Javelin throwers’ look forward to KTG ends

Today News Online Service

Patiala, June 2

After over a two-year wait, elite Indian javelin throwers will get to train on the Kraft Training Gerat (KTG), a machine to build throwing strength. KTG, first introduced in Germany in the 1980s, has been installed at the NIS Patiala.

India has become the world’s third nation, after Germany and China, to get KTG. Though the machine will prove a shot in the arm for Indian javelin throwers, it will be of no help to the Olympics-bound Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh.

Chopra is leaving left for France for a training-cum-competition stint ahead of the Olympics. Shivpal is in his competitive phase, likely to participate in the Indian Grand Prix-4, scheduled for June 15.

Moreover, experts in the sports sciences believe that strength-building, even game-specific, is done during the off-season.

One of the Olympics-bound javelin throwers, on condition of anonymity, said, “We wouldn’t be able to make use of it for the current Olympics preparations. Two years ago, a coach had said ‘we will get these machines soon’. However, it will be of great help for future competitions.”

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) recently said, “From early 2020, the federation has been making a continuous effort to procure this equipment from China, but the pandemic delayed the process.”

Coincidentally, German biomechanics expert Dr Klaus Bartonietz and coach Uwe Honn, who are currently assisting Indian javelin throwers, have already been associated with this machine. Dr Klaus was part of the development team of KTG, while Hohn was one of the first athletes to use it when first introduced in the 1980s in Germany.

“Higher releasing speed is one of the key factors to hurl the javelin farther. It is largely dependent on javelin-specific power. And this machine is best for developing that which lifting weights can’t do,” Dr Klaus said. “On this machine, you can work against the resistance maintaining your specific movement structure of javelin unlike lifting weights.”

The equipment is only suited for senior athletes, the doctor believes. According to him, young athletes might derive more harm than good by training on it. “It is not for young athletes. It is only for senior athletes who have already consolidated their techniques,” he said.

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