Robert Harting won the Memorial van Damme Diamond League meeting in Brüssel last friday. Even though he won the competition he did not win the Diamond League Race. The Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski won the race by 2 points. But even without the crystal trophy in hand Harting enjoyed the trip back home. This journey gets him one step closer to his holiday after perhaps the most difficult season of his career. Now it’s time to look back.
It was not set in stone that Robert Harting would compete in Brussel at all. The organizers decided not to pay for the athletes to compete at this event. The three-time World Champion did not want to sell his value below market. “I do have responsibility to my colleagues,” noted the current most successful discus thrower Harting. In the end the organizers made a compromise with Harting and so Robert decided to fight once again for the Diamond League title.
Robert’s goal was it to win the Diamond League race with another winning competition in Brussel. Even though he won with 67,57m the final Diamond League meeting, the prize money was out of reach. The Polish discus thrower Piotr Malachowski placed second with just a few cm short of Harting’s winning throw. His throw was measured 67,35m which was enough to receive the important points to win the race and get the prize money of $40,000. Due to the unusual stress Robert Harting faced this year he can probably ignore the “defeat”.
Studying instead of sleeping
“From the outside it looked as this year was as usual, but from the inside, and therefore enormously important, it was very hard work,” recalls the discus thrower Harting. Changing the coach, the completion of my studies and the establishment of the well described sports lottery. All together took so much energy and left traces behind. Not only in my mind but also on the throwing field. “The effort was sometimes larger than expected and I lost several meters due to that”, described Robert his situation in the “Leichtathletik Magazin“.
The unprecedented triple burden in addition to the daily life of a sports man was a lot to take in. Not infrequently it meant night shifts at the desks studying. Papers and other exercises for the university took away his restful sleep. “Of course, this impacted my performance to a high extend”, says the 29-year-old. “This was not a reduction in motivation but it had an impact and I had to deal with it”.
70 meters in sight
Reasony why Robert Harting did not throw as far as his personal best this year. At the FBK Games in Hengelo Harting threw his season best of 68,47m. Last year at the same competition his huge serie of 35 victories has been torned up by Piotr Malachowski. About 2m are missing from his personal best of 70,66m, thrown in Turnov, Czech Republik, on 22th May of 2012. Only three days before Harting upgraded his business card at the Halleschen Werfertage with 70m.
Throws above the 70m mark did not happen since then. “The 70m are my next years goal”, so Robert Harting. “2015 I can concentrate on the sport fully”. The irregularities such as the studies and the establishment of the sports lottery are settled. The usual daily routine can be determined again. The training sessions will run better than this year under a new coach.
Year one after Werner Goldmann
About a year ago the Berliner training squad, which also includes girlfriend Julia Fischer and brother Christoph Harting changed the coach from success coach Werner Goldman to Torsten Schmidt, who describes himself as a “sport technical adivsor”. “After ten years working with Werner Goldmann a change had to be done. New training activities and challenges were important,” says the 2,01m giant.
In the view of the upcoming major events Harting took the opportunity of the “transition year” to dismantle his entire training in small pieces. With new movement patterns the small dismantled pieces will be put together like a puzzle in regard to perfection Sometimes the discus will be thrown left-handed, sometimes the javelin or even the hammer will be used as diverse training challenges. More generally, the work in the stadium was unfamiliar. Even the “usual” tearing apart of the shirt did not happen in Zurich. But one thing was the same. The role as a captain of the German natioanl team.
Team player and leader
Robert Harting is setting a good example and a broad chest, taking care of those in which the respect for the big competition is greater. Individual meetings, motivational speeches, pushing the colleagues in a team – so has the leader certainly a part of the success of the DLV team. Involved in the big picture, Harting always tries to set the focus on athletics.
13 wins, one defeat, European title number two. That is what is the bottom line of this very special season. “If I were to draw a conclusion, under these conditions, I see this season only positive,” said Harting before the season final in Brussels.
Fow a few days Harting has to stay focused until he finally completes his bachelor thesis. Then he finally can recharge his body. The next year’s focus will be set on the fourth consecutive World Championship title at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China.
Source: leichtathletik.de by Ivo Koken