Anderson Peters, world javelin throw champion at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019
Anderson Peters maintained his streak of 2019 championship success by securing the world title to become Grenada’s second world champion after one-lap star Kirani James.
Peters, aged just 21 and still a collegiate athlete, secured the NCAA title in June and Pan American gold in August and tonight he remaining unsurpassed from his opening throw to enjoy the biggest moment of his burgeoning career so far.
Silver went to Estonia’s world leader and IAAF Diamond League Trophy winner Magnus Kirt, who unfortunately had to be carted from the stadium after landing awkwardly on his shoulder following his fifth round throw.
After enduring an injury-troubled season defending champion Johannes Vetter of Germany had to settle for bronze – extending a sequence which now stretches back 24 years for the last back to back world men’s javelin champion.
Peters looked relaxed ahead of the competition letting out a beaming smile and gently swaying to the music when introduced to the crowd. And in the first round it was the man from Grenada, who first developed his throwing arm as a youngster by firing stones at mangoes growing high in the trees, who made the biggest impact in round one launching the spear out to 86.69m – for the second longest throw of his career at that point.
Kirt sat in silver after round one with a solid 83.95m with Germany’s Julian Weber placed in provisional bronze after an 81.20m hurl.
Round two saw the world’s top two loom in the rear mirror of Peters as Kirt unleashed an 86.21m effort followed by an 85.37m throw by Vetter who moved into third.
Round three saw no change, although the left-handed Kirt achieved a respectable 85.17m.
Peters, who attends Mississippi State University, extended his lead by a further 20cm in round four, hurling the spear out to 86.89m and acknowledged the support of another full house inside the Khalifa International Stadium. Kirt responded with 85.90m but could not quite find his very best rhythm.
Sadly for the 29-year-old Estonian – who always dives after release - he misjudged his effort in round five, landing painfully on his shoulder. Medics treated him for some minutes before he was taken from the track and given medical aid.
There was no further improvement in the competition as the medal order remained static. Behind the three medallists, Finland’s Lasse Etelatalo grabbed fourth with a best of 82.49m and the 2017 world silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic taking fifth in 82.19m.
Kirt later received his medal with his left arm in a sling.
Peters, who was shocked at his gold medal winning distance, said: “I didn’t think 86m would be enough to win gold.
“I was up against 90m men throwing high 88s all season. I just believed in my coach and the work we did all season. I want to tell my fellow Grenadians that everybody can do it, if I can do it. It’s possible for everybody to become a world champion. You just have to want it as badly as I do.”
Steve Landells for the IAAF