News17 May 2022

Javelin stars assemble in Ostrava


Javelin thrower Anderson Peters (© Christel Saneh)

Fresh from his 93.07m throw in Doha, Anderson Peters will renew his javelin rivalry with Johannes Vetter, Jakub Vadlejch, Vitezslav Vesely and Keshorn Walcott when the Golden Spike Ostrava returns on 31 May.

The women’s javelin field for the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting also features star quality, with world record-holder Barbora Spotakova going up against Poland's Olympic silver medallist Maria Andrejczyk and Czech Republic's European silver medallist Nikola Ogrodnikova.

Back in the city where he won his world title in 2019, Peters launched himself to fifth on the world all-time list on Friday, breaking the North & Central American and Caribbean record to win a thrilling battle.

He will be hoping to put on a similar show in Ostrava, where he again takes on Czech Republic’s Olympic silver medallist Vadlejch - the runner-up in Doha with a 90.88m PB. They will be joined by the previously announced 2017 world champion Vetter of Germany and Czech Republic’s Olympic bronze medallist Vesely, plus Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 Olympic champion Walcott.

Vetter won in Ostrava last year with 94.20m, missing the meeting record set by world record-holder Jan Zelezny in 1996 by just 44 centimetres.

Home star Spotakova, who threw her world record of 72.28m in 2008, set the women’s meeting record of 67.78m in 2012 and is relishing her Ostrava return.

"There will be very strong domestic and foreign competitors. I do not want to be left behind,” she said. “I'm looking forward to receiving great support from the audience.”

Global medallists will also star in the sprints and steeplechase, with Jamaica’s Yohan Blake going up against his Canadian namesake Jerome Blake in the 100m. Yohan won the 2011 world 100m title, while Jerome formed part of Canada’s silver medal-winning 4x100m team at the Olympics in Tokyo.

Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma also secured silver in Tokyo, finishing second behind Soufiane El Bakkali in the 3000m steeplechase. He was also second in Doha during his season opener on Friday and will look to go one better in Ostrava.

Nowicki and Fajdek to go head-to-head in Chorzow

Poland’s Tokyo Olympic hammer medallists Wojciech Nowicki and Pawel Fajdek will resume battle in front of home fans when the ORLEN Janusz Kusocinski Memorial takes place as a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting for the first time on 5 June.

“I feel a sense of pride when I am able to compete in the national athletics stadium in Chorzow,” said Olympic champion Nowicki, who started his season with a 81.43m win in Nairobi.

“Recently I have been able to throw really far there and I intend to continue the trend. I had a very strong season opener and we are working hard together with Joanna Fiodorow to improve further.”

Fajdek is also looking forward to another top head-to-head.

“I cannot wait to compete in the Silesian Stadium,” he said. “The atmosphere in the ‘Witches' Cauldron’ is always terrific and our duels with Wojciech Nowicki electrify the great Silesian audience. It will be no different this time.”

Another event pitting Olympic medallists against each other is the women’s 100m hurdles, with Tokyo winner Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico taking on bronze medallist Megan Tapper of Jamaica.

Joining Nowicki and Fajdek in hoping to delight the home crowd will be hammer star Anita Wlodarczyk and Olympic mixed 4x400m champions Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and Natalia Kaczmarek.