News & Updates

24 August 2023 • Track and Field

Peeters gut-wrenchingly misses out on final spot

Tori Peeters came agonisingly close to reaching the women’s javelin final at the 2023 World Athletics Championships. Credit (Michael Dawson)

There was heartbreak for Tori Peeters who finished an agonising 13th in women’s javelin qualification to miss out on a place in the final by just one place in the morning session of day five of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

On another roasting morning inside the National Athletics Centre, Peeters launched the spear out to a best of 59.59m with her second attempt and after round two she sat in the 12th and last qualification berth in the battle to reach the final on Saturday morning.

However, while the Kiwi could not better her position with a third round throw of 54.46m, deep into the final round Brazilian thrower Jucilene Sales De Lima ripped away Peeters’ dreams by hurling the spear out to 59.76m to relegate the Cambridge-based thrower to 13th.

No female New Zealander in history has ever reached a global (Olympics or World Championships) javelin final.

Peeters, who bettered her national record with a 63.26m throw in Yokohama in May, had opened with a 57.95m effort in round one before firing the spear out to her best of the day in round two.

The 29-year-old New Zealander finished just 7cm shy of the 12th placed qualifier – a very relieved defending world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber of Australia. Lina Muze-Sirma of Latvia topped the qualifiers with a best of 63.50m – one of seven women to achieve the auto-qualifying mark of 61.50m.

Peeters, who finished 24th at the 2022 World Athletics Championships, said: “To miss out on the final by 7cm is tough.. I’m pretty gutted but at the same time, I reflect back on my season so far and I’m really proud of how much I’ve grown an athlete. My performances have been a lot more consistent both physically and mentally and it’s definitely given me a lot of confidence in regards to what my team and I know I’m capable of.

“Over the last few months we’ve spent a lot of time on my runway and how I carry my jav. Today I felt as though I executed aspects of both really well, but in the end, I struggled to connect my feel for the timing of my delivery which unfortunately costs you a lot on the measuring tape.”

The other competing Kiwi in the session, Georgia Hulls, exited the opening round of the women’s 200m after placing fifth in 23.36 (-0.4) in heat four.

The Auckland-based sprinter registered the fifth fastest legitimate 200m mark of her career but was ultimately out-gunned in a high-quality heat.

Victory was taken by world 100m finalist Julien Alfred of St Lucia in 22.31 with Jamaica’s Natalliah Whyte (22.44) and Bianca Williams of Great Britain (22.67) banking the other automatic qualification places to the semifinals.

Hulls, who ran a blistering 200m PB of 22.84 in Christchurch in February, said: “I have a lot of thoughts and emotions at the moment. While I am incredibly grateful and happy to be here, I did not come here to just be here. I’m both proud and heartbroken.”

World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson topped the qualifiers from the first round of the women’s 200m, cruising to a heat two victory in 22.16.

One New Zealand athlete – Lauren Bruce – will feature in the second session on day five of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest on Thursday (24 August). The Timaru-raised athlete will appear in women’s hammer qualification group A at 05:00 (NZ time).

*Follow timetable/results here

*Profiles of all 19 New Zealand athletes competing in Budapest plus a full schedule of when the Kiwis are competing can be seen here