The .leichtathletik.de has the latest report on what Boris Obergföll thinks of Germany’s present generation. Boris simply states: “THE BEST GERMAN JAVELIN THROW GENERATIONS OF ALL TIME!”
by Silke Bernhart
“A new German record. Currently, one, two, three, seven and eight of the world. And the current German top five all with top performances in the top ten of the everlasting German highscore. The German javelins have caused a sensation at the beginning of the season! In the interview, Boris Obergföll speaks of a special spearwurf generation, the team work behind the success, the danger of excessive expectations and his roles as a home and Bundestrainer as well as a trainer in the German Athletics Federation (DLV).
Boris Obergföll, the strong DLV javelins have become even stronger and are currently worried with wide throws for astonishment. A Facebook user writes on the website of the best German spearwurf generation of all times. Would you sign this as a Bundestrainer?
According to my generation, with Hecht, Blank, and Henry [ The former German record player Raymond Hecht, 88-meter-bowler Peter Blank and 90-meter-bowler Boris Henry – today Obergföll] is so far by far the best spear-throw generation we have ever had. I can only underline this. There are every ten to fifteen years, perhaps times a year, since four, five athletes are able to throw 88 meters. But the fact that in Germany so many athletes are so far throwing is already extraordinary, and that also scares the other nations in the world.
They were in lanzarote with athletes and home-trainers in February and lastly in the training camp in Potchefstroom in South Africa. Have the vastness there already indicated?
With the performances I saw from the boys in the training camp, it does not surprise me that they are already so far in the competition.
“Together instead of against each other” – could that be the motto of the German spearheads?
It is important for me to form a team. Of course all athletes in my Bundeskader are individualists, together with their coaches, they should also remain. But we want to try to appear as a team in the external presentation. We have also intensified and expanded our cooperation with the IAT [Institute for Applied Training Science in Leipzig] in recent years. Biomechanical and medical care have been optimized. In addition, I spent a lot of time investing in trust building with the home team. They all understand themselves well and are much closer together than was the case a few years ago. This has certainly also led to the fact that last year we have made a big step forward.
88-Meter-Launcher Julian Weber has unfortunately injured and falls out for the season. But with Thomas Röhler, Johannes Vetter, Andreas Hofmann and Lars Hamann there are still four German athletes in the top seven of the world – all different types of players. What is the difference between them?
This is the interesting thing about our job, that you can not create a template, that different ways and techniques can lead to success. Jojo [Johannes Vetter] is by far the strongest and most supple of the four bowlers. But also Lars Hamann has damn good force values and hits the spear particularly well. Andreas Hofmann, on the other hand, is the fastest, his explosive values are gigantic, and he has the longest levers. But he’s not as technical as Lars and John. Thomas has developed a very good technique over many years, meticulously and stabilized at a high level. It is the best spear of all throats, and by far the best stemming leg. In the last few years, he has also focused his training on speed. The layman may say: They all throw upward beautifully. But there are nuances that are decisive, whether one throws far or not! That makes it so exciting, that makes the charm out and that makes the work for me and my coach coaches so charming and varied.
It would be desirable to send all their spears to 88 meters and forward, but it is probably not realistic. What do you expect from the upcoming competitions?
All think that the athletes are now throwing themselves into this extremely high performance range. But these expectations should please screw them down quickly – that will not be so. But the conditions on every competition day always have to fit perfectly. If the four guys stay healthy over the season and always throw between 83 to 87 meters, that would be a nice story. To expect from Thomas, that he now always throws 94 meters is simply nonsense. Ultimately, this year is only the ranking at the World Cup. The athletes, the team and the DLV are assessed in their performance according to how we perform there. If the top throwers have thrown heavily in the run-up, but then no medal in London, the criticism will be great again. Therefore keep the ball flat and wait.
Only three athletes can compete at the World Championships in London. For you, a difficult decision is made, also because you are at the same time Bundestrainer and Heimtrainer of Johannes Vetter …
It is important to me to remain neutral. Sure, I train as a home coach a 89-meter-throwers, but I can not just go and say: I’ll definitely take with me. Crucial are the achievements, when it goes in the direction of the peak season. If then three athletes should be better, my home athlete would have to stay at home as hard as that is. There will not be anything else under my leadership. The decision will be open and transparent so that everyone knows how it came about. Julian Weber unfortunately broke through the injury this year. But that does not make things easier.
In the constellation Athlete – Heimtrainer – Bundestrainer you know all roles from your own experience. What impulses do you bring from your active time to the office as a Bundestrainer, what is particularly important to you?
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