Pawel Fajdek, winner of the hammer in Turku (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Turku, Finland

Big throws expected at Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku

The confirmed participants for the 56th Paavo Nurmi Games on 5 June are easily the best ever for the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Turku.

Among the 250 athletes from 45 countries on the entry list are 14 current or former world champions and 51 major championship medallists.

There have already been six throws beyond 90 metres in the javelin this year and the three Germans in possession of those marks will all be in Turku.

World champion Johannes Vetter, Olympic champion Thomas Röhler and Andreas Hofmann will be joined by 2015 world champion Julius Yego of Kenya and 2007 world champion Tero Pitkämäki of Finland, meaning there will be five men in the field with 90-metre-plus PBs.

And should the winner throw farther than the Finnish record of 93.09m, they will be handed the deed to an island from the Turku Archipelago.

The men’s hammer, part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, will also be one of the big draws in Turku. Poland’s Pawel Fajdek has won the past three world titles and has won in Turku on three successive occasions, breaking the stadium record last year with 82.40m.

This year he will be joined by three other men with PBs beyond 80 metres: Commonwealth champion and world leader Nick Miller, Olympic champion Dilshod Nazarov and world and Olympic bronze medallist Wojciech Nowicki.

Croatia’s world and Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic will compete in Turku for the first time in her career. The 27-year-old, who threw a world-leading 71.38m in Doha earlier this month, will face 2015 world champion and stadium record-holder Denia Caballero, Yaimé Perez and Julia Harting.

Never before has a 90-metre men’s javelin throw, an 80-metre men’s hammer throw and a 70-metre women’s discus throw been achieved on the same day, but history could be made in Turku on 5 June.

Olympic champion Caterine Ibargüen won the triple jump in Turku last year, but this time she will be up against USA’s Tori Franklin, who jumped a world-leading North American record of 14.84m earlier this month.

World champion Ramil Guliyev takes on 2015 world bronze medallist Anaso Jobodwana in the 200m, while 2015 world champion Sergey Shubenkov faces fellow sub-13-second performer Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in the 110m hurdles.

Other leading hurdlers set to compete in Turku include 2015 world champion Nicholas Bett in the 400m hurdles, world indoor bronze medallist Christina Manning in the 100m hurdles, 2016 world indoor 400m champion Kemi Adekoya in the 400m hurdles and South Africa’s Wendal Nel, also in the 400m hurdles.

World indoor champion Samuel Tefera heads the men’s 1500m entries. His fellow Ethiopian Meskerem Mamo, who recently set an African U20 record of 8:33.63 in Doha, is the top name in the women’s 3000m.

In the women’s pole vault, 2015 world bronze medallist Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou will be challenged by Germany’s Lisa Ryzih.

Mirko Jalava (organisers) for the IAAF