Four throwers with lifetime bests in excess of 90 metres will compete at the Kuortane Games, a European Athletics Classic Permit Meeting, in Finland on Saturday (22).
Kuortane is synonymous with the javelin and the Kuortane Olympic Training Center is the regular host venue for the World Javelin Conference which forms part of the European Athletics Coaching Summit Series programme.
Some of the all-time greats have competed in Kuortane including world record-holder Jan Zelezny from the Czech Republic and Norway’s Andreas Thorkildsen who won five successive Olympic titles between them from 1992 to 2008. However the stadium record still stands to Finland’s Aki Parvianen whose mark of 93.09m has been on the books since 1999.
Germany’s Thomas Rohler has a lifetime best in excess of the stadium record after launching the spear out to a Diamond League record of 93.90m in the Doha Diamond League in 2017. At this early juncture of the season and with the IAAF World Championships in Doha still three months away, it would be surprising if Rohler reaches 90-metre plus form on Saturday but he did set a season’s best of 86.99m in his last competition in Dessau.
The throwers who have demonstrated the best early season form are Estonia’s Magnus Kirt and Germany’s Andreas Hofmann. Kirt opened his campaign with a victory on Finnish soil in Vantaa where he set a world-leading 89.33m before Hofmann improved the world lead to 89.40m in Offenburg and then again to 89.65m in Rehlingen.
The line-up also features 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad & Tobago and Asian record-holder Chao-Tsun Cheng from Chinese Taipei. Cheng set his Asian record of 91.36m at the Universiade two years ago to defeat Hofmann’s 91.07m - just the second time in history two throwers have surpassed the 90-metre line in a global championships.
The women’s javelin line-up features Poland’s Olympic fourth-placer Maria Andrejczyk up against China’s Liu Shiying and Latvia’s Lina Muze. The latter has already set a lifetime best of 64.87m in 2019.
In the hammer, Great Britain’s Nick Miller faces one of the brightest prospects in the event. Ukraine’s Myhaylo Kokhan doesn’t graduate into the senior ranks until 2021 but the reigning world and European U18 champion - who is targeting the upcoming Boras 2019 European Athletics U20 Championships - has a lifetime best of 76.68m with the senior implement which is within two metres of Miller’s season’s best of 78.39m.
Other highlights include the women’s pole vault featuring European bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw up against Finland’s Wilma Murto and Ukraine’s Maryna Kylypko while Poland’s Karolina Koleczek - who beat Brianna McNeal in Chorzow on Sunday - faces Finns Nooralotta Neziri, Annemari Korte and Reetta Hurske in the 100m hurdles.
Full entry-lists can be found here.