The 90 m throwers are arming themselves for Munich
"The European Championship in Munich means as much to me as the World Championship", emphasised Boris Henry, Germany's best javelin thrower. He is heading this year's list of the best in Germany with 86.67 metres and is lying in wait as number six in Europe and the world. He, together with many an ambitious European who are the best in their discipline, are hot on the heels of the world record holder, Jan Zelezny, and above all the Russian, Sergej Makarov, who until now has been the only athlete this year who has thrown further than 90 metres.
To date, nothing has been seen of Aki Parviainen from Finland and the Greek Kostas Gatsioudis who belong to the select club of the 90 m throwers. As such, new names have come to the fore. The Russian Alexandr Ivanov, who is only twenty, has already reached a distance of 87.62 m with his javelin and the experienced Dariusz Trafas from Poland has also emerged as a top favourite for the European Championship in Munich with a new national record of 86.77 m.
Raymond Hecht is back
Both Raymond Hecht and Boris Henry are the only German javelin throwers who have ever succeeded in surpassing the ninety metre threshold during their sports careers and it is precisely these two who are arming themselves for the European Championship in their home country. Following an operation to his elbow in spring Hecht, who stems from the Federal State of Magdeburg, returned to the world of contests with the Golden League Meeting in Oslo. Fifth in the World Championship last year, he has been given time until 27 July by the German Athletic Association to prepare for the European Championship and demonstrate that he is up to standard.
"We will have to throw around 90 m to have any chance of winning a medal", commented Boris Henry. The athlete from Saarbrücken also knows what Jan Zelezny is capable of even though he is currently not taking part in many contests: "He is concentrating entirely on the European Championship." And for good reason. The Czech is the current world record holder, Olympic champion and world champion. However, he does not yet have the title of European champion under his belt. On the other hand, the British athlete, Steve Backley, has won the previous three European Championships and is coming to Munich as defending title holder. This constellation is very explosive and promises to bring a great deal of excitement when on 9 August the javelin final begins in the Munich Olympia Stadium with the best athletes in the world.