As the javelin first took flight, it fluttered through the air, piercing the ground at 86.69 meters as the crowd roared.
The throw placed Anderson Peters in an early lead in the IAAF World Championship but he would improve upon that throw. In Peters’ fourth throw, he extended his lead to 86.89 meters which was enough to secure the gold medal.
Peters was able to step up to the runway on his fifth and final attempt knowing no matter what he threw he would be World Champion.
“Having the crowd cheering you on in that last throw knowing you are the World Champion is most humbling,” Peters said.
Peters is a junior from St. Andrews, Grenada and his throw placed him in the history books for the island nation in the Caribbean. Previously in World Championships, Grenada’s Kiriani James won a gold and bronze for the nation, but those were the only medals in the World Championships they had won.
In his victorious moment, a dream had come true. It is a dream Peters said he had his whole life and the feeling was something indescribable. His accomplishment was a result of hard work and undeniable talent as Mississippi State University's javelin coach April Thomas said in a press release from the MSU Athletic Department following the event in early October.
“He has a true gift, and no one can deny it,” Thomas said. “It could not have happened to a better young man. I tip my hat to him. I’m truly blessed and honored to be his coach.”
Prior to earning his gold medal at the IAAF, Grenada never had a javelin thrower place higher than 18th place. It was an accomplishment for both Peters and his family but also his home country.
“Right now, the world knows that Grenada can produce javelin throwers,” Peters said.
Success is not just found at the international level for Peters but it is also found at the college level. The javelin throwers for MSU swept the SEC and nationals this past season.
The throwers developed a hashtag (#JavU) and pushed each other to perform well. Peters said the reason he came to MSU was because they valued his education.
In the early morning of September 2018, head coach Steve Dudley stepped down and Chris Woods became the interim coach. He was promoted to head coach at the end of the season by Athletic Director John Cohen. With the coaching change came a slight change to training but also the direction of the program.
“The whole team is moving towards a positive direction,” Peters said. “It is in a steady pace this time and everyone is focused on a championship mentality.”
As an MSU alumnus, Woods was excited to take over the MSU track program and said he was going to get the team ready to compete for championships in July. Peters' triumph was a testament to that goal in the program to compete for championships.
With indoor track season approaching in January, the bar was set high for the team in July when Woods sat down for an interview after he was promoted. Woods said regardless of an indoor or outdoor season, the team has the same standard.
“If there is a championship to be won, we are going to try and win it,” Woods said. “It is going to take us a couple of years to get to that point, but whenever there is a trophy to be won, we are trying to win it.”