Only a day after he threw his javelin to the season’s best of 89.03 m at the meeting in Bad Köstritz, Germany, Finland’s Tero Pitkämäki confirmed his participation in the Zagreb Meeting! Maybe he wants to throw 90 metres in Zagreb on 3 September!? This is how the javelin throw, which has not been on the programme for quite a long time, is becoming one of the major highlights of the Meeting, as the start list already includes Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR), Julius Yego (KEN), Antti Ruuskanen and Ari Mannio (FIN).
Tero Pitkämäki (born on 19 December 1982) is the 2007 World Champion from Osaka and 2013 Vice-Champion from Moscow. His medal collection also contains the 2008 Olympic bronze medal from Beijing and the 2006 European silver and 2010 bronze medal. His personal best is 91.53. In the year, in which he became the World Champion, he was awarded Europe’s best track and field athlete and Finland’s best athlete, ahead of Formula 1 star Kimi Räikkönen.
The most bizarre and stressful episode in his career happened on Friday, 13 July 2007, that otherwise successful and important year for him. At the Diamond League meeting in Rome, his javelin veered to the left, towards the long jump runway, and hit France’s long jumper Salim Sdiri in the back. Sdiri ended up in hospital, luckily with non-fatal injuries, and Pitkämäki ended up in shock.
“It’s very fortunate that Salim is alive. And I should thank all gods for that!“ deeply distressed Pitkämäki said then.