German javelin ace Thomas Rohler reveals how he went from struggling triple jumper to world class thrower.

1. I was a schoolboy triple jumper

“From the age of about 15 to 18 I was, principally, a triple jumper. I remember going to sports school as part of the jumps squad, but one year I struggled to achieve the jumps marks and they threatened to throw me out of school. I was given a second chance when they put me in the triple jump squad.

“One year I finished eighth in the German U18 Championships in triple jump but my main passion was the throws – and I always wanted to throw the javelin. Since I was a kid I've loved throwing stones on the shore. I started throwing the javelin at 16 and over time it took over from the triple jump.

“I think I learned a lot during my time as a triple jumper. It taught me to take risks, which is something I do in the javelin. I like to run like crazy and hit the javelin!” 

2. I like to fly-fish

“I’ve been a keen fly fisherman since I was a child. I used to spend some holidays with my grandfather in the Thuringian Forest and it was he who got me into fishing. I started out as a spin fisher before later moving into to fly fishing. My father is very good at fishing and still holds several records in the eastern part of Germany.

“I’m a person who loves nature. I love the fresh air and fishing helps me relax. I am mainly a trout fisherman and I really like to go back to the river where I first learned to fish.

“Unfortunately, I don’t get as much time to fish today as I would like because of my athletics commitments. But I have spoken to some of my Finnish javelin friends about fishing and I’d like to go pike fishing with them one day.”

3. I train on a slackline wire

“Since October 2013 my coach has introduced me to training on a slackline [like a high wire, but lower and looser]. It is quite a new innovation by my coach, Harro Schwuchow.

“When I first saw it I thought only crazy people train on a wire like that but I like challenges, so I thought let’s do it. The first time I tried I was wobbling all over the place but after about six weeks I’d made a massive improvement. I stay on the wire for several minutes and can do some tricks like a jump turn and I can shut my eyes and balance.

“The main benefit of the training is it helps core stability and overall co-ordination. I also know that we used to have many people with back problems here training in Jena but since we introduced the slack wire into training many of those problems have gone. I would like to do some more crazy things on the wire, like set it over a river, but I can’t take any injury risks. I think I will leave that for after my career is over!”