Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra is pitted against current world champion Anderson Peters and 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter in the men’s javelin throw event at the at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meet here on Thursday.
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 will meet in a final.
Chopra, who is currently training at Belek, Turkey, 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 personal best 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, in World Athletics website.
“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.”