Olympic team selection is a ‘dream come true’

New Zealand javelin thrower Tori Peeters throws a javelin at the 2024 Sir Graeme Douglas...
New Zealand javelin thrower Tori Peeters throws a javelin at the 2024 Sir Graeme Douglas International, in Melbourne. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
"It’s a dream come true."

That is how New Zealand javelin thrower Tori Peeters, formerly of Gore, has described her selection to the 15-person New Zealand athletics team which will attend this year’s Olympic Games in Paris.

Peeters said the selection had been so many years in the making.

"Two Olympic cycles in fact. It’s had its ups and downs for sure, so it really means a lot to me," she said.

She has beaten the national javelin record several times since 2014 and still holds the record with a throw of 63.36m in Yokohama, Japan, last year.

"Years and years of work have gone into this. It’s not easy and if it were, everyone would be doing it, right?"

After narrowly missing out on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Toyko, she was more determined than ever to qualify, she said.

"But that comes with the job, right? I knew what I was signing up for and I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, so I’m just so glad I’ve made it and that I’ve had such supportive people in my corner throughout my journey," Peeters said.

She had one simple goal for the games.

"Be on the podium."

She knew she had what it took to get herself there, she said.

"I know that I’ve got the pieces of the puzzle to throw far and [at the moment], I’m working really hard on figuring out how they fit."

Javelin was a technical event and improvement to her performance could take time to figure out, she said.

"I’m evolving every year as an athlete, which means every year I’m challenged by recalibrating how my strength, speed and power transfers into my throw. It can be really frustrating at times, but the thought of finally fitting the puzzle together is exciting."

The thought of attending the Olympic games was yet to settle in , she said.

"[To be honest], it hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was in China when the announcement happened so I haven’t been able to really celebrate it with my friends, family and support team."

At the weekend she competed in the Xiamen Diamond League, in China where she placed seventh with a 55.2m throw.

Her former and first athletics coach Murray Speden, of Gore, wished her the best for the games.

"It’s pretty fantastic really.

"I’ll be glued to my tele when it comes on," Mr Speden said.

"She’s right up there with the best in the world. On her day, who knows what can happen?"

The pair still kept in contact and often discussed javelin, he said.

The 2024 Olympics games will begin in Paris on July 26 and conclude on August 11.

Peeters will begin competing on August 7 when the women’s javelin throw qualification event begins at the Stade de France.

The women’s javelin throw final will be on August 11.