News & Updates

17 September 2023 • Track and Field

Peeters and Beamish snag podium finishes in Diamond League Final

Tori Peeters finishes a magnificent second in the women's javelin at the Diamond League Final in Eugene. Credit: (Michael Dawson).

New Zealand athletes excelled on day one of the 2023 Diamond League Final in Eugene, Oregon as javelin thrower Tori Peeters and steeplechase ace George Beamish both bagged podium placings and Sam Tanner obliterated his lifetime best in the mile to climb to number two on the all-time New Zealand lists.

Tori Peeters unleashed the finest performance of her international career to finish her season in style to place second in the women’s javelin and bank a cool US$12,000.

The 29-year-old Kiwi, who has enjoyed an excellent all-round season on the international circuit, twice breached the 60m line with a 60.53m in round one followed by a very handy 61.30m effort in round four to secure second spot.

On a blisteringly hot day in Oregon, World champion Haruka Kitaguchi of Japan was the class of the field with a best 63.78m with Australia’s World Championships bronze medallist Mackenzie Little banking third with a best of 61.24m.

For Peeters, who set a national record of 63.26m in Yokohama, Japan in May and who claimed her maiden Diamond League podium in Silesia when placing third in July, it was a quality performance to end a memorable campaign where she has consistently mixed it with the world’s elite.

Cambridge-based Peeters said: “I’m mind-blown. For me it was great to put out a throw of more than 60m. To place second in the Diamond League final is just wild.

“I’m stoked to finish my season this way and it places me in a great place mentally going into to next season. In terms of the competition, I had no idea what would come out today, it’s been a long season and I’ve been on the road for a while. I guess I’ve had more consistency in my throws in some of the other comps, and it took a while for me to connect with my throws but in javelin you only need one good throw. I know there’s heaps more in there and that’s what’s so exciting going into the next season. It is nice to finish the season knowing I belong out there.”

George Beamish signed off an unforgettable debut season as a senior steeplechaser by claiming a brilliant third place in the men’s 3000m steeplechase courtesy of his prodigious closing speed over the final lap.

On a boiling hot afternoon at Hayward Field, Beamish complete with baseball cap, sat in mid-pack through 1000m before advancing to sixth – albeit 20m or so off the pace at the front – at two thirds distance.

However, the 26-year-old US-based Hawke’s Bay raised possesses a blistering kick finish and powered around the final lap to snag a memorable third place in 8:14.01 – within a second of his national record time.

Kenyan Simon Koech secured victory in 8:06.26 ahead of Ethiopian Samuel Firewu (8:10.74).

For Beamish, who only made his senior steeplechase debut in April and who finished an outstanding fifth place finish at the World Championships in Budapest last month, his performance in Eugene was further affirmation of his huge potential over the barriers.

Sam Tanner hacked more than two seconds from his mile PB to run 3:49.51 and climb to second on the all-time New Zealand lists with a superb demonstration of middle-distance running in the Bowerman Mile.

Featuring in one of the all-time great mile races in history in which two area records, five national records, the World U20 record and 11 PB’s tumbled, Tanner got on the train and was rewarded with a superb time to take 11th spot.

Running with controlled aggression throughout the 23-year-old Kiwi moved ahead of both George Beamish and Nick Willis on the New Zealand all-time lists with only national record-holder Sir John Walker – with a time of 3:49.08 – now ahead of the Papamoa-based athlete.

In a staggering race, winner Jakob Ingebrigtsen set a European record of 3:43.73 to climb to number three on the all-time mile lists with second placed Jared Nuguse of the USA setting a North American record of 3:43.97 to advance to fourth on the all-time lists. George Mills of Great Britain set a PB of 3:47.65 for third.

Hamish Kerr climaxed his 2023 campaign by placing a solid fourth in the men’s high jump with a best of 2.29m. The 27-year-old Christchurch-based could quite reproduce the fireworks from the Zurich Diamond League earlier this month when he cleared 2.33m but still executed a solid performance in a small but quality field.

He looked supreme in the early stages, clearing 2.15m, 2.20m and 2.25m at the first of time of asking but required two attempts to negotiate 2.29m. On this occasion 2.33m was beyond him but he can be immensely proud of his efforts throughout the 2023 calendar year.

Victory was secured by World Indoor champion Sanghyeok Woo, who equalled his South Korean record of 2.35m ahead of Poland’s Norbert Kobielski, who set a PB of 2.33 for second. World Championships silver medallist JuVaughn Harrison of the USA rounded out the podium with a best of 2.33m.

Zoe Hobbs signed off an exceptional season by placing ninth in the women’s 100m final, clocking 11.18. The Taranaki-raised, Auckland-based athlete did supremely well to qualify for the Diamond League Final in one of the sport’s most high-profile events.

World 100m silver medallist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica bolted to victory in 10.70 (+0.8) – 0.05 clear of Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, who equalled her season’s best. Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica grabbed third in a season’s best 10.79 with reigning world champion Sha’Carri Richardson of the US in 10.80 settling for fourth.

***Tom Walsh is the sole Kiwi in action on day two of the Diamond League Final on Monday (18 September). He will be in men’s shot put action from 9.09am.

***Results go here