News & Updates

1 February 2024 • Track and Field

Peeters set for seasonal debut in Wellington

Javelin thrower Tori Peeters is set to make her first appearance of the 2024 campaign. Credit: (Alisha Lovrich)

The Team Ledger Harcourts Capital Classic in Wellington is the next stop on the domestic circuit for many of our leading athletes. Read our preview below.

Event Background

The next stop on the World Athletics Continental Challenger Tour will hit Wellington as Newtown Park hosts the 20th anniversary edition of the Team Ledger Harcourts Capital Classic.  

The Friday evening meet under recently installed floodlights will feature the New Zealand senior men’s and women’s 3000m championships will be on the line.

A number of New Zealand’s leading Para athletes will also be looking to step up their preparations for a huge international year which includes the World Para Athletics Championships in Kobe, Japan and the Paris Paralympic Games.

Who is Competing?

Following his comprehensive victory to take out the New Zealand men’s mile title at the Pak’nSave Cooks Classic, Sam Tanner will start a heavy favourite to add the national men’s 3000m title. Running a big domestic programme in the countdown to the Paris Olympic Games the 23-year-old Athletics Tauranga athlete will seek to regain the 3000m crown he last secured in 2021 when posting his PB time of 7:54.16 – a mark which could be vulnerable. His training partner, 2020 Olympic triathlon bronze medallist Hayden Wilde, who set his 3000m PB of 7:55.87 when fourth in this race in 2021, will also be a threat. A third member of the training squad, Julian Oakley, is gunning for a third successive national 3000m title. The silver and bronze medallists from the New Zealand mile championships in Whanganui last Saturday, David Lee and William Little, also toe the line. National 5000m bronze medallist Connor Melton is another medal contender. 

National 3000m steeplechase, cross country and 10,000m champion Anneke Arlidge has accrued an noteworthy collection of titles over the past 12 months and the North Harbour Bays athlete will be aiming to add the women’s New Zealand 3000m flat title to her CV. Among her main rivals will be Tillie Hollyer of Whippets – a bronze medallist at the NZ mile championship in Whanganui last Saturday.

After enjoying a successful 2023 campaign Tori Peeters makes her seasonal debut in the women’s javelin. Setting a New Zealand record of 63.26m last year and climaxing her season with a podium finish in the Diamond League Final in Eugene the 29-year-old faces strong opposition at Newtown Park. Leading the challengers is 2022 World Championship finalist Sae Takemoto, who claimed victory at the Cooks Classic last week, her compatriot Yuka Sato, a 2019 World Championships representative and 2021 European U23 bronze medallist Jona Aigouy of France.

The meet will see a strong Para contingent in action led by Paralympic javelin F46 champion Holly Robinson. The experienced javelinist has more recently also turned her focus to the shot and set a national and Oceania F46 record in the latter event last week in Canberra. Robinson is entered in both the Para shot and javelin competitions at Newtown Park. World Para 200m T64 bronze medallist Mitch Joynt will also be in action over both the 100m and 200m.  

Josh Hawkins smashed the national 110m hurdles record, recording a time of 13.67 last season and the Auckland-based athlete returns to her specialist event hunting another sub-14-second time. Imogen Breslin of Australia, a 13.19 performer at her best, leads the entrants in the women’s 100m hurdles.

Also on the track, a highly competitive women’s 800m looks like serving up an absorbing battle with 2022 national champion Holly Manning, who finished second behind Nagel over 800m at the Potts Classic, in the field alongside 2021 national 3000m champion Kara Macdermid. Australian Luke Shaw (1:47.27) will start favourite in the men’s 800m.

In the sprints, national 400m champion Lex Revell-Lewis returns to the one lap race hoping to build on his PB of 47.34 when winning at the Potts Classic, where he will face off against 47.23 400m man Tommy Te Puni in his first one lap outing of the year. Cody Wilson, winner at the Potts Classic and second at Cooks, will be the man to beat in the men’s 100m.

In the field Nick Palmer, who set a PB of 19.76m in Hastings last month, will lead the contenders in the men’s shot.

The high jump competitions will be expected to provide two of the main highlights of the night with 2022 World Championship finalist Joel Baden of Australia, a 2.33m jumper at his best, taking on his countryman Roman Anastasios (2.21m) in an eagerly awaited men’s event.

Also expect a competitive battle in the women’s high jump between Imogen Skelton, winner at the Cooks Classic, and national silver medallist Maddie Wilson.

Australian champion and World University Games sixth place finisher Desleigh Owusu leads the entrants in the women’s triple jump. 

UK champion Charlie Myers (5.71m) was an impressive winner in Hastings at the Pre-Potts Classic and Potts Classic and will hope to maintain his winning streak in the men’s pole vault when up against Kiwi James Steyn.

Overseas athletes are expected to come to the fore in the men’s discus led by Japan’s Masateru Yugami (62.16m) and Tom Reux of France the winner at the Potts Classic.

Some of New Zealand’s leading race walkers will also be competing in the 3000m race walk including Laura Langley, Jonah Cropp and Lucas Martin.

How can I watch the action?

The event will be live on Sky Sport 7 from 5.30-8.30pm on Friday. Or alternatively you can follow the livestream here

Results can be found via the Roster app. Download details here