Lars Riedel - injuries can`t stop him
In the last days Lars Riedel had some problems with his shoulder - this was the reason why he was under medical treatment. And he was carful with his starts at different meetings. Finally the five-time World-Champion in the discus throw some month before the European Championships starts, dont`t want to risk a lot. Because that`s a fact: someone who wants to win the title in the discus throw, must beat the man from Chemnitz.
The Olympic Champion from 1996, who is one of the eleven ambassadors for the European Championship in Munich, is one of the most sucessful athletes in the world. And the 1.99 m giant who impresses first of all with constancy, has big plans. Until the Olympic Games 2004 he wants to continue in any case.
And the best thing for him would be, to take the title at the World Championships 2003 in Paris. "Athens is the cradle of the discus throw, this would be a beautiful end of the career for me". And nothing will make him change his mind about that.
Lars Riedel still wants to be the best.
His sport is very important for him. But there are only a few things they are a little more important. For excample his family.
Fifth Title at the World Championships last year in Edmonton
After his fifth Title at the World Championships last year in Edmonton, he flew directly after his competition home to Germany. He wanted to be there when his son Robert went to school his first time. At this moment Robert was more important than any sucess in the world. The 34 year old athlet ist a familiy person. He loves to spend his freetime with his wife Kerstin and Robert. But compared with the past, when he was a very taciturn guy, he developed to an amusing interesting person to talk to.
The man, who love his garden and breeds many cactus in his house try to support a better marketing for the success of the German discus thrower all the time. "I know, that we will never earn so much money like the sprinters, but we want to come out of their shadow", Riedel says. He ist responsable for the fact, that discus throwing in the last years in Germany became a lot more popular than before. The athlete must fight against big competitors in the own country all the time.
Michael Möllenbeck is his biggest duel partner
Some years ago it was Jürgen Schult, who meanwhile works as the national coach, now Michael Möllenbeck is his biggest duel partner. It`s a pity that the both big discus thrower don`t talk to each other. Riedel, who has a best mark from 71,50 m, would like to beat the 70 m mark in this season again. This he managed 1996 und 1997 already. 2000 and 2001 he missed the dream-mark with 69,72 m.
Above all 2001 was a difficult year for him And even at the day of his victory in Edmonton at the Wold Championships he sufferd at a neck blockade. It almost was a wonder, that he could compete - and won.
At the begining of May he had an operation at his knee and he wasn`t able to do his normal weight training. Even after this problems, he was the best in Kanada. "It was the most difficult victory I ever had", Lars Riedel said after the competition after wining before Virgilius Alekna (Lithuania) and his countryman Michael Möllenbeck.
Only once in ten years
His long standing coach Karl-Heinz Steinmetz went into raptures already, when he started to work with Riedel. "Such a talented guy like Lars Riedel you can find only once in ten years. He is born to be a discus thrower". The man obviously has a good nose.
His father sent him first of all in the sports club, because he was a very wild boy and he should bring his energy in a useful kind of movement. This times had changed.
Since 1996 Riedel is a professional athlete. But success he already had
before this time. Even he must fight with setbacks all the time. His most bitter competition were the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992. He eliminated already after the qualification. "I had a blockade in my head", remembered the man, who lives at the begining of the 90ies in Mainz and went 1996 back together with his wife Kerstin in his hometown Chemnitz in a own house. Since that time he lives there again.
And it doesn`t matter how will be the result in Munich. Lars Riedel isn`t full up. "I always want to be in front. If I wouldn`t have this ambitions, I would have finished my career already".
Even the injuries can`t stop him !