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2008 Olympic Games Beijing - Men's Javelin Throw

 

 

Host City: Beijing, China Format: Top 12 and ties and all those reaching 82.50 metres advanced to the final.
Date Started: August 21, 2008  
Date Finished: August 23, 2008  
(Competitors: 38; Countries: 29; Finalists: 12)  
    Venue(s): Beijing National Stadium, Beijing
Overview by IAAF    2008_olympic_stadium.jpg
In 2007 there had been 16 competitions beyond 88m, but in 2008 only one before Beijing. The top three of the prior year – Thorkildsen, Pitkämäki and Breaux Greer (USA) – all had to deal with injuries in Olympic year, with the American particularly affected. The wet conditions for the qualifying gave some throwers problems – particularly Sergey Makarov and Aleksandr Ivanov (both RUS), though 2004 silver medallist Vadims Vasiļevskis (LAT) seemed untroubled, leading the qualifiers with 83.51. In the final Pitkämäki opened with 83.75 and Järvenpää 83.95, then Thorkildsen took the lead with 84.72. Successive throws of 85.91 and 87.93 ensured the Norwegian’s position in the javelin hierachy, and a fifth-round 90.57 eclipsed Jan Železný’s Olympic record – terrific throwing in the windless conditions. Vasiļevskis had an off day in the final, placing ninth with 81.32, but Latvian fortunes were rescued by Kovals, who shocked with his lifetime best of 86.64 in the last round to take silver from Pitkämäki. The Finn had thrown 85.83 in the fourth, and reacted to Kovals’s mark by reaching 86.16 with his last throw. One of Järvenpää’s four fouls was in the region of 88m, but this was clearly Thorkildsen’s day.
       
Summary by Sports-reference.com      
The favorite was Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen, the defending Olympic and European Champion. In the technically difficult event he had been consistent over the past few years, winning silver at 2005 and 2007 World Championships. Thorkildsen led after round one with 84.72 (277-11), and produced the longest throw in each of the first three rounds, improving to 85.91 (281-10) and then 87.93 (286-10). The third-round mark would be enough to secure the gold medal, although he improved again in round five with the best mark of the competition, 90.57 (297-1). The battle for the other medals came down to two Finns, Tero Pitämäki and Tero Järvenpää and Latvian Ainārs Kovals. Järvenpää and Pitämäki were 2-3 thru the first three rounds, but Pitämäki moved ahead with a fourth-round throw of 85.83 (281-7). In the final round, Kovals threw a personal best of 86.64 (284-3) to take the silver medal and knock Järvenpää off the podium.
 

Records

Prior to the competition, the existing World and Olympic records were as follows.

World record  Jan Železný (CZE) 98.48 m Jena, Germany 25 May 1996
Olympic record  Jan Železný (CZE) 90.17 m Sydney, Australia 23 September 2000

The following new Olympic record was set during this competition:

Date Event Athlete Time Notes
23 August Final  Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 90.57 OR
 
        Results        

The men's javelin throw event at the 2008 Summer Olympics took place on 21 and 23 August at the Beijing National Stadium. The qualification mark was set at 82.50 metres.

The qualifying standards were 81.80 m (268.37 ft) (A standard) and 77.80 m (255.25 ft) (B standard).

Men's Javelin Throw - FINAL

 

In a year of inconsistency in the men’s Javelin Throw, Andreas Thorkildsen not only retained his Olympic title but brought respectability to the event which has been without a 90m throw all season.

And what a spectacular way for the Norwegian to take his title with an Olympic record and world season lead of 90.57m in the fifth round.

Thorkildsen had hinted that he was in very good condition just prior to these Olympics with his 87.36m win in Stockholm at the end of July. When he qualified with what seemed a below par sub-80m throw (79.85) he reassured us that this was just playing safe on a wet runway on a morning (Thu 21) which saw frequent downpours of rain.

The mark of a great champion is the manner of his victory, and in Beijing there was only one man on the runway of the same ability. If the argument had been in Athens 2004 that at 86.50 his Thorkildsen’s Olympic title had been won cheap, then tonight Thorkildsen stamped quality on a generally below par night which without his series held little spark.

That Thorkildsen improved the Olympic record of 90.17 held by the Jan Zelezny, the three-time Olympic champion and reigning World record holder, helps to define the brilliance that was the Norwegian in Beijing.

The winning series was consistent in a year when no thrower has shown any sort of stability in their competitions – 84.72; 85.91; 87.93; 85.13; 90.57; pass.

Thorildsen took the lead with his first throw and was never headed, with the expected pursuit from the three Finns, World champion Tero Pitkämäki, Tero Järvenpää, and Teemu Wirkkala never seriously appearing.

In fact it was Wirkkala who surprised a little with his 83.46 in the third which gained the Finn a further three throws. So at the half way point, it was Norway 1st 87.93, Finland 2nd (Järvenpää, 83.95), 3rd (Pitkämäki, 83.75) and 4th (Wirkkala).

The fourth round brought some joy for the erratic World champion, Pitkämäki’s spear landing at 85.83 to move into silver. There was no other improvement that round.

Pitkämäki had threaten slightly, but Järvenpää who had been fouling with 75m to 82m efforts ever since his opener, produced a massive heave which sailed out further than Thorkildsen’s lead. Unfortunately for the Finn he couldn’t hold onto his footing and fouled again. He was distraught.

But in terms of the path of the gold medal it didn’t matter a jot, as with the very next throw of the competition Thorkildsen unleashed his Olympic record. Game over.

The pain came worse for Järvenpää when in the sixth round Latvian Ainars Kovals produced a surprise PB of 86.64 to move into silver position, jumping from the sixth place he had held at the start of the round (2nd round 82.63). So Pitkämäki was now in bronze and Järvenpää was out of the medals.

Pitkämäki found some form with his last, blasted out an improvement of 86.16, but even in this shape he was not in the same class as the winner.

Thorkildsen was premier league, the rest of the world, division one tonight.

Thorkildsen, as he was already in 2004, is the second Norwegian man to win the Olympic crown, Egil Danielsen in 1956 the first, and becomes the fourth man to retain a Javelin Throw title (Lemming SWE 1908/12; Myyrä FIN 1920/24; Zelzeny CZE 1992/06/2000).

"I set two goals for this year - one was to win a medal in Oslo, my hometown," said Thorkildsen. "The second was to win an Olympic gold medal. I've always said that as long as I can win in Oslo and at the Olympic Games, that's it for me. I knew I could reach it."

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Thorkildsen breaks Zelezny's Olympic record to retain title

 

In a year of inconsistency in the men’s Javelin Throw, Andreas Thorkildsen not only retained his Olympic title but brought respectability to the event which has been without a 90m throw all season.

And what a spectacular way for the Norwegian to take his title with an Olympic record and world season lead of 90.57m in the fifth round.

Thorkildsen had hinted that he was in very good condition just prior to these Olympics with his 87.36m win in Stockholm at the end of July. When he qualified with what seemed a below par sub-80m throw (79.85) he reassured us that this was just playing safe on a wet runway on a morning (Thu 21) which saw frequent downpours of rain.

The mark of a great champion is the manner of his victory, and in Beijing there was only one man on the runway of the same ability. If the argument had been in Athens 2004 that at 86.50 his Thorkildsen’s Olympic title had been won cheap, then tonight Thorkildsen stamped quality on a generally below par night which without his series held little spark.

That Thorkildsen improved the Olympic record of 90.17 held by the Jan Zelezny, the three-time Olympic champion and reigning World record holder, helps to define the brilliance that was the Norwegian in Beijing.

The winning series was consistent in a year when no thrower has shown any sort of stability in their competitions – 84.72; 85.91; 87.93; 85.13; 90.57; pass.

Thorildsen took the lead with his first throw and was never headed, with the expected pursuit from the three Finns, World champion Tero Pitkämäki, Tero Järvenpää, and Teemu Wirkkala never seriously appearing.

In fact it was Wirkkala who surprised a little with his 83.46 in the third which gained the Finn a further three throws. So at the half way point, it was Norway 1st 87.93, Finland 2nd (Järvenpää, 83.95), 3rd (Pitkämäki, 83.75) and 4th (Wirkkala).

The fourth round brought some joy for the erratic World champion, Pitkämäki’s spear landing at 85.83 to move into silver. There was no other improvement that round.

Pitkämäki had threaten slightly, but Järvenpää who had been fouling with 75m to 82m efforts ever since his opener, produced a massive heave which sailed out further than Thorkildsen’s lead. Unfortunately for the Finn he couldn’t hold onto his footing and fouled again. He was distraught.

But in terms of the path of the gold medal it didn’t matter a jot, as with the very next throw of the competition Thorkildsen unleashed his Olympic record. Game over.

The pain came worse for Järvenpää when in the sixth round Latvian Ainars Kovals produced a surprise PB of 86.64 to move into silver position, jumping from the sixth place he had held at the start of the round (2nd round 82.63). So Pitkämäki was now in bronze and Järvenpää was out of the medals.

Pitkämäki found some form with his last, blasted out an improvement of 86.16, but even in this shape he was not in the same class as the winner.

Thorkildsen was premier league, the rest of the world, division one tonight.

Thorkildsen, as he was already in 2004, is the second Norwegian man to win the Olympic crown, Egil Danielsen in 1956 the first, and becomes the fourth man to retain a Javelin Throw title (Lemming SWE 1908/12; Myyrä FIN 1920/24; Zelzeny CZE 1992/06/2000).

"I set two goals for this year - one was to win a medal in Oslo, my hometown," said Thorkildsen. "The second was to win an Olympic gold medal. I've always said that as long as I can win in Oslo and at the Olympic Games, that's it for me. I knew I could reach it."

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Javelin Throw Men     Final 23 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 90.57     Andreas Thorkildsen Norway NOR 1 Apr 82  
2 86.64     Ainārs Kovals Latvia LAT 21 Nov 81  
3 86.16     Tero Pitkämäki Finland FIN 19 Dec 82  
4 83.95     Tero Järvenpää Finland FIN 2 Oct 84  
5 83.46     Teemu Wirkkala Finland FIN 14 Jan 84  
6 83.45     Jarrod Bannister Australia AUS 3 Oct 84  
7 83.15     Ilya Korotkov Russia RUS 6 Dec 83  
8 82.06     Uladzimir Kazlou Belarus BLR 20 Apr 85  
9 81.32     Vadims Vasiļevskis Latvia LAT 5 Jan 82  
10 80.90     Scott Russell Canada CAN 16 Jan 79  
11 80.16     Magnus Arvidsson Sweden SWE 20 Feb 83  
12 76.76     Vítězslav Veselý Czech Republic CZE 27 Feb 83  

Men's Javelin Throw - Qualification

 

The reigning World and Olympic champions made it through to the final in frightful weather conditions in this morning’s qualification round of the men’s Javelin Throw.

It rained so heavily that Group A which was originally meant to start at 9.10am, was officially delayed by one hour. Even when the 19-men did come out to compete, the rain was still persistent and despite sponging and wiping of the runway by officials, the approach looked more like an ice skating ring than it did an all weather surface.

Was qualification a lottery?

That a group which included the world season leader, a former World champion, the World bronze medallist, and a former World Junior champion couldn’t produce one automatic qualifier was certainly a below par result.

In total 12 men from this first pool had lifetime bests which far exceeded the 82.50 required to make the final by right but the best the three rounds of throwing could produce was Canada’s Scott Russell’s 80.42!

But in the end of the day, conditions balanced themselves out. The runway remained wet and slippery even for the second group when the rain was more like a mist and eventually stopped completely, and of the twelve who made Saturday’s run off for the medals, six came from both groups.

Three men went over 80m in the first grouping. Behind Russell came Latvia’s Ainars Kovals (80.15) and Uladzimir Kazlou of Belarus (80.06). Also making it from this group were Finn Teemu Wirkkala (79.79), Australia’s Area record holder and world season leader Jarrod Bannister (79.79 same distance), and Swede Magnus Arvidsson (79.70 – twelfth and last qualifier overall).

Those losing out were 2003 World champion Sergey Makarov of Russia. He was the Olympic bronze medallist in 2000 and 2004, and has thrown 86.88 this season in the process beating World champion Tero Pitkämäki.

The other notables to miss the cut were 2006 World Junior champion Robert Oosthuizen of South Africa, who has PB’ed this year with 86.80, and Latvia’s Erik Rags, 85.05 this season.

More understandable was the demise of World bronze medallist Breaux Greer of the USA. Making a comeback from a shoulder operation during the winter, he had the misfortune of trapping his throwing hand in a door a fortnight ago which broke his small finger. So he was throwing with only four fifths of the usual grip on the spear, and consequently 73.68 was his only result today.

Round one of Group B bought with it the first automatic qualification of the day, Olympic silver medallist Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia throwing 83.51m.

Throwing seventh in Group B was Pitkämäki, and as he made his usual fast approach he slipped heavily just ahead of the line crashing onto his right thigh and seemingly twisting his left ankle. The World champion got up smiling and with his next attempt eased out an automatic qualification of 82.61 but as he left the infield he placed an ice pack on his thigh. In the Mixed Zone Pitkämäki confirmed his ankle was fine but his hip had taken quite a bash in the fall but he was confident it wouldn’t affect his throwing in the final. 

Norway’s Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen produced 79.85m with his first attempt and while he didn’t progress with his second (he intentionally fouled it) and then passed his second, nothing can be read into this series as he clearly understood that his first release would be good enough to qualify in the awful weather conditions.

The third and final automatic qualifier came in round two when Russia’s Ilya Korotkov produced a surprise 83.33. He has a personal best of 84.04m from this year.

Coming perilously close to the automatic mark was Tero Järvenpää of Finland who also found his form after a first round 77.76, his second attempt being 82.34.

With Czech Vitezslav Vesely, who is coached by the great Jan Zelezny, making a PB on his final throw (81.20) that was the final line-up completed.

Russia’s Aleksandr Ivanov, who has been fifth at the last two World champs and the 2004 Olympic Games was the major name to the final from this group.

So three Finns and two Latvians will make up the biggest team contingents in the final on Saturday, with Norway’s defending champion the other big player.

Chris Turner for the IAAF

Javelin Throw Men     Qualification 21 August      
                 
Rank Mark     Athlete Country NOC Birth Date Records
1 83.51   Q Vadims Vasiļevskis Latvia LAT 5 Jan 82  
2 83.33   Q Ilya Korotkov Russia RUS 6 Dec 83  
3 82.61   Q Tero Pitkämäki Finland FIN 19 Dec 82  
4 82.34   Q Tero Järvenpää Finland FIN 2 Oct 84  
5 81.20   Q Vítězslav Veselý Czech Republic CZE 27 Feb 83  
6 80.42   Q Scott Russell Canada CAN 16 Jan 79  
7 80.15   Q Ainārs Kovals Latvia LAT 21 Nov 81  
8 80.06   Q Uladzimir Kazlou Belarus BLR 20 Apr 85  
9 79.85   Q Andreas Thorkildsen Norway NOR 1 Apr 82  
10 79.79   Q Teemu Wirkkala Finland FIN 14 Jan 84  
11 79.79   Q Jarrod Bannister Australia AUS 3 Oct 84  
12 79.70   Q Magnus Arvidsson Sweden SWE 20 Feb 83  
13 79.33     Ēriks Rags Latvia LAT 1 Jun 75  
14 79.27     Aleksandr Ivanov Russia RUS 25 May 82  
15 78.21     Yukifumi Murakami Japan JPN 23 Dec 79  
16 77.63     Igor Janik Poland POL 18 Jan 83  
17 76.63     Park Jae-Myong South Korea KOR 15 Dec 81  
18 76.55     Leigh Smith United States USA 28 Aug 81  
19 76.16     Robert Oosthuizen South Africa RSA 23 Jan 87  
20 76.14     Stuart Farquhar New Zealand NZL 15 Mar 82  
21 75.56     Mihkel Kukk Estonia EST 8 Oct 83  
22 73.68     Breaux Greer United States USA 19 Oct 76  
23 73.50     Chen Qi China CHN 10 Mar 82  
24 73.03     Ignacio Guerra Chile CHI 15 Sep 87  
25 72.75     Mike Hazle United States USA 22 Mar 79  
26 72.47     Sergey Makarov Russia RUS 19 Mar 73  
27 71.87     Jiannis Smalios Greece GRE 17 Feb 87  
28 71.85     Aniel Boué Cuba CUB 3 Apr 84  
29 71.64     Roman Avramenko Ukraine UKR 23 Mar 88  
30 71.58     Víctor Fatecha Paraguay PAR 10 Mar 88  
31 71.00     Matija Kranjc Slovenia SLO 12 Jun 84  
32 70.05     Stephan Steding Germany GER 29 Jan 82  
33 69.54     Bobur Shokirjonov Uzbekistan UZB 5 Dec 90  
34 69.09     Pablo Pietrobelli Argentina ARG 24 Jun 80  
35 67.49     Alexander Vieweg Germany GER 28 Jun 86  
36 66.00     Kolio Neshev Bulgaria BUL 30 May 82  
37 64.47     Melik Janoyan Armenia ARM 24 Mar 85  
  NM     Csongor Olteán Hungary HUN 8 Apr 84  
 
Detailed View
 

Qualifying round

Qualification: 82.50 (Q) or at least 12 best performers (q) advance to the final.

Rank Group Athlete Nationality #1 #2 #3 Result Notes
1 B Vadims Vasiļevskis Latvia 83.51     83.51 Q
2 B Ilya Korotkov Russia 79.13 83.33   83.33 Q
3 B Tero Pitkämäki Finland x 82.61   82.61 Q
4 B Tero Järvenpää Finland 77.76 82.34 - 82.34 q
5 B Vitezslav Veselý Czech Republic x 78.93 81.20 81.20 q, PB
6 A Scott Russell Canada 80.42 - - 80.42 q
7 A Ainārs Kovals Latvia x x 80.15 80.15 q
8 A Uladzimir Kazlou Belarus 77.07 80.06 78.41 80.06 q
9 B Andreas Thorkildsen Norway 79.85 x - 79.85 q
10 A Teemu Wirkkala Finland 79.79 78.89 75.81 79.79 q
11 A Jarrod Bannister Australia 79.79 x 77.40 79.79 q
12 A Magnus Arvidsson Sweden 79.70 75.35 76.07 79.70 q
13 A Ēriks Rags Latvia 79.33 x 77.97 79.33  
14 B Alexandr Ivanov Russia 75.73 73.89 79.27 79.27  
15 A Yukifumi Murakami Japan x 78.21 76.29 78.21  
16 A Igor Janik Poland 71.43 67.59 77.63 77.63  
17 A Park Jae-Myong South Korea 76.63 75.61 74.25 76.63  
18 B Leigh Smith United States x 74.18 76.55 76.55  
19 A John Robert Oosthuizen South Africa x 74.55 76.16 76.16  
20 B Stuart Farquhar New Zealand 76.14 75.51 73.87 76.14  
21 B Mihkel Kukk Estonia 63.42 70.55 75.56 75.56  
22 A Breaux Greer United States 73.68 - - 73.68 SB
23 B Chen Qi China 73.50 x x 73.50  
24 A Ignacio Guerra Chile 71.07 71.35 73.03 73.03  
25 B Mike Hazle United States x 72.75 71.69 72.75  
26 A Sergey Makarov Russia x x 72.47 72.47  
27 B Ioannis-Georgios Smalios Greece x 71.87 67.39 71.87  
28 A Anier Boue Cuba 71.29 71.85 x 71.85  
29 B Roman Avramenko Ukraine 71.64 70.68 71.10 71.64  
30 A Victor Fatecha Paraguay 70.59 71.58 68.79 71.58  
31 B Matija Kranjc Slovenia 71.00 x x 71.00  
32 A Stephan Steding Germany x 70.05 x 70.05  
33 A Bobur Shokirjonov Uzbekistan 69.54 66.29 68.29 69.54  
34 B Pablo Pietrobelli Argentina 58.04 66.95 69.09 69.09  
35 B Alexander Vieweg Germany 67.49 66.37 67.39 67.49  
36 B Kolyo Neshev Bulgaria 66.00 x x 66.00  
37 B Melik Janoyan Armenia x x 64.47 64.47  
  A Csongor Olteán Hungary x x x NM
 

Final

Rank Athlete Nationality 1 2 3 4 5 6 Result Notes
1st Andreas Thorkildsen Norway 84.72 85.91 87.93 85.13 90.57 x 90.57 OR
2nd Ainārs Kovals Latvia 79.45 82.63 82.28 78.98 80.65 86.64 86.64 PB
3rd Tero Pitkämäki Finland 83.75 x 80.69 85.83 x 86.16 86.16  
4 Tero Järvenpää Finland 83.95 x x x x 83.63 83.95  
5 Teemu Wirkkala Finland 73.90 83.46 x x 78.23 83.46  
6 Jarrod Bannister Australia 83.45 80.59 82.20 x x x 83.45  
7 Ilya Korotkov Russia 82.54 x 76.84 82.15 x 83.15 83.15  
8 Uladzimir Kazlou Belarus 82.06 77.57 74.09 x x 75.36 82.06 PB
 
9 Vadims Vasiļevskis Latvia 76.75 x 81.32       81.32  
10 Scott Russell Canada 80.90 78.02 x       80.90  
11 Magnus Arvidsson Sweden 79.85 79.57 80.16       80.16  
12 Vitezslav Veselý Czech Republic x x 76.76       76.76  

 

 

 

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