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14 January 2019 • General

Five Minutes with NZ Women’s Javelin Record Holder Tori Peeters

New Zealand women’s javelin record-holder Tori Peeters has been her country’s pre-eminent javelin thrower for several years. Here the Athletics Taieri spear ace answers our Five Minutes With questions.

What is your best athletics quality?I’m not entirely sure on this one, but I think my competitiveness would be up there. Not only towards other competitors, but also with myself. I am always looking to go one better.Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?
Because it’s a great sport for developing all sorts of skills and there’s something for everyone – running, jumping or throwing.

Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?
My first coach was Murray Speden from Gore. He started coaching me when I was at high school and he’s always had a huge passion for athletics. Murray always said I had potential to throw far, so if it wasn’t for Murray, I definitely would not have carried on throwing the javelin and I would not be where I am today. I always try to catch up with him or have a throwing session with him when I’m back home in Gore.

What are your athletics weaknesses?
One weakness I am trying to improve on at the moment is my aerial body awareness – particularly handstands. I never did gymnastics as a kid, and these sorts of movement skills are good for javelin throwers.

What is the funniest thing you’ve seen on an athletics track?
The funniest thing I’ve seen and done would have been Nitro Athletics with Usain Bolt. It was crazy – they had a mechanical bull and a DJ right beside the javelin runway!

What is your favourite athletics session?
My favourite session would have to be in the gym. I love Olympic lifting and throwing around some tin on the platforms. There’s always more weight to be lifted, so you’re always challenged.

What is the greatest thing you’ve witnessed in an athletic stadium?
The greatest thing I’ve witnessed at an athletics stadium would have been the crowd at the 2017 World Championships in London, during Mo Farah’s last track race. The crowd was so loud, and they stood up and cheered every time Mo ran past them – so it was like a giant Mexican wave for his entire race.

Who has been your toughest rival?
I see everyone as a tough rival because like any sport, anything can happen on the day.

If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?
I would love to play women’s rugby, either 15’s or sevens. I grew up playing the game and loved it, but hung up my boots to try my hand at numerous other sports. I look at how well the New Zealand women’s teams are doing today, and the amazing team culture they have – and I would love to experience something similar.

When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?
There’s a lot of important items in my suitcase, but the most important would have to be my headphones. I love listening to music, being able to block out the rest of the world and have some “Tori Time.”

What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret would have been not listening to my body back in 2015. I had a sore back but just tried to soldier on and train through the pain. That didn’t work out too well and I got a stress fracture in my back. It’s not only a regret because I missed an entire season of competing etc, but because I took my body for granted. We only get one, and if I want to live a long and healthy life, I need to look after it better in the long run.

Who is the person who you most admire?
If it was someone within my sport, it would have to be the Australian javelin record-holder, Kathryn Mitchell. In October I spent a week in Australia training with her and her coach, and she has the most incredible story. She has had one heck of a bumpy road throughout her career, but she has stuck at it and now, she’s one of the best in the world.

What are you most scared of?
Hmm… probably the feeling of falling. I don’t mind being up high, but you definitely wouldn’t get me doing a skydive.

What is your favourite movie and why?
I have a few favourites, but one that I could watch over and over and still laugh out loud at, would have to be The Benchwarmers.

When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?
Jeepers – probably the day I won them? I don’t really have my medals out on show. Maybe one day when I win my first medal on the international stage at a World Champs, Commonwealth Games, or Olympics Games, I’ll have it sitting somewhere for it to be seen on a daily basis.

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