Anderson Peters, Neeraj Chopra and Johannes Vetter (© AFP / Getty Images / Ville Vairinen)
Organisers of the Paavo Nurmi Games have announced that three winners of global titles will go head-to-head-to-head in the men’s javelin at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in Turku on 14 June.
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra will take on world champion Anderson Peters and 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter. Julian Weber, the fourth-place finisher at the Tokyo Olympic Games, adds further depth and quality to the event.
It will be the first time all four men have met in a final.
Chopra made history when he won in Tokyo last year, earning India’s first Olympic gold medal in athletics and instantly becoming a sporting superstar in his home country. Earlier in the season he had broken his own national record with 88.07m.
Before the Olympics, Vetter had dominated the event for the best part of two years. The German moved to second on the world all-time list when he threw 97.76m in Silesia in 2020. He returned to the Polish region last year and came close to matching that throw with 96.29m, the third-best throw in history.
Although Peters went undefeated for the whole of 2019, the Grenadian was still something of a surprise winner of the world title in Doha that year. Earlier in the season he had won the NCAA title, then broke his own national record to win at the Pan-American Games with 87.31m.
Weber may not have a global title to his name, but he is a consistent performer on the circuit and at major championships. The German, who has a PB of 88.29m, was sixth at the 2019 World Championships and placed second at the 2021 Wanda Diamond League final.
“We can expect a world championship-level competition,” said Arttu Salonen, who is in charge of recruiting athletes for the Paavo Nurmi Games. “Negotiations are still under way with several international stars, and we are also after the Finnish top names with Lassi Etelätalo leading the way.
“Since Chopra did not compete after the Tokyo Olympic Games, there will surely be great tension in the upcoming clashes between Vetter and Chopra.”
Finland – and Turku in particular – is a place where fans appreciate the javelin.
“The previous results from Paavo Nurmi Stadium speak for themselves,” said Salonen. “The year before last, Vetter won in Turku with a throw of 91.49m, while last year, Marcin Krukowski threw a Polish record of 89.55m.”
Organisers for World Athletics