Tasmanian javelin thrower Hamish Peacock heading to his third athletics world championships

Aiming high: Hamish Peacock is ready for his third world championships.
Aiming high: Hamish Peacock is ready for his third world championships.

Tasmanian javelin thrower Hamish Peacock has set himself a simple goal as he heads to his third world championship.

“I’d like to do a lot better than the last two,” he said.

Hobart’s 26-year-old Australian champion is no stranger to the sport’s biggest stages but after failing to exceed 80 metres or make the final at both previous world championships and last year’s Olympic Games is keen to rediscover the performance that earned him a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve definitely been disappointed with how I have performed at the big events.

“My first world championships was a big experience and I only threw 76m, the second was better but 79m and 18th is not what I want

“Obviously there will be huge hype being a world champs but I’ve already had that experience. I’ve had three cracks at it now so something has got to change if I want to do better.”

Peacock knows his best is good enough.

At the Australian championships in March, his five recorded throws were all over 81m with 84.36m enough to win by nearly 5m.

He is coming off a throw of 83.87m at the Diamond League in Paris while his personal best of 84.39m, set in his home town last year, should be enough to make the final eight.

On target: "I know I’m physically capable, but so are 31 other guys," says Hamish Peacock. Picture: Scott Gelston

On target: "I know I’m physically capable, but so are 31 other guys," says Hamish Peacock. Picture: Scott Gelston

“It’s more the mental approach. I know I’m physically capable, but so are 31 other guys.

“At major championships you only get three throws not six so there’s a lot more pressure and it’s all about getting in the right headspace.

“Typically, 84m would get you in the top six. It would have been fifth in Rio and a medal was 85m.

“But in Paris I threw 83.87m and only came seventh, it just so happened to be one of the best javelin competitions of all time. I’ve just got to bring that form with me.”

The UTas Athletics Club member has been reaping the rewards of working with a sports psychologist as he tries to match his mental performance with his physical. 

“It’s all about how I feel running in. I don’t tend to get nervous but I can get a little bit lethargic because at the bigger comps you are trying to relax which is key to throwing well.

“I’m generally a pretty consistent thrower. I’ve had a couple of 84s this season and was near that again in Paris so it’s not a freak distance and no reason I cannot do that at a major champs.

“Javelin is very strong at the moment with a lot of quality and depth and it’s great to be a part of that, but it makes it tough as well.”

​At the world titles, two qualification fields of 16 have three throws each from which 12 progress to the final. Four more are eliminated after three further throws leaving a final eight to fight for the medals.

Peacock leaves Tasmania on Thursday and will head to a pre-Games training camp in Tonbridge then on to London on August 1 with javelin qualification scheduled for August 10 and the final on August 12.

Fatherly advice of proud coach

Hamish Peacock has all the tools required to make the transition on javelin’s biggest stages according to his coach and father, Evan.

Peacock Snr said regular elite competition in the Diamond League has given his son the platform to achieve his ambition of a top-eight finish in London.

“He would have liked a bit more competition and missed the Monaco Diamond League meet which would have suited him but is in good shape to throw a PB which is what he’s aiming for,” he said.

Evan Peacock

Evan Peacock

“He has learned that world champs and Olympics are another notch up from Diamond Leagues. He is competing against the same guys and holding his own but there is a whole new psychology that comes with those high-level events.

“His goal is to make the final, a PB should put him in the top eight and anything beyond that is a bonus. He has a PB of 84.39 and has thrown 84.36 this year so knows he can do it. He’s a fairly restrained personality but underneath is confident and looking forward to it.”