World discus champion Daniel Stahl and Olympic javelin Thomas Rohler are aiming to compete at the Paavo Nurmi Games, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Turku on 11 August.
The organisers are hopeful that the competition will go ahead, albeit in a modified format, while adhering to the Finnish government’s guidelines. “We want to be responsible,” says Jari Salonen, the CEO of the meeting. “Even if we have permission to take more, we will limit the number of spectators to 2500-3000 people. According to our calculations, the stadium can accommodate 3000 people while maintaining safe distances.”
For Stahl, the Paavo Nurmi Games will be a good opportunity to catch up with family members.
“Turku’s stadium is one of my favourite competition arenas,” said Swedish record-holder Stahl. “On the same trip I’m going to say hi to my grandma (who lives in Turku), play cards and eat treats.”
Rohler, who won in Turku in 2016 with 91.28m, hopes to be in a position to travel from Germany to Finland to compete at the Paavo Nurmi Games in August.
“This is of course a whole new situation for all of us to adapt to,” says the European champion. “Currently there are restrictions on training facilities at home in Jena. But last week I got to train at the gym with special permission and every week I've been able to throw a javelin twice.
“Turku is always a special place for me,” he adds. “I have fond memories of 2016 when I threw beyond 90 metres for the first time in my career. I did it twice that day, in fact. I really hope we can have a great javelin competition in Turku this year too.”
The Paavo Nurmi Games is set to be the first Continental Tour Gold meeting of 2020, following a delayed start to the international season due to the coronavirus pandemic.