Tokyo previews – Men’s Javelin

Will Tokyo see Jan Železný’s 25 year old Javelin world record broken? Don’t write it off. Johannes Vetter is flying and the rest of the world will try their best to catch up. Here’s our men’s javelin preview.


Wednesday 4 August 01:05 UK Time (Qualification) Saturday 7 August 12:00 UK Time (Final)

2021 Furthest Throws

2021 RankingsDistance (m)AthleteCountry
196.29Johannes VetterGermany
289.55Marcin KrukowskiPoland
389.12Keshorn WalcottTrinidad & Tobago
488.07Neeraj ChopraIndia
587.57Gatis ČakšsLatvia
686.66Andrian MardareMoldova
786.38Arshad NadeemPakistan
885.97Rocco Van RooyenSouth Africa
985.67Michael ShueyUSA
1085.1Aliaksei KatkavetsBelarus

British interest

There are no British entrants for the Javelin.

The favourites

You are unlikely to find a more nailed on favourite across the Games than Johannes Vetter, whose 97.76 personal best is within one metre of the world record. The fact it is almost four metres ahead of the third best of all time shows just how good that is.

Such dominance belies his performances so far at major champs, winning the World Champs in London in 2017 but finishing only third two years later. Add an Olympic fourth place in Rio and Vetter will be keen to cement his status as one of the greatest of all time.

Two men beat him in Doha. One in Magnus Kirt of Estonia is not in Tokyo. The other, Anderson Peters of Grenada, the reigning world champ has not so far shown that form, with his 83.46m just the 18th best athlete in 2021.

Like Peters, Julius Yego of Kenya, the Rio silver medalist and Bejiing World Champion, has not shown the form needed to challenge for gold but it is interesting that when he launched it over 88 metres to win silver in Rio it was a season’s best by almost four metres. In 2015 he threw 92.72, good enough for fifth all time. It is likely that such a throw will be needed to challenge Vetter.

Keshorn Walcott, Olympic Champion in 2012 and bronze medalist in Rio continues to perform consistently and has high hopes of a third Olympic medal.

Marcin Krukowski of Poland is a man with confidence, having broken the Polish record to win the Paavo Nurmi Games in Finland. If he can mantain that level he will be in the mix.

Finally Neeraj Chopra deserves mention, having won in Portugal and Sweden and broken his own Indian record earlier this year. Aged just twenty-three he could sneak a medal. The same can be said for World U20 Champ from 2014, Gatis Čakšs.

Our medal prediction

  1. Johannes Vetter
  2. Keshorn Walcott
  3. Julius Yego


WR: 98.48m Jan Železný (1996)

OR: 90.57m Andreas Thorkildsen (2008 Bejiing)

Featured image “Keshorn Walcott celebrates winning the men’s javelin” by ciamabue is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

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