Andreas Thorkildsen was the only Norwegian competing at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona who managed to bring home a medal, but it was of the best sort. Norwegian media claimed Thorkildsen thus “saved Norway’s honor.”
Thorkildsen threw his javelin 88.37 meters and that proved to be worth gold. He and Matthias De Zordo of Germany put on a dramatic show of one-up-man-ship at the important European competition, but Thorkildsen prevailed once again and snared another gold medal for his collection. He has several from before: Gold at the Olympics in Athens in 2004 and gold again four years later in Beijing. He won silver medals at the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005 and Osaka in 2007, plus another gold medal in Berlin last year.
And at the European Championships his gold medal over the weekend followed a gold medal at the same event in Gothenburg in 2006.
This all makes Thorkildsen the best javelin thrower in the world and but all he wanted to talk about was securing his next victory. He wants to throw 90 meters, and win the Diamond League.
He did allow himself to celebrate along with his Norwegian sweetheart and fellow athlete Christina Vukicevic, who logged her best time ever in the 100-meter hurdles but missed a medal by landing in fourth place. They want a double victory, if not at the World Championships in South Korea next year, then at the next European Championships in 2012, reported newspaper Aftenposten.
Thorkildsen and Vukicevic headed for the Mellow Beach Club in Barcelona after the championships, and he could pocket a bonus of NOK 100,000 from the athletics association plus more from his main sponsor, DnB NOR. If wins the Diamond League, he’ll also get a one-carat diamond — setting off speculation that perhaps Vukicevic will in the long run.