Previews16 Jun 2024

World and Olympic champions ready to collide in Turku


Neeraj Chopra competes at the Paavo Nurmi Games (© Organisers)

Global gold medallists will feature in seven different disciplines at the Paavo Nurmi Games – a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting – in Turku on Tuesday (18).

As is often the case at this competition – and indeed any top-level international meeting in Finland – the men’s javelin will take centre stage. Organisers have assembled a suitably high-quality field too.

World and Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra returns to Turku, though the Indian superstar has bittersweet memories of his one previous appearance here. On that occasion, in 2022, he threw a lifetime best of 89.30m but was beaten by Finland’s Oliver Helander.

Helander will also be in action in Turku, so too will two-time world champion Anderson Peters of Grenada, world leader Max Dehning of Germany, 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago, and world silver medallist Arshad Nadeem of Pakistan.

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The women’s hammer field is similarly loaded. Olympic champion and world record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk takes on world champion Camryn Rogers, European champion Sara Fantini, Finnish record-holder Krista Tervo and 2022 European champion Bianca Ghelber.

Two Olympic champions will clash in the men’s 100m as Italy’s Marcell Jacobs takes on Canada’s 200m specialist Andre De Grasse. Jacobs’ compatriot Chituru Ali, who took European silver behind Jacobs in Rome last week, is also in the line-up.

Olympic gold medallists also feature in both of the sprint hurdles races.

In the women’s 100m hurdles, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn takes on 2019 world champion Nia Ali, 2022 world silver medallist Britany Anderson and 2022 European champion Pia Skrzyszowska.

In the men’s event, 2016 Olympic champion Omar McLeod faces Pan-American champion Eduardo Rodrigues of Brazil.

Two world gold medallists from Australia highlight the vertical jumps.

World champion Nina Kennedy headlines a pole vault field that also includes New Zealand’s 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney and Canadian record-holder Alysha Newman. 2022 world champion Eleanor Patterson, meanwhile, leads the women’s high jump line-up.

Fresh from his victory at the European Championships, France’s Gabriel Tual will be hoping to win again over 800m as he takes on world indoor silver medallist Andreas Kramer, world bronze medallist Ben Pattison and Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Rotich.

The women’s event appears to be similarly competitive with Australian duo Catriona Bisset and Claudia Hollingsworth lining up alongside Kenya’s Vivian Chebet and Slovakia’s European silver medallist Gabriela Gajanova.

Elsewhere, two-time world silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts faces European silver medallist Tugba Danismaz in the women’s triple jump. And Estonia’s Rasmus Magi returns to the scene of his 400m hurdles PB from two years ago, taking on Wilfried Happio and Turkey’s Berke Akcam.