Olympic javelin thrower Thomas Roehler celebrates his return at the start of the Diamond League. The premium series should shine again after the Corona crisis.
Thomas Roehler sees it as a win even if he gets invited to start the Diamond League season in Doha.
“You have to be grateful that such a meeting says: ‘We would like Mr. Rohler to come back first,’” the 30-year-old Olympic javelin champ from 2016 said before the first competition after a long break in competition Friday in the desert state of Qatar. “It’s a start and an important stage on the way back.”
Getting to the premium streak of world athletics is getting trickier anyway — especially for athletes from Germany, who won just three medals at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo. Aside from Olympic long jumper Malaika Mihambo and world javelin throwing champion Johannes Vetter, hardly anyone else is allowed to choose to appear in the Diamond League. In addition to Rohler of Germany, there will be no other teammate in discipline Julian Webber and strike racket Sarah Gambetta in Doha.
In addition, as a result of the Corona crisis, many meeting managers have to save significantly. “The amount of money the athletes are getting is therefore less,” Rohler said. Diamond League meetings in China (Shanghai/Shenzhen) have also been canceled due to the epidemic. In return, Chorzow/Poland was promoted to the Elite League as an alternative to the Continental Tour. With the final on 7/8. September In Zurich only 13 meetings will be held instead of 14 this year.
Rohler’s expectations fell. Due to a back injury, he was only able to take one shot in the German Championship on June 5, 2021 in Braunschweig, which was his last so far. “I left myself completely amazed,” said the 2018 European champion, and is hoping for a “smart rate” in Doha. After a year and a half, he doesn’t want to talk about 90-meter throws: “It still needs to be a few months before I’m 100% sure what I’m doing.”
For him, the Diamond League is “an important piece of the puzzle, but not the most important” in order to return to the top of the world. After all, with the World Championships July 15-24 in Eugene/USA and the European Championships at home in Munich in mid-August, there are two big events coming up. “Given my problem, it makes sense that the last event would be my focus,” Rohler said. “I am more emotionally attached to the European Championship.” As the defending champion, he has a wildcard in the European Championship. First he has to qualify for the World Cup – not easy in the country of the big thrower.
Pummeled demand after the Olympics
With the intent of giving preference to the European Championships in Munich in front of a local and guaranteed audience in the European Championships, he should not be alone. But for the German Athletics Federation, the world championships are crucial in terms of state funding.
“We have been held accountable for sports promotion according to the results of the World Cup,” explained Annette Stein, chief coach at DLV, and emphasized: “We cannot allow ourselves to give everyone the freedom to just want to start in the European Championship.” Especially since you have something to catch up with after the “unsatisfactory” Olympiad balance sheet: “We have to make more progress.”
In order to get back on the path to success, it is important to have a plan for the challenging season, to be focused and to start lower in one Diamond League meeting. “I would recommend it,” Stein said in light of the ambitious summer with the World Cup and European Championships only four weeks apart.
Thomas Rohler doesn’t believe in grumbling and complaining compared to the challenges in other sports like the NBA. “If an NBA player has to play at the highest level four times a week, track and field athletes should be able to host two major events in one year,” said Javelin, who has a bachelor’s degree in sports and economics. .