Andreas Thorkildsen (born 1 April 1982) is a retired Norwegian track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He was the Olympic Champion in 2004 and 2008, European Champion in 2006 and 2010, and World Champion in 2009. He is the first male javelin thrower in history to simultaneously be European, World and Olympic Champion. He was also a three-time silver medalist at the World Championships, placing second in 2005, 2007 and 2011. His personal best of 91.59 m, set in 2006, is the Norwegian record.
Thorkildsen in 2008
|Born||1 April 1982|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||90 kg (198 lb)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Coached by||Åsmund Martinsen|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||NR 91.59 m (2006)|
Thorkildsen's father Tomm Thorkildsen is a former javelin thrower, achieving a personal best throw of 71.64 metres in 1974. His mother Bente (née Amundsen) became national champion in the 100 metres hurdles in 1972, representing Hamar IL. He has one older brother. He took his secondary education at Kristiansand Cathedral School.
- Relationship with Christina Vukicevic
Thorkildsen's relationship with the Norwegian hurdler Christina Vukicevic generated some unwanted publicity on his part. When Thorkildsen and Vukicevic won the King's Cup for men and women respectively at the 2006 Norwegian championships, Thorkildsen left the stadium to avoid photographers, whom he had shown the finger the previous day. In March 2011 Vukicevic and Thorkildsen announced in the Norwegian media that they no longer were a couple.
Thorkildsen took up javelin throwing at the age of 11, and was coached by his father Tomm until 1999. He established numerous national boys' records as a teenager. In 1996 he set a national record for the 14 years' class (53.82 m), in 1998 for the 16 years' class (61.57 m), in 1999 for the 17 years' class (72.11 m), and in 2000 a record for the 18 years' class (77.48 m). In 1999 he finished seventh at the European Junior Championships.
In 2000 Thorkildsen took his first medal at the Norwegian championships, finishing in silver medal position behind Ronny Nilsen. His form earned Thorkildsen his first call-up to the Norwegian European Cup team. In October he participated at the World Junior Championships and received a silver medal behind winner Gerhardus Pienaar from South Africa.
In 2001 Thorkildsen moved to Oslo and started competing for the club SK Vidar under coach Åsmund Martinsen, a former javelin thrower who won the bronze medal at the 1994 Norwegian Championships, and had a career best throw of 68.12 metres. The cooperation proved fruitful as Thorkildsen soon broke the 80 metre barrier, throwing 83.87 metres at Fana stadion in June. This was a world junior record till 2011. Participating in his second European Junior Championships, he won a silver medal behind Aleksandr Ivanov. Both competed at the World Championships in Edmonton, but while Ivanov managed to reach the final, Thorkildsen finished last in the entire competition with only 68.41 metres. When asked to comment on his own throwing he described it as "completely awful".
At the national level Thorkildsen became Norwegian champion for the first time. In August he competed in a discus throw meet at Sognsvann, establishing a personal best of 38.02 metres. He has not competed on national level in other athletic events.
In 2002, he recorded a season best of 83.43 metres in June before witnessing his form gradually declining over the next months. At his first European Championships, which were held in August in Munich, he again failed to progress from the qualifying round. With a best throw of 78.36 metres he finished fifteenth overall, 68 centimetres behind Ari Pakarinen who secured the last spot in the final. Although Thorkildsen only managed to take silver at the Norwegian championships behind Pål Arne Fagernes, his result of 83.43 metres was enough to front the national top list in javelin throw for the first time.
Next year he finished eleventh at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, his first major international final. His performance and throw of 77.75 metres was slightly disappointing as he had thrown 79.44 metres in the qualifying round, having travelled to Paris with a personal best of 85.72 metres, established in June in Ventspils. On the lighter side he took his second national title, consolidating his spot as Norway's leading javelin thrower.
In 2004 Thorkildsen faced competition from Ronny Nilsen, who threw 84.73 metres in May. Although Thorkildsen did not retake the national number one spot right away, he did display increasing form in the preparations for the Olympic Games. He qualified for the Olympics with an 84.12 m throw at the Bergen Bislett Games, an event which was won by Breaux Greer with a North American record and world leading throw of 87.39 metres. On 27 July Thorkildsen took his first victory in an IAAF Grand Prix meet, beating Breaux Greer by a comfortable margin at the DN Galan meet in Stockholm. Three days later he improved his season best to 84.45 metres at the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace.
Even though several throwers, including Nilsen, still towered above Thorkildsen on the world list, the Olympic javelin contest was regarded as widely open – "one of the most open finals in Olympic history", according to the IAAF Olympic coverage. Thorkildsen threw 81.74 m in the qualification round, barely earning a mention in the event report as he safely passed the automatic qualifier mark of 81 metres to go through to the final. Breaux Greer won the qualification with 87.25 m, but left the stadium in a limping state. In the javelin final held two days later, Thorkildsen opened with an 84.82 m release which saw him ranked third at the end of the first round. Vadims Vasiļevskis of Latvia had thrown a personal best of 84.95 m to earn a surprising lead ahead of reigning World champion Sergey Makarov. In the second round Thorkildsen threw a personal best of 86.50 metres. As neither Aleksandr Ivanov, Greer nor anyone else managed to beat this, Thorkildsen won a surprising Olympic gold medal with Vasiļevskis and Makarov staying in place to take the silver and bronze medals respectively. Commenting on his win, Thorkildsen described the feeling as "completely insane". A second place behind Breaux Greer at the World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo rounded off the season.
The most important event of 2005 was the World Championships. The preparations for this event looked promising for Thorkildsen as he improved his personal best to 86.82 metres in Kuortane in June, beating the Norwegian record of Pål Arne Fagernes. Tero Pitkämäki from Finland, who achieved a world leading result of 91.53 metres in the same competition, seemed a likely contender for the world champion title. In July, When Thorkildsen further improved his national record to 87.66 metres at the Bislett Games, reigning world champion Sergey Makarov had already thrown 90.33 metres two weeks earlier at the Russian Championships in Tula. Going into the World Championships, Pitkämäki was still in first place on the world top list ahead of Makarov and Thorkildsen, who in turn was ahead of Breaux Greer by one centimetre.
In the qualification round at the World Championships, held in windy conditions on the Helsinki Olympic Stadium, only Pitkämäki, Makarov and Thorkildsen managed to beat the automatic qualification mark of 81 metres. Rain supplemented the wind the following day, constituting difficult weather conditions for the javelin final. Thorkildsen, in the lead after three rounds with 86.18 metres, eventually finished in silver medal position behind Andrus Värnik of Estonia as the latter threw 87.17 metres in the fourth round.
Pitkämäki, who finished a disappointing fourth at the World Championships, bounced back to win the World Athletics Final ahead of Thorkildsen, despite the latter improving his national record to 89.60 metres. 89.60 metres was enough to finish third on the world top list that season, behind Pitkämäki and Makarov.
In 2006 Thorkildsen returned to his original club Kristiansands IF, having represented SK Vidar in competitions the five previous seasons. In May he broke the 90 metre barrier for the first time, with 90.13 metres from the Doha Super Grand Prix. At the Bislett Games he yet again improved his record to 91.59 metres, reaching his goal of 300 feet. As no one managed to top his 91.59 metre result, he entered the 2006 European Championships as a favorite, together with Tero Pitkämäki who had won the IAAF Golden League meet in Paris. Thorkildsen won the event with 88.78 metres, having led the competition since the second round. Thorkildsen finished the season by winning his first World Athletics Final as well as the 2006 IAAF World Cup. With 91.59 metres he finished on top of the world list for the first time.
Thorkildsen's main goals for the 2007 season were the Bislett Games and the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, as well as winning the Golden League jackpot. In addition he aimed to beat the old record of Terje Pedersen, who threw 91.72 metres with the old javelin implement, by throwing in the range of 93 to 94 metres. The season started in a mediocre manner as he threw 81.10 metres in Dakar and 86.39 m in Doha. He recovered his form at the world championships, but once again could only achieve a silver medal, this time losing to Pitkämäki finally fulfilling his potential with a throw of 90.33 (though he'd already been assured the medal by this point).
In 2008 Thorkildsen won the Golden League event at Bislett in Oslo, his main goal besides the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. He won a gold medal in the Olympics where he set a new Olympic record with 90.57 metres. Thorkildsen dominated the competition, leading it from his first throw and making the two longest throws in the competition without using his last attempt. All of his 5 throws would have given a medal. Thorkildsen also won the javelin competition of the 2008 IAAF Golden League in Zürich on 29 August.
He became the first male javelin thrower in history to hold all three titles of European champion, World champion and Olympic champion, winning IAAF World Championship in Berlin with 89.59 m. Thorkildsen also had the season's leading throw, with 91.28 m achieved in Zürich on 28 August.
He opened his 2010 season with a large throw of 90.37 metres at the Florö Track & Field Festival in May and went on to score a victory over Pitkämäki in their first match up in the 2010 IAAF Diamond League at the Bislett Games, finishing with a best throw of 86.00 m. On 31 July he defended his European title with a throw of 88.37, finishing ahead of second-placed Matthias de Zordo. De Zordo got his revenge next year when he won World Championship on 3 September at Daegu with Thorkildsen finishing second with a throw of 84.78.
In 2012 Thorkildsen finished fourth at European Championships in Helsinki only managing three throws with the best result of 81.55 metres after picking up an injury during warm-up. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London he threw 82.63 and finished sixth which became fifth several years later after disqualification of the original silver medalist Oleksandr Pyatnytsya for doping offence. Next year's World Championships at Moscow brought Thorkildsen a sixth place with a throw of 81.06 in what turned out to be his last appearance at a major championship competition. Injuries forced him to bring his 2014 season to a premature end before the European Championships. He later decided to sit out the entire 2015 season but aimed at comeback in 2016. However, in May 2016 Thorkildsen announced his retirement from sports.
In 2008 he was awarded the European Athlete of the Year Trophy by the European Athletic Association, announced on 2 October 2008, and to be presented at the European Athletics Awards Dinner in Amsterdam on 18 October. The Association cited Thorkildsen's success at the Beijing Olympics and his breaching of the 90-metre barrier as part of their reasoning for the award.
Seasonal bests by yearEdit
- 1998 – 61.57
- 1999 – 72.11
- 2000 – 77.48
- 2001 – 83.87
- 2002 – 83.43
- 2003 – 85.72
- 2004 – 86.50
- 2005 – 89.60
- 2006 – 91.59
- 2007 – 89.51
- 2008 – 90.57
- 2009 – 91.28
- 2010 – 90.37
- 2011 – 90.61
- 2012 – 84.72
- 2013 – 84.64
- 2014 – 80.52
- Andreas Thorkildsen. iaaf.org. Retrieved on 13 July 2017.
- Johannessen, Bjørn Arne (29 August 2004). "- Skapt for spyd". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 3 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (1 January 2007). "Norwegian all-time list – men's javelin throw". Archived from the original on 6 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (1 January 2007). "Norwegian championships in 100 metres hurdles". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- Lund, Jacob (29 August 2004). "Champagne i strie strømmer". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- Morell, Morten (25 August 2009). "Andreas Thorkildsen vant VM i spyd" (in Norwegian). Kristiansand Cathedral School. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2009.
- Enerstvedt, Vidar (30 July 2006). "Kjæresteparet tok kongepokalene". VG (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 19 March 2007. Retrieved 19 April 2007.
- Norwegian: kongepokal, an award for the best result at the Norwegian championships
- Taule, Magnar (31 July 2006). "Tok kongepokalen og stakk". Bergens Tidende (in Norwegian). Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- Jørstad, Atle (3 June 2011). "Brudd mellom Thorkildsen og Vukicevic". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian).
- Løland-Andersen, Heidi (18 January 2007). "Her er Andreas' modellbilder". Fædrelandsvennen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (1 January 2007). "Norwegian athletics records – boys" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (1 January 2007). "Norwegian championships in javelin throw". Archived from the original on 6 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- Official site Archived 25 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- Norwegian Athletics Association (31 December 2001). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2001 – jumping and throwing events". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- Athletics Weekly (6 August 2006). "World Junior Records and Best Performances". GBR Athletics. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- NTB (11 August 2001). "Kastet for kort". NRK. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (31 December 2002). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2002 – jumping and throwing events". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- "2002 European Championships results, day 2". The Athletics Site. 7 August 2002. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- NTB (31 August 2003). "Thorkildsen: – Kjipt". NRK. Retrieved 3 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (31 December 2003). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2003 – throwing events". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- NTB (12 June 2004). "Thorkildsen klarte OL-kravet". NRK. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- NTB (27 July 2004). "Thorkildsen vant DN-galan i spyd". NRK. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (22 December 2004). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2004 – throwing events". Archived from the original on 11 December 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- IAAF (31 December 2004). "Javelin Throw 2004". Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "CT" (26 August 2004). "Men's Javelin Throw – Qualification Round". IAAF. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
- "CT" (28 August 2004). "Men's Javelin Throw Final". IAAF. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- Orlov, Rostislav; Nickolai Dolgopolov (12 July 2005). "Fabulous results – 90 metres men's Javelin and 1:56 women's 800 m – Russian Champs, Day Two". IAAF. Retrieved 12 March 2007.
- IAAF (31 December 2005). "Javelin Throw 2005". Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- IAAF (9 August 2005). "Event Report – Men Javelin Throw Qualification". IAAF. Retrieved 12 March 2007.
- IAAF (10 August 2005). "Event Report – Men Javelin Throw Final". IAAF. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- "Thorkildsen tilbake til moderklubben". Aftenposten (in Norwegian). Norsk Telegrambyrå (NTB). 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (31 December 2006). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2006 – throwing events". Archived from the original on 12 November 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- NTB (2 June 2006). "- Jeg kjente at jeg traff!". NRK (in Norwegian). Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- IAAF (8 July 2006). "Meeting Gaz de France Paris Saint-Denis – 8 July 2006 – men's javelin throw". Archived from the original on 2 December 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
- "Tero Pitkämäki wins javelin silver in Gothenburg". Helsingin Sanomat – International Edition. 2 June 2006. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
- IAAF (31 December 2006). "Javelin Throw 2006". Archived from the original on 11 April 2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- ANB (22 December 2006). "VM og Bislett hovedmålene" (in Norwegian).
- IAAF (23 April 2007). "Thorkildsen looks to spear $1 million Jackpot – IAAF Golden League". IAAF.org. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- Norwegian Athletics Association (16 May 2007). "Norwegian athletics statistics 2007 – throwing events". Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2007.
- Solholm, Rolleiv (23 August 2008). "Beijing Olympics: Thorkildsen secured Norway's third Gold". Norway Post. Retrieved 23 August 2008.[dead link]
- Solholm, Rolleiv. "Golden League: Thorkildsen wins again". The Norway Post. Retrieved 30 August 2008.[dead link]
- Ramsak, Bob (30 May 2010). Thorkildsen launches 90.37m blast in Florö. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-06-06.
- Rowbottom, Mike (4 June 2010). Overview Disciplines – 04.06.2010 Javelin Throw – MenR Archived 14 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine. IAAF Diamond League. Retrieved on 2010-06-06.
- "Thorkildsen etter EM-gullet: – Det var digg!". VG (in Norwegian). 31 July 2010. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
- "Jeg var heldig som fikk medalje i dag" (in Norwegian). NRK. 4 September 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Thorkildsen trakk seg fra EM-finalen" (in Norwegian). NRK. 28 June 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Thorkildsen-fiasko i OL-finalen" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "IOC sanctions four athletes for failing anti-doping tests at Beijing 2008 and London 2012". 9 August 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Javelin Throw Men - The XXX Olympic Games". IAAF. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Javelin Throw Men - 14th IAAF World Championships". IAAF. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Andreas Thorkildsen avslutter sesongen umiddelbart" (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. 23 July 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Thorkildsen gir opp årets sesong" (in Norwegian). VG. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- "Andreas Thorkildsen legger opp" (in Norwegian). TV2. 11 May 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
- Rake, Jamel; Brenne, Øyvind (31 July 2010). "Sportsjournalistene kåret Thorkildsen". VG.
- "Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) is the male Waterford Crystal European Athlete of the Year 2008". European Athletic Association. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
- "Javelin star wins award". Aftenposten. 2 October 2008. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Andreas Thorkildsen.|
| Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
Aksel Lund Svindal
| Norwegian Sportsperson of the Year
| Men's European Athlete of the Year Trophy