Monte-Carlo - Olympic and European Javelin Throw champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway has confirmed his campaign for the IAAF Golden League 2007.
This morning at a press conference in Stavanger, Norway, the 25-year-old Thorkildsen, who is the sixth longest thrower of all-time (91.59m), threw down his challenge to the rest of the world.
“The pressure and support of the home crowd in Bislett always makes Oslo very special and I am very excited about competing there on 15 June,” confirmed the Olympic champion.
“In the last two years I have set national records at the Bislett Games, and I hope for another Norwegian record there again this year.”
The ExxonMobil Bislett Games on 15 June is the first of a six meeting series of the IAAF Golden League 2007 whose $1 Million Jackpot - athletes must win at all six meetings to acquire at least a share - represents international athletics’ biggest yearly payday.
“I am going for the Jackpot though I know the task is tough. I am very motivated for the coming season. My training has gone very well, with no injury worries. I am better physically than ever before.”
My target this year is in the 93 to 94 metres range which would make me the second furthest thrower of all-time,” confirmed Thorkildsen, who will aim to peak twice in 2007, “Oslo, and then Osaka” for the World Championships in Athletics. At the last edition in 2005, Thorkildsen took the World Championship silver medal.
Later this afternoon – weather permitting – Thorkildsen will be taken by helicopter to the top of Stavanger’s Preikestolen (The Pulpit). This mountain plateau, which is one of the most famous tourist attractions in southern Norway, dives 604 metres vertically to the Lysefjord below, and at the top is an almost level plateau of 25x25 metres. From that solid rock runway Thorkildsen will throw a javelin making it literally the longest javelin throw in history.
IAAF Golden League - Dates and venues in 2007:
Friday 15 June, OSLO, NOR
Friday 6 July, PARIS, FRA
Friday 13 July, ROME, ITA
Friday 7 September, ZURICH, SUI
Friday 14 September, BRUSSELS, BEL
Sunday 16 September, BERLIN, GER
IAAF Golden League Events in 2007:
MEN: 100m, 1500m, 110m Hurdles, Triple Jump, Javelin Throw;
WOMEN: 100m, 400m, 100m Hurdles, High Jump, Pole Vault.