Just over two months out from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, javelin thrower Tori Peeters says she is “really happy” with her preparations.
Last week the former St Peter’s College pupil threw 60.68m at the Oceania Games in Mackay, Australia.
Her personal best for the event is 62.40m which she threw in March to set a New Zealand record.
The Oceanias were a good opportunity to test where she was at, Peeters said.
“I come away from that with identifying a few areas of things I need to still work on and put a bit more time and energy into over the next three weeks.”
Before the Mackay competition started, the 28-year-old took part in a pre-meet which gave her a chance to experience the format of the world championships in Oregon, the United States, in July.
At the world championships there would be a qualifying round and then two days later the final.
“You throw one day and then two days later you’ve got to back it up, Peeters said.
“[The Oceania Games] gave me the perfect opportunity to trial that qualifying and finals scenario.”
There were not many chances to practice that during the athletics season in New Zealand and Australia.
She enjoyed good rivalry with the two Australians, Mackenzie Little who finished first in the event with a throw of 63.18m, and Kelsey-Lee Barber who was third.
“They’re great competitors and great friends of mine.”
There was not much separating the three who were throwing at about 60m.
“We’re all very close and on the day you get one away and that’s you.”
In the past she had also trained with Barber and had learned a lot from her.
Peeters is living in Hamilton.
She has a part-time job at St Peter’s College, Cambridge, as the school’s sporting excellence co-ordinator.
“I run a programme for young athletes to help with their development and help give them the tools to become a bit a well-rounded athlete.”
It was rewarding and enjoyable.
“It’s a pretty cool programme.
“It’s something I wish I had more of when I was younger.”
She is on leave from the position at the moment as she focuses on competing.
It was also handy working at the school because there was a velodrome across the road where she trained.
Throwing the javelin was very hard on the body.
“I only throw javelin twice a week.
“You can’t go out and throw a javelin every day.
“It’s physically impossible.
” You’ll be broken in probably two weeks.”
Even when she was practising the number of throws in a session was capped.
“When you think about it, you’re screaming down the runway at 1000 miles an hour, you slam on the brakes and then you put everything into a throw.
“You catapult your body and all your force into throwing a 600g stick.”
It was also a sport where women did not peak until about 28 years old, she said.
“The technical component is huge and it takes a very long time to get it right.
“It takes 10,000 hours, they reckon, to perfect a skill.”
She did not get home often but was grateful for the encouragement of Gore people, especially the Mataura Licensing Trust which had always been very supportive of her career.
“It’s so awesome to know they are still keen to support me.”
She was looking forward to competing in the world championships with other New Zealand athletes who would then carry on to the Commonwealth Games.
“It will be quite nice to be in a team environment.”