There’s not just one big duel to follow at this years Bislett Games – next to Bolt vs. Powell there’s Thorkildsen vs. de Zordo. With three Olympic Gold medals and various Championships medals the 30-year old Andreas Thorkildsen is by far the best javelin thrower of our time. But the six year younger Matthias de Zordo is not only the reigning World Champion he’s also advancing to be Thorkildsens’ biggest competitor.
Last year it was the German de Zordo who won the Diamond League series, the year before it the Norwegian star won the trophy. The respect for each other is huge among the two of them: “Andreas is in an amazing shape and it will be hard to beat him on Thursday. He is a 90m-thrower, so even if I can challenge him up to 86, 87m he’ll still feel no pressure. Nevertheless, I will try my best to repeat last years success”, de Zordo stated at today’s press conference at the Thon Hotel Opera.
Thorkildsen showed the same kind of appreciation for the German: “He has an unique way of throwing in championships. He is especially good under pressure so I really hope he throws far on Thursday.” With a smile and a wink at his competitor he later added: “…to make me throw even further!”
Few months ago Thorkildsen sounded less confident – but that’s in the past now: “My timing just fell apart at the end of the season. When you don’t have that your results just keep dropping. Luckily it was the end of the season and didn’t affect the whole one but it still was hard. Now I’ll see where I stand. Usually I don’t start out that great because I need some competitions to get started. I guess no one is showing their cards yet, so Thursday is going to be important to determine the further season.”
Although de Zordo already started at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai it seems to be a fresh start for him as well: “I had huge back problems after Shanghai and couldn’t start in Eugene because of the long plane ride and the fear of further damaging my back. I still have some pain but now I feel ready to compete.” He’s sure that sooner or later he will challenge the 90m-mark and become even more of a nightmare for strong competitors like Thorkildsen – “but that still has time. I am still young, it doesn’t have to happen this year!”