Luxembourg’s Rising Shot Put Star Bob Bertemes and Athletic Success Story
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Luxembourg’s Rising Shot Put Star Bob Bertemes and Athletic Success Story

Luxembourg’s Bob Bertemes Closes in on European Shot Put Podium

Despite Luxembourg’s limited athletics pedigree, a promising young shot putter is rapidly emerging as a force to be reckoned with on the continental stage. Bob Bertemes, a 29-year-old from the small European nation, has steadily climbed the ranks of the men’s shot put in recent years, showcasing his potential with a string of impressive performances.

At the 2023 European Indoor Championships in Istanbul, Bertemes continued his upward trajectory, finishing fifth in the shot put final with a solid mark of 21.00m. This result matched his achievements at the 2015 and 2019 editions of the indoor championships, further cementing his status as one of Luxembourg’s top track and field athletes.

Bertemes’ rise to prominence has coincided with a broader surge in Luxembourg’s athletics fortunes. The country sent five representatives to the Istanbul event, with Bertemes joined by fellow finalists Charles Grethen (5th in the 3000m) and Vera Hoffman (8th in the 1500m). While Luxembourg may still be playing catch-up on the international stage, Bertemes believes the nation is steadily closing the gap.

“In Istanbul, we had athletes who got to the final. It’s a huge thing for us, a tiny country,” Bertemes said. “So, maybe in Paris, if we could get three or four athletes (to the Olympics), it would be a big thing for us. We are getting there slow and steady.”

The shot putter credits the increased investment and support from the Luxembourgish government as a key factor behind the nation’s sporting progress. Bertemes has access to advanced facilities, including a biomechanics lab, as well as the expertise of sports science professionals in areas like mental coaching and nutrition.

These resources have allowed Bertemes to fine-tune his technique, shifting from a gliding style to a more dynamic rotational approach in recent years. The changes have paid dividends, with the Luxembourger breaking through the 22-meter barrier in 2019 and setting a new national record of 22.22m.

While Bertemes is yet to fully deliver on the global stage, with a disappointing 11th-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics, he remains optimistic about his chances of making an impact at the upcoming World Championships in Budapest and the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“Things are working out a bit more the way we want them,” Bertemes said. “But still people are throwing really far, so it’s going to be tough. Especially Crouser, who almost seems to be playing with the shot put, saying: ‘I am going to add a new ‘Ryan Crouser’ step to it.’ It’s kind of crazy. It’s a crazy time to be a male shot putter.”

With his combination of technical prowess, physical attributes, and a growing support system, Bob Bertemes appears poised to continue Luxembourg’s steady rise in the sport of athletics. As the global shot put landscape evolves, the 29-year-old is determined to make his mark and potentially secure a historic medal for his nation.

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