?

Posted by Athletics Weekly | May 24, 2021 |

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Jan Železný’s world record, but could this be the year in which it falls? James Dixon explores the background to this long-standing mark

On Tuesday May 25, Jan Železný’s javelin world record will be 25 years old. However, for the Czech star synonymous with gold, the silver anniversary of his 98.48m throw may be his last time atop the all-time standings.

Somewhat lost in the maelstrom of a 2020 outdoor season almost completely overshadowed by coronavirus and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was an enormous throw by Johannes Vetter.

His 97.76m effort last September at the Skolimowska Memorial meeting in Chorzów, Poland was not only the longest javelin throw for more than two decades, it was the longest throw ever recorded in a closed stadium.

“I think that lots of people didn’t think it was possible to throw a javelin more than 95 metres in a closed stadium,” said the 2017 world champion in the afterglow of his achievement. I did it and I think there is a lot of space for improvement. Tiny differences can make a difference of many metres.” 

Just to prove his third-round throw wasn’t a fluke, the gregarious German sailed another javelin almost 95 metres in round four – 94.84m – which would have also overtaken his previous personal best and the national record. 

It also underlined his return to full fitness. Four days after battling to the bronze medal in the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Vetter went under the surgeon’s knife to correct a long-standing problem with his left ankle ahead of an assault on the Olympic title. 

How the world record was set

By any current measure Železný is the greatest javelin thrower of all time. He is the world record-holder, the only three-time Olympic javelin champion and the only male to win three world titles (no other male thrower has won more than one world championship title).

In terms of 90m throws, Železný went beyond that distance on 34 different occasions – nearly a third of all 90m throws ever recorded – and far ahead of his nearest challengers.

But even the greats like Železný need a bit of luck from time to time. His final world record mark was set in the university town of Jena, in eastern Germany, in almost ideal conditions for javelin throwing. 

The Ernst-Abbe-Sportfeld in Jena was an open stadium, with only one major stand running alongside the finishing straight. It was shared by the football club FC Carl Zeiss Jena, runners-up in the 1981 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and Sport-Club Motor Jena whose track and field stars included long jump great Heike Drechsler and Petra Felke, the 1988 Olympic women’s javelin champion and the only woman to ever throw beyond 80m.

The late spring afternoon meeting benefited from a strong, but legal, tailwind that not only sent Železný’s spear almost three metres further than his previous world record of 95.66m, set in Sheffield at the similarly open Don Valley Stadium, but allowed Raymond Hecht to also throw 90.06m. It made Jena the first competition in which two different throwers had gone beyond 90m.

Boris Obergföll, who competed as Boris Henry before changing his name when he married 2013 world champion Christina Obergföll, threw 86.94m and finished third behind Železný and Hecht. Obergföll’s distance in Jena would have been good enough to win the 2019 World Championships.  

Obergföll now operates as the head javelin coach for the German Athletics Federation and he believes that, had Vetter benefited last year from the conditions Železný enjoyed in Jena, the German would not only have broken the world record but become the first man since Uwe Hohn to throw a javelin further than 100m.

Hohn’s “eternal world record” of 104.80m was set in 1984 and, like Železný’s, it occurred in the relative anonymity of an east German meeting. Hohn, then 22, added more than five metres to Tom Petranoff’s existing world record and hastened the development of a new model of javelin that would reduce distances so as not to endanger the high jumpers and vaulters typically found at the opposite end of the field. Javelin records were effectively reset in 1986.

The record contenders

The beauty of Železný’s modern record is that it’s one of the few long-standing world marks which athletics fans can have a reasonable degree of confidence in and, should Vetter surpass it this year, he would deserve all the plaudits that would no doubt come his way. 

But it’s not just Vetter ready to challenge the mark, it’s the greatest generation of German javelin throwers ever assembled. Thomas Röhler is the reigning Olympic champion with a lifetime best of 93.90m, while compatriot Andreas Hofmann has also thrown in excess of 92m. 

Since the Rio Olympics, throwing beyond 90m has been an almost exclusively German pastime, with only Estonia’s Magnus Kirt and Taiwan’s Chao-Tsun Cheng daring to impinge on the club cultivated by the impressive trio.

“We have a good infrastructure of coaches in Germany. From the old East and the West. Boris [Obergföll] tries to bring together all the different experiences of the throwers so we can learn from each other,” says Vetter.

Röhler concurs. “For a long time throwing was a sport for educated coaches and athletes and Germany had a good base of knowledge. Historically, we had an advantage in sports science,” he says. “The University of Leipzig, for example, does great biomechanical research.”  

Coincidentally, Röhler was born in Jena and his father was in attendance to witness the world record mark Železný set in his hometown.

“I didn’t become a javelin thrower just because the world record was thrown in Jena but after I became a thrower it became a huge inspiration,” he says. “It was special to train in the stadium where the world record was thrown.”

Jakub Vadlejch is another central European ultimately chasing Železný’s place at the pinnacle of the sport. The Czech thrower who finished second behind Vetter at the 2017 World Championships enjoys the unique position of being coached by the current world record-holder.

“Of course it motivates me. Athletics is sport of numbers and I remember that result of my coach from my youth when I was not a javelin thrower yet. 98.48m was always a magic number for me.”

The differing approaches

Speaking to Vetter and Röhler ahead of the season, it’s clear that both have given the possibility of breaking the world record serious thought, though their approaches are markedly different.

Röhler, the elder by approximately 18 months and aged 29, is more circumspect as to whether the perfect alignment of health and stadium conditions will exist to threaten the record. 

“Javelin is not yoga, it’s a risky sport and we hurt our bodies a lot. Most of the stadiums we throw in are not designed to throw the javelin far,” asserts Röhler, who is the same age now that Železný was when he set his world record. 

There are fewer open stadiums on the Diamond League circuit than previously and both men are clear that preparing for major championships like this summer’s Olympics, then prize money, are the overriding factors when selecting which competitions to enter.

“I think the world record is something that athletes think about very individually,” adds Röhler. “I am focused on competing and on a long and healthy career in the sport. The world record is not my number one motivation but it is definitely something in the background that is always there.”

Vetter, on the other hand, is far more open and comfortable talking about breaking the world record as an ambition. “The conditions have to be right and in the javelin you need your whole body. You need the right speed, a good plant foot, the right release point, trajectory and transfer of weight.

“Trying to throw long is like going into a casino and playing roulette – the odds are against you.” 

However, something in Vetter’s eyes as he talks eloquently about the enormity of breaking the world record suggests he thinks he might just be the one to eventually overcome the odds.

Röhler continues: “I believe it is just a matter of time before somebody throws over 100m. I can’t say who will be the person to do it but I’m sure it is possible and it will happen.”

The science backs up that hypothesis. Biomechanists have developed machines to replicate the power humans are able to transfer into the javelin and, with perfect technique, release speed and trajectory the 100m barrier is broken with ease.

The question is: which human will be able to minimise their technical flaws and take advantage of favourable aerodynamic conditions to maximise their distance? Furthermore Röhler believes that javelin’s continued expansion beyond its traditional European and Scandinavian heartlands will also eventually result in longer distances as more people globally have the opportunity to compete in the sport.

His rationale is sound. In the past decade Kelshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago became the first black Olympic javelin champion, Julius Yego (Kenya) and Anderson Peters (Grenada) have become world champions, while athletes from Cuba, Japan and Egypt have appeared on world championship rostrums. Prior to Walcott’s gold medal in 2012 you had to go back to Munich 1972 to find the last non-European medalist. 

Another name to watch is the 23-year-old world junior record holder Neeraj Chopra of India. Chopra is coached by Hohn, was the second-longest thrower in the world last season and currently has a lifetime best of 88.07m.

Should we expect the world record to fall this season? 

One factor that shouldn’t be overlooked in Vetter’s extraordinary performance last season is Covid-19. While the virus wreaked havoc with many athletes’ best laid plans and some, like Röhler, opted out of the entire season, the delayed return to competition may have inadvertently helped Vetter as he rehabilitated following his ankle surgery. Not that he necessarily agrees. 

“I like certainty and knowing where I will compete, when I will have my training blocks, but at the moment that’s not always possible. We are all having to adapt. I have to be spontaneous,” he says.  

Covid-19 remains a complicating factor this season. With no exemption for elite athletes from Germany’s entry requirements, athletes like Vetter and Röhler are having to plan their schedules with care, lest a competition in a country deemed high risk forces them into up to 10 days of quarantine upon their return.

With the Olympics the primary goal for both, their choices up until the Tokyo javelin final will be made with that almost exclusively in mind. 

Nevertheless, both men believe that the world record can be broken and, if it’s going to be a German thrower who takes it from Železný, expect that to happen in the near future.

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Will Johannes Vetter improve his event record of 92.70m in the javelin at the European Throwing Cup in Split this weekend? 🚀📺 Both days of competition will be streamed live on the European Athletics website and YouTube channel!https://european-athletics.com/live

Final entries and live results: https://liveresults.european-athletics.com/en/results/athletics/daily-schedule.htm

📺 live on YouTube

Saturday/May 8, 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdXznD1FoiM

Sunday / May 9, 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MasladHJ32k

10:00Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Javelin Throw Final B Under 23
10:00Amphitheatre SalonaMen’s Shot Put Final B
11:45Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Javelin Throw Final A Under 23
12:20Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Javelin Throw Final B
13:00Stadion Park MladeziWomen’s Discus Throw Final Under 23
13:40Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Hammer Throw Final B
15:15Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Hammer Throw Final A
15:20Amphitheatre SalonaWomen’s Shot Put Final B
16:00Amphitheatre SalonaWomen’s Shot Put Final A
16:40Stadion Park MladeziWomen’s Hammer Throw Final B Under 23
16:45Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Discus Throw Final Under 23
17:50Stadion Park MladeziMen’s Javelin Throw Final A
18:15Amphitheatre SalonaMen’s Shot Put Final A
18:40Stadion Park MladeziWomen’s Hammer Throw Final A Under 23

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