News & Updates

3 February 2022 • General

Tori hopes for capital gains in Wellington

Tori Peeters in action at the 2022 Cooks Classic. (Photo: Peter Jones)

New Zealand javelin record-holder Tori Peeters is quietly constructing an impressive sequence of results this season, which she hopes to extend when taking to the runway at the Capital Classic on Friday.

The Hamilton-based thrower bettered her New Zealand resident record with a 60.14m hurl at Porritt Stadium in December and has backed that up with further victories in Dunedin (56.32m) – in challenging conditions – and in Whanganui at the Cooks Classic when she fired the spear out to a stadium record 58.95m.

Next up is a rare appearance for Tori in Wellington, where she hopes to build on a bright start to a year and which she hopes will climax with international appearances at the Birmingham 2020 Commonwealth Games and World Athletics Championships.

“It been a long time since I competed in Wellington (the last time was in 2015 when winning the national title), so I’m looking forward to getting some favourable conditions and putting it out there again.

“I got a good line on my javelin in Whanganui, and we ticked a technical box, although there are a couple of things with my rhythm we need to get sorted. For us, Wellington is more about ticking those process boxes and not worrying too much about stadium records and qualifying standards.”

Tori, 27, a five-time national senior champion has dominated her event domestically for the best part of a decade. Under the patient guidance of coach Debbi Strange and strength and conditioning coach Angus Ross, the Kiwi thrower has shown a gradual improvement advancing the national record from 54.45m in 2014 to the current mark of 62.04m set in 2020.

The Hamilton City Hawks thrower narrowly missed out on selection for the Tokyo Olympics in decision that stung but showing great maturity she has slowly emerged from the disappointment.

“It was gutting (to miss out on the Olympics) and it took a hit to the confidence,” she admits. “But on reflection it made me hungrier for more success and as a team we decided to keep our head down, do the work and let the distances take care of themselves.”

Adopting a positive mindset to her craft, Tori is also happy to be 100 per cent fit again after sustaining a torn plantaris in the foot in December 2020.

The injury wiped out her domestic campaign last season. Hesitant on her feet for a number of months, the pain persisted hampering her efforts to throw at her absolute best. Describing the issue “as niggly” she is now back to full training and is confident that will reflect in the distances she can now throw.

“Because of the foot injury I had a huge gap in my plyometric work because I was not able to apply a lot of force through my feet to the ground. This then had a significant impact in terms of finding my rhythm on the runway.

“More recently we’ve been able to strengthen my feet a lot more and it is quite incredible the difference in how I can apply force to the ground through my feet. We’ve noticed a big improvement to my runway speed. It is quite a foreign feeling to be this fast on the runway, I just need to find that ideal controlled speed.”

In December in Hamilton, Tori enjoyed a dream start to the campaign when she set a New Zealand resident record mark of 60.14m. Benefiting from a slight breeze on a warm day at Porritt Stadium she said: “It wasn’t a huge surprise because we knew how well we were going in training. But it did exceed expectations in so much as it was the first competition of the season, and we did not taper.”

Since then, performances have remained at a high standard and the hope is that Tori will be able to consistently produce her best for the remainder of the domestic season not only in Wellington but also at the Sir Graeme Douglas International presented by Harcourts Cooper & Co in Auckland on Feb 20 and then at the New Zealand Track & Field Championships in Hastings.

Beyond the domestic season she hopes to travel across to Australia to take on the formidable Aussie trio – Olympic bronze medallist Kelsey-Lee Roberts, Commonwealth champion Kathryn Mitchell and Olympic finalist Mackenzie Little – to step up her competitive campaign.

But the longer-term goal is to qualify for the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“We are competing at the moment for World Championship points, and I’ve already got four B standards for the Commonwealth Games. I’m very much aware that the A standard for Commonwealth Games is 61.50m, which I’m more than capable of throwing. We are not trying to force it or rush it, but I know it will happen.”

To watch the official livestream of the Capital Classic visit here from 4pm on Friday.