Health more important than title: Mester ends an impressive career

Health more important than title
Mester ends impressive career

Seven times world champions, four times European champions, plus a medal at the Paralympic Games – Mathias Mester can look back on a highly successful career. The athlete renounces the Paralympics and instead focuses on health.

A few days after winning his fourth European Championship title, athlete Mathias Mester ended his career. The 1.42 meter tall javelin thrower does not start at the Paralympics in Tokyo for health reasons. “Health comes first, so I decided to end my career before the games,” said the 34-year-old Coesfelder in a video on Instagram. “So I go with one laughing and one crying eye.”

“I noticed that after winning the European Championship a huge burden fell off my shoulders. I’ve been chasing an injury since 2010,” said the seven-time world champion, who had an operation in his lumbar vertebrae eleven years ago for back pain. But he never got the problems completely under control. Since the beginning of the year, the pain has increased again. “I don’t have the time to get 100 percent fit in time for the Games,” said the athlete, who took silver in the shot put at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, explaining his decision.

In 2007 Mester was elected Para-Athlete of the Year and in 2008 received the Silver Laurel Leaf. With a lot of self-irony, he presented the “Parantänische Games” on social media during the Corona lockdown last year, for which he received the special award in the “Special Achievement” category from the German Disabled Sports Association. “Perhaps you will still see one or the other of me in the entertainment sector,” said Mester, who, in addition to his sporting career, also acts as a presenter.

“With his sympathetic and humorous manner, he was known far beyond the boundaries of para-sports, an absolute figurehead. We are losing a great athlete and person who has his heart in the right place,” said DBS President Friedhelm Julius Beucher.