Track & Field

Swedish star Litzell tackles JTG Finish Line

Sweden’s Simon Litzell is potential future star in the javelin ever since he picked up the javelin as a child. He started in the sport at knee height alongside his brother, Love, on summer athletics camps trying all the throws. Now he’s one of the gold medal contenders at the European Junior Athletics Championships in Eskiltuna. He was slightly underpar with a throw of 72.10m in qualifying but with a personal best of 78.73m tomorrow is a new day.

When did realise you had a fast arm?

It was just a normal training day at our arena and there were a couple of boys training with the javelin. I was quite young so I still threw the ball (ball throw) in competitions. I took the 400g javelin from the ground as I saw all the famous athletes on television like Tero Pitkamaaki and Andreas Thorkildsen and I was like ‘I’m going to try and throw this.’

Who inspires you?

I would say Andreas Thorkildsen. The Swedish javelin throwers like Kim Amb also motivate me.

Best thing about being an athlete?

Is to travel and meet a lot of people.

When you’re not training and competing what do you like to do?

I like hanging out with my friends and my family and my brother.

If you weren’t an athlete what would you be?

Do you have any suggestions? I’m going to say the same as Brett Robinson – a model.

Model material

Model material

What music are you listening to?

I listen to a lot of house music. Swedish House Mafia, Avicii and so on.

Where is your favourite place to compete?

I don’t think I have a favourite special place because I like to travel and throw at new arenas. As long is there is a decent big crowd to get the adrenaline pumping and get excited.

What do you think when your standing and getting ready to throw?

I’m just thinking, ‘I know this, I know my technique, I’m just going to be relaxed and launch this motherf*****.’

Last minute thoughts

Last minute thoughts

Dream goal in athletics?

My dream goal in the future is to participate at the Olympic Games

What one change would you make to the sport?

More focus on the field events. When you look at the tv you get to see a handful of the javelin throws and then it’s all long distance. So I would like to focus more on the throwing events because we train a lot too and want to be appreciated as much as the runners.

I think as long as we throw far then they will report on us more in the future. We have two 90m throwers now in Julius Yego and Keshorn Walcott so javelin throwing is going places – we have to see how far it can climb.

Litzell in training

Dream training partner?

Andreas Thorkildsen

Typical training week

In the winter we kind of live in the gym and then at Christmas we start to throw more. We throw indoors in Sweden in nets. Then around Easter we often go to training camp for two weeks. Then it’s getting into competition.

Mark Carroll
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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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