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Wonderful memory of EC sensation - 50 years later

Published By Desantos Rocky | Jun 11, 2024 8:58 a.m.

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Note Descr: - I'm looking forward to it like a youngster, says Terje Thorslund, excited and enthusiastic, and sits down on one of the 73,000 seats in Rome's mighty Olympic stadium....

ROME: Unforgettable memories are brought to life as he gets ready to follow the javelin final - 50 years after by far the greatest sporting moment of his life. Because it was here that he won a sensational bronze medal in the javelin throw during the European Athletics Championships in 1974. Now the 79-year-old has become the oldest Norwegian to boast a medal in an international athletics championship. The anniversary is celebrated together with his wife Bjørg, daughters Mette and Eva and their husbands, who have directed the special commemoration. - This will be incredibly fun! But it no longer tingles, says the moody nitdøl to Dagsavisen. - I'm completely relaxed, but enjoying the special atmosphere. And it's clear that good memories come back!Blasted "magical"border Exactly THAT is easy to understand. Because his performance 50 years ago was, to say the least, sensational. Then he brought out high-class competitive qualities, and showed himself at his very best when it mattered most. First, he finally broke the 80-metre barrier, after having "guarded"around 78-79 meters for ten years. He came to the championship with a personal record of 79.34 from 1966 (!). In the last throw in the qualification, he managed 80.10 - and the final place was secured. With a good portion of new self-confidence, he continued to ride the acceptance wave the next day. The final admittedly opened with two customary throws of a good 77 metres. Before the third he was in 10th place, and had to have 79.50 to get three more attempts. He was on his way out of the competition. There was great pride at home in Nittedal when sensation Terje Thorslund came home from the EC with a bronze medal. Not least his daughters Eva (left) and Mette thought so. In the small picture, they are watching the exciting EC final together with a friend on TV at home in Nittedal. (Jon Wiik/Romerikes Blad) Interrupted the run The fateful attempt started badly. He quickly realized that the inlet was not right. Then he suddenly decided to do something he had never done before. He cut off the flow and stepped back. The seconds ticked by. Just before the time was up, he sped up again. Cold and concentrated, he got full throttle. The javelin floated 83.68 metres. Suddenly he was the third man! – It was violent, indeed completely unreal! I was almost in shock. It was difficult to take in, but of course terribly beautiful, recalls the otherwise sane thrower. After an excruciatingly exciting final finish, the result should prove to be a sensational bronze medal. Right behind followed several greats with better presses than the Norwegian close as hail. - I was obviously in the shape of my life, and had an almost unbelievable pole-in. But still - this was something I hadn't even dared to hope for, acknowledges Thorslund, who remembers the performance as if it were yesterday. Read also: Tuesday's live TV sport: Norwegian gold candidates Brutal debut The veteran from Nittedal, who represented Oslo-Ørn in the years 1962-69, participated in three European Championships. The first already as a 21-year-old in Budapest in 1966 - just after he had become Norwegian champion at Nadderud. The international debut was brutal. He had no chance in the final. - But I learned a lot, which I greatly benefited from later. Therefore, I speak from my own experience when I believe it is right to give so many young athletes the chance in a championship like this, which the association has done in recent years, Thorslund insists, addressing the ever-recurring debate that has also flared up this year again. In his third and last EC, in Prague in 1978, the nittedølen was also in the final. Then he finished number nine. - Since then I have been moved up to 8th place, after the bronze medalist was caught doping. That means that I should have had three more throws. But I can forget that now, he says with his well-known twinkle in his eye. Injured Thorslund was also an Olympic finalist in Montreal in 1976 (11th place), but there were no more Olympics because Norway boycotted the games in Moscow for four years later. After a great career, which also contained four NM titles (1966-76-77-79) and a King's Cup (1977), he retired in 1981. But his career could easily have ended earlier. He was dogged by injuries for large parts of his career. It started when he had to operate on his elbow after the breakthrough in 1966, and since then one shoulder has caused him great trouble. - I had almost given up after two unsuccessful seasons in 1967 and 1968, he admits. The following seasons were lean, but in the autumn of 1973 he made a comeback in the national team, and the following year came the great highlight of his career. In 1979, he set his final personal record with 85.74 during the National Championships in Larvik. Also read: Norwegian leadership in the decathlon Hoping for a recovery - After I retired, I have successively replaced both knees, both shoulders and a hip. In August, it's the other's turn, grins Terje Thorslund, who hopes for a long-awaited upswing in Norwegian parade practice again. - But that requires that we get a team again, where several people can train together and pull each other forward, as I experienced up to several times during my active years. It is difficult for a solitary swallow to achieve success alone. - Javelin probably won't be a big Norwegian sport until we get one at the top of the world again, says Terje Thorslund, leaning back in his chair and living on the memories.---FAKTANorge has three javelin throwers with in this year's EC: Marie-Therese Obst (28) is ready for Tuesday's final. Sigrid Borge has been knocked out. Kasper Sagen throws in qualifying on Tuesday morning.---