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Kenya’s world champion Julius Yego threw 88.24 on his first attempt, a season best and good enough to hold the lead until the penultimate round when Rohler unleashed his massive throw. Yego then retired from the competition having faulted on two of his previous throws.
Rohler described his emotions after the win: “It’s just awesome. I’m super happy. My family is super proud. Everybody is cheering at home. Everybody is awake. I mean, it's 3 a.m. in Germany. I think after this year and after last year, we all knew that it was going to be a competition on a really high level.”
Yego acknowledged his rival as the worthy winner: “A country like Germany has a history in javelin. I expected that Rohler to win, he has been throwing really well. He has been having a very good season. This year he has thrown over 90 metres about three times. It is just about form. When you are in good form anything can happen.”
London 2012 champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago threw 85.38 metres on his second attempt. He needed a personal best on his last throw to bump Rohler from the gold medal position but produced a no throw and finished with bronze.
“Not everyone can say they have two Olympic medals. I was fighting against myself a little bit. I wanted more. The first two throws were pretty good and I kept fighting and I tried my best. It’s another medal, it’s not the one I wanted, but I’ll just keep moving on,” Walcott said of his unsuccessful title defence attempt.
Rohler showed promising form ahead in the build-up to Rio, having thrown the season’s world leading mark of 91.28 in June. He won the first Olympic medal for Germany in men’s javelin since Gerhard Stock’s gold in 1936.