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Hohn as the greatest javelinist ever [split]

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  • Hohn as the greatest javelinist ever [split]

    Originally posted by Rob
    Roald, we were around at the same time in the 80s - I remember you well and have tremendous respect for your talents as a javelin thrower. I discussed your 75m standing throw from 1985 with Uwe Hohn in Berlin at the recent WCs - he just smiled and, well, I don't think it's a WR...
    Interesting you mention Uwe Hohn - I got an email from him a couple of week ago asking how I was still able to throw so far.
    Also, I remember in Zurich in 1985 warming up on the fields outside the stadium. Uwe was throwing 70 / 71m standing and I was hitting 71 / 72m. I felt really good going into the competition until he picked up some bent, rusted, rattling piece of crap and threw 94m!!!!!!!!! Lessoned learned - warm ups don't count.............
    :shock:

  • #2
    Nice one Roald!

    Uwe's not too good these days - the back injury that finished his career in 85 was operated on and the DDR surgeons attempted to use carbon fibre implants but it was not successful, and sadly he's now only a shadow of his former self.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Rob
      Nice one Roald!

      Uwe's not too good these days - the back injury that finished his career in 85 was operated on and the DDR surgeons attempted to use carbon fibre implants but it was not successful, and sadly he's now only a shadow of his former self.
      Hi Rob

      That's a shame about Uwe Hohn - I remember him as being one of the most exciting athletes from the 80s. Do you mean he's unable to throw the javelin now, or do you mean he's disabled as a result of the injury/operation?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Rog,

        I think it would be inappropriate and a little unfair to speculate too much on Uwe's state of health on an English-speaking Internet forum, but when I met him recently in Berlin I would say he is not only unable to throw a javelin (far), but he looked partially lame. Allegedly, and backed up by the opinion of a mutual friend (who was also in the DDR Team in the 80s, and knows Uwe very well) it was caused by the unsuccessful operation. Obviously it wasn't something I wanted to discuss with him, as I don't know him very well.

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        • #5
          He's still (easily) the No. 1 thrower on my all-time list. My jaw dropped the first time I ever saw him throw. (I'm repeating myself, I know)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gh
            He's still (easily) the No. 1 thrower on my all-time list. My jaw dropped the first time I ever saw him throw. (I'm repeating myself, I know)
            Besides that one ridiculous Hohn throw, wasn't Zelezny a better thrower overall (new vs. old implement)?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gh
              He's still (easily) the No. 1 thrower on my all-time list. My jaw dropped the first time I ever saw him throw. (I'm repeating myself, I know)
              I remember seeing Hohn at the opposite end of a hallway in Zurich's Nova Park hotel. He blotted out all the light coming from behind him.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dj
                Originally posted by gh
                He's still (easily) the No. 1 thrower on my all-time list. My jaw dropped the first time I ever saw him throw. (I'm repeating myself, I know)
                I remember seeing Hohn at the opposite end of a hallway in Zurich's Nova Park hotel. He blotted out all the light coming from behind him.
                phsstt!

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                • #9
                  The great thing about watching Uwe was that whenever he picked up a javelin, something very special could be about to happen. It didn't always turn out that way, of course, and he wasn't perhaps the most consistent thrower of his era (compared to, say, Zelezny), but when he did get it right.... just stand (well) back and watch in awe. After all, he was the reason behind the change in javelin specification and was one of the rare field eventers that all the TV cameras panned onto when it was his turn to throw - regardless of what was happening on the track.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marlow
                    ...
                    Besides that one ridiculous Hohn throw, wasn't Zelezny a better thrower overall (new vs. old implement)?
                    Apples & oranges: Zelezny had 14 years in the rankings, Hohn only 3, so you'd expect Z to have a closer bunching at the top.

                    Nonethless, when he retired, H had 6 of the top 7 throws ever; when Z retired he had 6/6.

                    The old javelin also more conducive to anomalous throws because of the far greater possibility of wind aid (no idea if H's monster was such, but one would guess so).

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                    • #11
                      And for those who don't remember him - yes, he was pretty large (6' 6" and 250lbs). Whilst not the fastest javelin thrower on the circuit, he was almost certainly the strongest we have ever seen. (He could hold his own with Udo Beyer in the weights room).

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rob
                        Hi Rog,

                        I think it would be inappropriate and a little unfair to speculate too much on Uwe's state of health on an English-speaking Internet forum, but when I met him recently in Berlin I would say he is not only unable to throw a javelin (far), but he looked partially lame. Allegedly, and backed up by the opinion of a mutual friend (who was also in the DDR Team in the 80s, and knows Uwe very well) it was caused by the unsuccessful operation. Obviously it wasn't something I wanted to discuss with him, as I don't know him very well.
                        Thanks Rob,

                        I appreciate your discretion. I remember Uwe as this rare combination of someone who was physically the best at his event whilst simultaneously being the strongest mentally too. I first saw him in coverage of the 82 Euros when he peaked to win a final that was of a very high standard. He looked head and shoulders above everyone else even then.

                        His performances in 84/85 were astonishing, as he combined that massive world record with consistent superiority over anyone he competed against, and he was the physical embodiment of what I expected a top thrower to be as a child - ie, massive and visually superior to his competition. He just looked better than anyone else, in the same way I guess that Usain Bolt looks a class apart from his competition now. I also remember him as someone who had a ready smile after the tension of the competition - he came across as a gentleman.

                        If he hadn't had that disastrous operation I would think he would have continued his domination with the new javelin, and garnered a host of Olympic/World/European Golds. He was only 23 or something when he left the scene, after all. He may have been the greatest "What if" in athletics, as his domination in his heyday was complete. Jan must be the greatest because of his catalogue of golds, but I think had Uwe had a normal career span (plus not been boycotted out of the Olympics) he would have had 3 or 4 Olympic Golds of his own.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Rob
                          ...... After all, he was the reason behind the change in javelin specification ......
                          I believe this is largely one of the sport's great myths.

                          The proposal to change the specs came into being a significant amount of time before the '84 IAAF Congress (or else it wouldn't have been an item that could have been considered). The actual discussion/vote on the subject came only a matter of days/weeks after his big throw.

                          While there is no doubt that the monster toss may have sealed the deal, as I recall from the time there seemed to be agreement beforehand that the spec-change vote was a foregone conclusion.

                          Unfortunately.

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                          • #14
                            Rog, I agree completely with all your remarks - he had the aura of an 'all time' champion and demonstrated, during his relatively short career, that he had the attributes required to become the ultimate javelin thrower. His injury and the ensuing operation were an absolute tragedy.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gh
                              Originally posted by Rob
                              ...... After all, he was the reason behind the change in javelin specification ......
                              I believe this is largely one of the sport's great myths.

                              The proposal to change the specs came into being a significant amount of time before the '84 IAAF Congress (or else it wouldn't have been an item that could have been considered). The actual discussion/vote on the subject came only a matter of days/weeks after his big throw.

                              While there is no doubt that the monster toss may have sealed the deal, as I recall from the time there seemed to be agreement beforehand that the spec-change vote was a foregone conclusion.

                              Unfortunately.
                              You may well be right, having closer connections to the IAAF than me, but I think the 104.80m in the Jahn Stadion in East Berlin in 1984 and the hurried change in javelin design are not unrelated. Prior to Uwe's monster throw, the record was Petranoff's 99.72m (from the year before), which isn't much further than Zelezny's current record of 98.48m, although I am not aware of any debates currently ongoing to change the spec again (?). Maybe 100m was the psychological breakwater - and going nearly 5m beyond in one throw simply accelerated the IAAF decision?

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