Athletics in Germany
Ever since German athletes competed as one team once again after the German Democratic Republic (GDR) ceased to exist in 1989, they have acquired a reputation for developing world-class athletes in the power and strength events, including all four throwing disciplines. To illustrate this, their only current World Champions won gold in the Men's Shot, Discus and Javelin.

One of the most celebrated athletes who represented both Germany and the former GDR was Heike Drechsler. She achieved the unusual distinction of being a World Record Holder in both the Long Jump and the 200m (she equalled Marita Koch's figures of 21.71 on two occasions in 1986).

Magical Moment

In the Berlin Olympicstadion and in front of a packed home crowd of vociferous German supporters totalling over 74,000, Robert Harting won the 2009 World title with his very last throw of the competition. His subsequent celebrations were almost as exciting as the winning throw itself as he literally ripped off his vest and charged around the track on a bare-chested rampage for his lap of honour. Harting successfully defended his World crown in 2011 when he took gold in Daegu.

Current Stars

Betty Heidler, the World Record Holder in the Hammer (79.42m), continues to take the discpline towards its first ever 80m+ throw. Young Shot Put sensation David Storl defied belief to win the 2011 World Championships at the age of just 21 in an event usually dominated by athletes aged 30+. The ever-reliable Robert Harting looks set to be a future Discus legend with two World titles behind him already as well as Olympic gold at London 2012. Christina Obergfoll is still a force to be reckoned with in the Javelin.

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