It looks like Johannes Vetter is one step closer to making his long-awaited return next year.
In a telling sign that his shoulder injury has improved, Vetter teased his Instagram fans on Friday by sharing a slow-motion video of himself throwing a javelin in a field.
More than a year ago, Vetter was considered one of the best active javelin throwers of his generation.
In 2021, Vetter made headlines everywhere as he continued to throw impressive distances of over 90-meters, a feat that has only been achieved once or twice by a select few athletes. In that year alone, Olympics.com reported that the German star has thrown the javelin farther than 90 meters seven times.
Vetter’s achievements and shoulder injury
Additionally, Vetter challenged the world record of 98.48 meters, set in 1996 by Jan Zelezny, the three-time Czech Olympian champion, by throwing an incredible 97.76 meters in a Continental Tour Gold level athletics event in Chorzów, Poland, in 2020.
Due to his impressive records, Vetter eventually earned the moniker ‘Usain Bolt of the Javelin’, as per Olympics.com.
Over the next few months, however, his wins gradually dwindled into losses. At the Tokyo Olympics, where he was one of the favorites to win the gold medal, he was defeated by his archrival and India’s all-time leading athlete, Neeraj Chopra, and missed the podium altogether, throwing 82.52 meters in the 9th-place finish.
He only competed once in 2022—in the Ursapharm Speerwurfmeeting Offenburg in May—before announcing on his Instagram that he would be pulling out of the World Athletics Championships because of his shoulder injury.
On the post, Vetter wrote that he had been fighting with the injury since the beginning of the season and that it was tough to say when he would be coming back.
Nowhere to be seen
In the following months, Vetter was nowhere to be seen in any of the competitions. In August 2023, he finally made an appearance in the same competition he last participated in, the Ursapharm Speerwurfmeeting Offenburg, placing fourth overall. Although it was still far from where he wanted to be, the 30-year-old javelin thrower said that he was nevertheless glad of his progress.
Vetter has also kept his supporters constantly updated on his Instagram, posting a few snapshots and videos of him either working out or training with a javelin.
As he competes for a spot in the Olympics in Paris next year, his supporters are now excitedly awaiting his return to the international scene.
Cover Photo: IG