Joy, fear and doubt: Robert Harting's thoughts before the comeback

Clear the ring in Rome: 636 days after his last outdoor competition for discus gold medalist Robert Harting is ready to face the competition. The time up to the Summer Games is running out, the road to Rio hard. For Harting the season of truth begins.

On the flight to Rome, Robert Harting is looking forward, but before his comeback, Discus Olympic champion plagued the first time in his career of self-doubt and fear of failure. How is the short season coming along? Olympia in Rio de Janeiro maybe without Robert Harting? The answer must be in the next few weeks. One thing is certain: It will be a fight. So far the 2kg implement does not fly as it should be said the 2.01m man

"There is a clear threat not to be at the Olympics here. Not to march ahead, not to achieve what I planned for this season", the world-class athlete said in an interview with the German Press Agency in Bundesleistungszentrum Kienbaum. The 125-kilo athlete has respect for the task, and he admits: "Yes, this is also the fear of failure since I make no secret of it.."

"Never such a bad output level."

At the Diamond League meeting in Rome, it is the practically his second comeback after tearing a ligament autumn 2014. Robert changed the day of his comeback couple of times to avoid jeopardizing Olympic. Now Olympia is in danger if he hesitates. 636 days after his last stadium competition - on September 5, 2014, in Brussels - returns the fighter back into the arena.

But Harting does not know exactly where he stands before the test at the Stadio Olimpico. An exciting situation, finds the 31-year-old. "I can of course throw the discus, but I have in my career never had such a bad level as now," he admits.

Again and again injuries

In his first return, on 13 February, Harting had gone at the Berlin ISTAF Indoor even victorious from the ring. After that, things were good at first, then injuries came back in between, Harting stopped the training camp in Florida. His planned start in mid-May in Wiesbaden was moved.

At first, only the pectoral muscle was hurting, but now his knee starts to hurt as well. "It does not stop to hurt," complains the protégé of coach Torsten Schmidt. "The result is more and more a posture that is technology alien." At his best training throw, the disc flew 62.40 meters in Kienbaum.

"Armageddon Championships" in Kassel

A London Olympic champion does not get a free ticket for the Summer Games at Sugarloaf. Harting, therefore, has to qualify, the norm of the German Athletics Association (DLV), 65.00 meters, is not the problem. Rather that already a DLV trio has produced the standard, including his younger brother Christoph. A four-way battle for three Olympic tickets - and Robert?

Therefore, he must at the German Championships on 18/19. June to be fit in Kassel. "That will be right for me Armageddon championships. Because it's all about! The one who wins the German national championships with the standard has the ticket for Rio explained Harting the situation. 66 meters are his goal for the season until 1 July. Whether that be enough? Already three tthrown further - all over 67 meters.

The fact that he now has a real problem and must attack Harting is excited. "The whole situation, Russia, the IAAF, does not improve my passion," admits the passionate athletes. "And so I remain in this situation, only the sporting competition."

Source: by Silke Morrissey