In an event of impressive breakthroughs, three athletes rose above the rest – and indeed their previous selves – to send the medals to various corners of the globe: gold to Australia and Nash Lowis with 75.31m; silver to USA and Tzuriel Pedigo with 73.76m; bronze to Germany’s Maurice Voigt with 73.44m.
All of those were lifetime bests, the teenagers making good use of the warm, sunny conditions in Tampere on Saturday afternoon to raise their respective games to a new level.
Pedigo was the first to stamp his authority on the contest, the US thrower unleashing a throw of 71.46m to take the lead in round one. But no more than a couple of minutes later, that was usurped in a major way by Voigt, whose whopping throw of 73.76m was a PB by more than two metres.
Australia’s Nash Lowis, who had thrown a big PB of 74.31m in qualifying the previous day, looked likely to strike at some point, but his opening two efforts were a mediocre 67.75m and 69.77m.
Only in the third round did he finally spring to life, firing out to 73.47m to sweep to the lead.
In the fifth round, he came under pressure via a throw of 73.27m from Pedigo, but the Australian responded like the champion he would soon become, launching his best throw of the day – the best throw of his life – with 75.31m.
With Voigt unable to improve on his opening effort of 73.44m in his five subsequent attempts, that left Pedigo as the only man who could snatch gold from Lowis, but despite an improved 73.76m to finish his series, it wasn’t enough.
Australia had its first medal in the men’s javelin since Steven Madeo’s bronze in 1996, and its first ever gold. “Tampere's a great place for me since I've set PBs twice here, I still can't believe I had another PB in this final,” said Lowis. “This gives me the confidence to continue to throw the javelin - it might not have happened if I hadn't have won.”
Pedigo claimed USA’s first ever medal in the event, an achievement he hopes inspires others to follow his lead. “I love this sport and I really want the javelin to be bigger in the USA,” he said. “This feels amazing.”
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF