Kanter chases six of the best

Kanter chases six of the best
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Estonia's Gerd Kanter is a man for the big occasions as he hopes to prove once again at next week's IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

When the Estonian Athletic Association confirmed their team of 15 for the IAAF World Championships which start in a week’s time, a gold medalist from eight years ago remained at the heart of the selection.

Take one look at the record of discus thrower Gerd Kanter and it remains impossible to discount him from making the podium again.

Kanter is now 36, the standard to make the championships in Beijing was 65.00m but he sits on the world lists in 13th after his throw of 66.02m in Kohila last month.

He might have 2.27m to make up on Poland’s Piotr Malachowski at the top of those rankings but when he steps back into the Bird’s Nest Stadium he will return to the scene of his greatest triumph - becoming Olympic champion there in 2008.

That day Kanter won gold with 68.82m, the following year he produced his personal best (69.51m) and he remains at the forefront of an event where his collection of honours just continues to grow.

It has now been 10 years since he won his first medal at the world championship when he took silver in Helsinki (68.57m) before two years later a throw of 68.94m in Osaka brought him gold and set him on the path to Olympic glory.

At the 2009 world championships in Berlin it was bronze (66.88m), in 2011 in Daegu it was silver (66.95m) and then bronze again two years ago in Moscow (65.19m) as Germany’s Robert Harting won (69.11m) and Malachowski was second (68.36m).

That taste for success is something that Kanter, one of Estonia’s greatest ever sportsmen, thrives upon and while age might decide when his career comes to an end, his determination will be as strong as ever as he chases a sixth world championship medal in a row.

This time one of the men who could push as hard as anyone might be his teammate Martin Kupper, 26, who back in March won the European Cup Winter Throwing with 66.67m in Leiria.

That puts him eighth on the world list and, along with Kanter, one of Estonia’s main hopes for success in China in a team where European 400m hurdles silver medallist Rasmus Magi is another who will look to make a big impression.