Johanne’s cousin sounds a bit grumpy when asked to talk about the reason for his health-related break from competition. “Technical problems,” the 29-year-old finally growls, were the decisive factor in the fact that several “physical construction sites” arose. “But,” emphasizes by far the best javelin thrower in recent years, none of this is “critical”.
Johannes Vetter wants to take a break for two weeks and give the “medical team” a free hand so that all complaints can be eliminated. He has canceled his planned starts in Ostrava this Tuesday and Hengelo on June 6th. Already in Dessau last week he gave up his participation after being thrown in.
Will cousin be slowed down again? Last season, the muscle-bound world champion of 2017 traveled to Tokyo as the clear favorite with an impressive series of several throws that all landed beyond the 90-meter mark in order to pick up the supposedly certain gold medal. But at the Olympics, the world’s best, who cultivates a very powerful style, couldn’t cope with the soft surface of the inrun. As a beaten ninth, he had to miss the Olympic Stadium before the final.
In the current season, which has two top events in store with the World Championships in Eugene in July and the home European Championships in Munich in August, Vetter has not yet been able to boast as well as last year. A slim 85.64 meters has been his best performance so far, achieved at the thrower meeting of his home club, LG Offenburg. The 29-year-old ranks sixth in the world best list, even in the German pecking order he is still third behind Andreas Hofmann (86.52) and Julian Weber (86.09).
The best of the season so far was Anderson Peters of Grenada, who hit 93.07 meters at the Diamond League meeting in Doha on May 13. Vetter was absent there, not because of an injury, but because of injured pride: he complained at the time that he had received neither an entry fee nor a business class flight from the organizers. The late return journey without legroom in economy class “would have been quite counterproductive for the competition in Offenburg the day after,” is how he explained to Sport1 why he did not travel to Doha.
He was still able to throw Offenburg, but didn’t do much after that. The technical problems were followed by physical ones. “Foot, shoulder and hamstring right” are the problem areas. Muscle groups, ligaments and tendons were excessively strained by smaller evasive movements. The difficult search for the “adjusting screws” with national coach Boris Obergföll now has priority. His actual career goal, the world record set by the Czech Jan Zelezny (98.48), will have to wait. Vetter was already close to the record by 72 centimetres. And then it’s not far to the 100 meter mark.
But at the moment Johannes Vetter is once again not getting his power properly transferred. He has given himself a 14-day break, “if it’s going to be four weeks,” he’ll have to put up with it. Are the World Cup and the European Championship at risk? “I’m not even thinking about that yet.”