News & Updates

21 May 2023 • Track and Field

Peeters smashes New Zealand javelin record as Kiwi athletes excel in Japan and the US

Tori Peeters added another 86cm to her national women's javelin record with stunning performance in Yokohama. Credit: (Alisha Lovrich).

On a memorable day of top-quality international performances by New Zealand athletes, pride of place was taken by Tori Peeters who fired the javelin out to a national record mark of 63.26m to place second in the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama, Japan.

The 28-year-old Waikato-based thrower added 86cm to her previous New Zealand record set at the 2022 Jennian Homes New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Hastings to finish behind Australian Mackenzie Little (64.10m) with Little’s countrywoman, Kelsey-Lee Barber, the world champion, back in third (61.95m).

It was an outstanding series from Peeters, who first breached the 60m line in round three with a 60.60m effort before unleashing her fourth round effort out to new national record. She then climaxed the competition with a 62.06m to further bolster the strength of her series.

Peeters, who is conditionally selected for the 2023 World Athletics Championships, eased the path for an appearance in Budapest by meeting her performance conditions. Providing the athlete remains high enough to fall inside the entry quota World Athletics has set for the women’s javelin she will compete in the Hungarian capital.

An elated Peeters said: “I’m chuffed. I know I have been capable of throwing these sorts of distances and tonight proves to me this is another step in the right direction to becoming one of the best throwers in the world. I’m just stoked and happy with my series. I’m excited I was able to build on each throw.

“I’ve really tried to work on slowing things down a bit in competitions and staying composed and I feel like I had a good handle on that tonight. Tonight is going to set me up for the rest of the year and give me heaps of confidence.”

Two further conditionally selected Kiwi athletes for the 2023 World Athletics Championships also met their performance conditions in Yokohama – 100m sprinter Tiaan Whelpton and Julian Oakley, who was selected for Budapest in the 5000m. Whelpton, 23, was only invited to compete in the week leading into the meet but he made the most of the opportunity to set two PB’s in a little over an hour-and-a-half.

In heat one of the men’s 100m, Whelpton ran 10.15 (+1.5) to trim 0.03 from his lifetime best to finish fourth and advance to the final on time behind world champion Fred Kerley, who ran a meet record 9.88. In the final, the Christchurch sprinter made a blistering start and matched Kerley for the first 60m or so. He maintained his form to the finish, to flash past the line in 10.14 (+0.4) to place fifth behind Kerley, who ran 9.91. Whelpton has now elevated himself to third on the all-time New Zealand lists for the men’s 100m.

Julian Oakley became the third Kiwi athlete in Yokohama to meet his World Championship performance conditions by running 7:50.60 to place seventh in the men’s 3000m. Tauranga-based Oakley, 29, like Whelpton, will be guaranteed a spot on the team for the 2023 World Athletics Championships providing he remains high enough to fall inside the entry quota that World Athletics has set. Japan’s Hyuga Endo in 7:45.08 claimed the line honours in the men’s 3000m.

The meet witnessed another outstanding performance by Oceania 100m record-holder Zoe as she blasted to victory in the women’s 100m in 11.20 (-0.4). The 25-year-old Auckland-based athlete seized control of the race at halfway before accelerating clear to a comfortable win by a margin of 0.21 from American Destiny Smith-Barrett.

Hamish Kerr suffered his first defeat of 2023 by placing equal sixth in the men’s high jump with a best of 2.20m. The Commonwealth champion cleared his first attempt at 2.20m but today found 2.25m beyond him. World Indoor champion Sanghyeok Woo of South Korea nabbed top spot on countback from Australian Joel Baden after both cleared 2.29m.

Tom Walsh unleashed a season’s best performance to win the men’s shot with a handy hurl of 21.86m at the USATF Throws Fest in Tucson, Arizona. The former world champion and two-time Olympic bronze medallist opened with an eye-catching 21.82m in round one – to add 2cm on to his previous season’s best achieved at the ITM in Christchurch in February. After second and third round fouls he fired the 7.26kg metal ball out to 21.39m and 21.10m in rounds four and five before powering out his best of the calendar year in the final round.

American Payton Otterdahl, who placed tenth in the Olympic final, was second with a best of 21.52m.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Maddi Wesche also competed in Tucson, placing sixth in the women’s shot with a best of 18.62m registered in the final round. The 23-year-old Aucklander was a little down on the 19m form shown during the domestic campaign as Canada’s Commonwealth champion Sarah Mitton secured victory with 19.58m.

For results of the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama go here

For results of the USTAF Throws Meet visit the Finished Results app