Konstanze Klosterhalfen en route to her solo 3:59.58 meeting record at the German Championships (Bongarts/Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Erfurt, Germany

Vetter defeats Röhler at German Championships, Klosterhalfen and Krause impress

The men’s javelin will be the event which carries Germany’s biggest hopes for victory at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 next month. That was confirmed at the two-day German Championships over the weekend in Erfurt.

Johannes Vetter took the title with an 89.35m throw, a championships’ record, defeating Olympic champion Thomas Röhler who threw 85.24m. Other highlights included championships records by Konstanze Klosterhalfen in the women’s 1500m where she clocked 3:59.58 and Gesa Krause’s 9:25.81 in the 3000m steeplechase.

However there was also a major blow for the country’s medal hopes in the men’s discus throw. After sensationally taking the Olympic gold medal last summer, Christoph Harting almost equally sensationally missed the national qualifying standard for the World Championships. He looks set to miss London after failing to reach the 65.00m requested by the federation. In Erfurt he finished fourth while brother Robert Harting won with 65.65m.

Vetter again threatens 90-metre line

It could not have gone much better for Vetter in Erfurt. He began the competition with his 89.35m throw, which not only held on to win the competition, but also eclipsed by one centimetre the championship record set 21 years ago by Raymond Hecht.

In a solid series, Vetter also produced throws of 84.59m, 87.83m and 89.23m in rounds three, four and five. His winning effort landed just 33 centimetres short of his 89.68m personal best set last year.

“I am very happy winning my first ever German title,”  Vetter said. “It was a superb series. I am very close to 90 metres, but I’m not putting myself under pressure.”

Röhler meanwhile was unlucky after slipping on a throw during the warm-up.

“I was a bit concerned,“ said Röhler, whose first three attempts of 74.77m, 77.18m and 74.12m were extremely modest. He then improved with 82.75m and 85.24m before ending the competition with a foul.

“Johannes showed a great performance and deserved the win. Although we are number one, two and three in the world nothing is guaranteed at the World Championships.

Bernhard Seifert was third with a PB 84.62m while Lars Hamann (81.07m) followed in fourth. Andreas Hofmann had to be content with 74.07m for fifth.

Robert Harting retains discus title

As he has so often in the past, Robert Harting dominated the discus throw. The 2012 Olympic champion took the lead with a first round throw of 63.53m and extended it to 65.65m in the third. Martin Wierig was second with 64.29m --he reached the London qualifying standard earlier in the season-- with Markus Münch third with 62.79m.

“I did a lot of training recently,” Harting said. “Because of this the timing of these championships was not so suitable for me. However I confirmed my current performance level and I am happy that I managed to go beyond 65 and a half metres.”

Meanwhile, his brother Christoph’s poor form continued in Erfurt, where he had to be content with 62.51m and fourth place. His only other measured throw was 60.06m. He expressed confidence recently about reaching the qualifying mark, and said that the reason for his lack of form is a reduced training regiment in order to allow his body to recover after a tough Olympic year.

David Storl won the shot put with 20.98m, well ahead of runner-up Jan Josef Jeuschede was reached 19.31m.

Elsewhere on the infield, European triple jump champion Max Hess won his specialty with a wind-assisted 17.24m (+2.1). He backed that up with a wind-legal 17.13m. Julian Howard won the long jump with 8.15m.

Mateusz Przybylko dominated the high jump, clearing 2.30m at his first attempt. He then went for 2.36m and after failing his first try had the bar raised to a would-be 2.38m national record, but missed as well, leaving Carlo Thränhardt’s 2.37m national record from 1984 to stand another day.

Julian Reus took the 100m in 10.10 (+0.2 wind) to qualify for London at the last moment. On the second day he added the 200m title with a personal best of 20.29 (+1.0). Matthias Bühler won the 110 m Hurdles in 13.50 (+1.2) from Gregor Traber who crossed the line in 13.55.

Strong solo run for Krause

Gesa Krause, who had opened her season with a 9:15.70 national record, added another record to her portfolio on Saturday. The European steeplechase champion 2015 world bronze medallist produced a solo effort to take the national title with a 9:25.81 championships’ record. Illustrating Krause’s dominance, Jana Sussmann was a distant second with 9:57.59.

“It was my goal to break the record. I am happy with my performance,” said Krause, who also took the 5000m title for the first time on the second day. In a tactical race, she out-kicked Hanna Klein 16:20.10 to 16:20.24.

Solo sub-4:00 for Klosterhalfen

Rising star Konstanze Klosterhalfen showed another superb 1500m outing. Taking the lead early in the race, the 20-year-old stormed away from the field to break the four-minute barrier for the second time this season. A month ago Klosterhalfen impressed with a 3:59.30 PB in Rome. Here, she clocked 3:59.58 to smash a 40-year-old championship record. This too was a solo effort, with Diana Sujew a distant second in 4:10.71.

“I can hardly believe this, it was great,” said Klosterhalfen. “I have never been at the World Championships and have never been in London. I will go there without any expectations.” She’ll have one of her last tune-ups at the European U23 championships later this week in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

In the 100m, Gina Lückenkemper knocked 0.03 from her previous best with an 11.01 clocking in the first round. “After this,” she said, “I hoped for a sub-11 time in the final.”

That didn’t quite materialise after a slight stumble out of the blocks in the final, but she still clocked 11.10, well ahead of Rebekka Haase (11.22) and Tatjana Pinto (11.27).

Pamela Dutkiewicz confirmed that she is currently Germany’s number one sprint hurdler, cruising to the 100m hurdles title in 12.82. “I will travel to London with confidence,” she said. “It will be my aim to reach the final.”

Lisa Ryzih won the pole vault at 4.70m, with Silke Spiegelburg and Friedlinde Petershofen in second and third. Both topped 4.55m to match the qualifying height set by the federation.

Claudia Salman-Rath took a close long jump competition with 6.72 from Alexandra Wester (6.71m) while Kristin Gierisch won the triple jump with 14.40m.

Jörg Wenig for the IAAF

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