The year 2011 was a watershed one for German javelin thrower Matthias de Zordo. He first upset the odds to take gold at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu and then improved his personal best to 88.63m in Brussels to win the Samsung Diamond League’s Diamond Race.
The 23-year-old soldier now has his eyes set on the major battles awaiting him in 2012 most notably at the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki and the Olympic Games in London.
De Zordo versus Norwegian javelin superstar Andreas Thorkildsen in Helsinki, the home of javelin throwing promises to be one of the pulsating duels of next year.
Thorkildsen, two-time Olympic champion and reigning European champion, had a disappointing outing in 2011 by his lofty standards, struggling with a recurring groin injury and losing his world title to De Zordo.
German De Zordo is looking forward to renewing the rivalry. In an interview with German athletics federation magazine Leichtathletik, De Zordo said: “Andreas (Thorkildsen) will be wide awake in 2012. He won´t make winning easy for me. The European Athletics Championships will be his first chance for revenge. But I can perform better than 2011 as well.”
“I´m confident, that I´ll be able to throw 90 metres or more next year. Maybe I can win both, the European Athletics Championships and the Olympics. That would be the climax,” he said.
When asked to describe his 2011 season, de Zordo said the only missing element was an intense battle with Thorkildsen.
“I can almost describe 2011 as a perfect season, but for me there was just one bit missing, a proper duel with Andreas. The performances of the other throwers were certainly not bad but we have to make the javelin interesting and offer the public great duels; that’s the attraction of a competition. I hope he’s back on form next season and we give the people in Helsinki and London a contest to remember,” he added.
During the winter De Zordo does not plan to sit on his laurels, instead he has got his winter training schedule charted.
“Success only spurs me on; I’m sure Andreas will not be sitting idle either. He will work really hard in order to keep me and the other throwers at bay next year.”
The 29-year-old Thorkildsen has already confirmed he intends to go for a European hat-trick in Helsinki.
“It´s going to be the first time when we are going to do the Euros and Olympics in the same year. I don´t think it´s going to be a big problem for anyone because, if they (European Athletics) schedule it right you should be able to go through two peaks in your season. Hopefully it´s going to work out great but it´s definitely going to be a new challenge.”
“I approach every year the same. We have the Europeans when the US athletes don´t have a big (international) championship and for me the Europeans are a big deal.”
Source: European Athletics