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Javelin thrower Weber and Kaul: Saulheim handball throwing school

ANiklas Kaul laughingly describes his unbroken play instinct as a “catastrophe”, which always breaks out of him when he sees a ball: he has to pick it up, bounce it, throw it and play around with it. “You can lock me up alone with a ball in a hall for two hours,” says the European decathlon champion: “I won’t get bored.”

Athletics is an extremely versatile sport and decathlon is the most varied form of activity – but balls are definitely not part of the canon of disciplines. Kaul’s ball sport imprint stems from his youth, when he also played handball alongside athletics. Left back, the king position for right-handers with a strong arm stroke – or center back, as a playmaker, depending.

At his home club, SG Saulheim near Mainz, Kaul played until he was 15, before the now 24-year-old had to choose a sport – and athletics at USC Mainz got the upper hand. A good choice, as is certain after his decathlon victories at World and European Championships at the latest. In both titles, he laid the foundation for gold with an outstanding javelin throw – 79.05 meters in 2019 in Doha, 76.05 meters a few weeks ago in Munich. These individual performances, which are astounding for an all-rounder, qualified him to take part in the javelin specialist competition at the Istaf in Berlin this Sunday.

No all-rounder throws the javelin like him: Niklas Kaul has the best performance in a decathlon


No all-rounder throws the javelin like him: Niklas Kaul has the best performance in a decathlon
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Image: AP

“Niklas can throw over 80 meters there,” predicts the current throwing champion, who is considered the favorite in the invitational competition – and who followed a similar path as Kaul in his youth. Julian Weber, European champion in javelin throwing, like Kaul wears the jersey of USC Mainz – and also played handball in his youth at SG Saulheim in Rheinhessen. Back room on the left, only two age groups higher.

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