Olympic champion Caterine Ibargüen will return to the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland, on 5 June, organisers of the IAAF World Challenge meeting announced today.
The Colombian won the competition here in 2017 and will come back to the Paavo Nurmi Stadium despite last year’s chilly conditions. The 2013 and 2015 world champion who was second at the World Championships last summer, will be challenged by Portugal’s Patricia Mamona, who was ninth in London. Ibargüen’s personal best is a massive 15.31m, the South American record, set in Monaco in 2014. Last season she reached a best of 14.89m for silver in London. Mamona is the Portuguese record holder with 14.65m from the Rio Olympics where she finished sixth.
Another top event in Turku will be, as usual, the men’s hammer throw. Part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, the competition features the absolute top level of the world’s best throwers. Poland’s Pawel Fajdek, the winner of the 2013, 2015 and 2017 world titles, returns to Turku looking for his fourth straight victory at the meeting. The 28-year-old grabbed his third successive Paavo Nurmi Games win last summer with a massive 82.40m throw, a stadium record and more than two-and-a-half metres more than he needed for his third world title.
Fajdek will be accompanied by some familiar faces including fellow Pole Wojchiech Nowicki, last year’s world bronze medallist, who returns to Turku for the fourth time. Closing in on his compatriot, the 29-year-old was third in 2016 and second in 2017.
Like the two Poles, Dilshod Nazarov of Tajikistan, the reigning Olympic champion, will compete in Turku for the fourth time. The 35-year-old was third in 2015 and second in 2016, but dropped to fifth last summer and is surely looking for a better position in 2018.
New exciting competition will come from the direction of Nick Miller who became the first Briton to beat the 80-metre line after his 80.26m winning throw and national record at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast earlier this month. The 24-year-old has competed in Turku once, in 2016, but left with three fouls then.
The field also includes Marcel Lomnický of Slovakia who ws fifth in Rio, Belarusian Pavel Bareisha, ninth at last year’s World Championships, Frenchman Quentin Bigot, fourth in London, and Hungarian Bence Halasz, another London finalist.
Mirko Jalava for the organisers