There was a great atmosphere at the last press conference on the eve of the 2010 Zagreb IAAF World Challenge.[:]
After the introductory words by Chairwoman of the Organizing Committee Jelena Pavicic-Vukicevic, Vice-Chairman Ivica Lovric and Meeting Manager Daniel Wessfeldt, journalists gathered at the Four Points by Sheraton Panorama hotel could talk to a number of international athletics stars, who were to compete at the Mladost Sports Park on Wednesday, 1 September 2010.
Two-time World High Jump Champion Blanka Vlasic:
„ This is a special week for all athletics fans in Croatia, but even more special for me. The Zagreb Meeting is spectacular by itself, it has marked all milestones in my career in the past ten years. Split, on the other hand, is a dream come true. It is difficult to top the 208 cm from last year, and I will not burden myself with that. The most important thing is to win. I will see how the situation develops after I clear 2 metres. It all depends on the moment. Just like I decided to go for 208 instead of 210 last year, so I will decide out there, in that moment tomorrow.“
European Champion and second-ranked discus thrower on the world rank list Sandra Perkovic:
„It is an exceptional honour to compete before my home audience. I set the Croatian national record of 66.93m five days ago, which means I am in a good form and I hope to show it tomorrow. I don’t doubt there will be a great atmosphere in the Mladost Stadium and if I feel well tomorrow, with some good luck, I think I might throw over 67 metres.“
„The first time I came here was after I had become the World Champion the second time and I loved the atmosphere. The audience is fantastic and I told myself I would try to come every time you invited me. I want to improve my season’s best tomorrow. The result of 8.46m is not the best, but I am happy because I have been winning this year. I am currently second-ranked, and I don’t like being second even on paper.“
With Tyson Gay and Nesta Carter, Zagreb will have the two fastest men and the fastest race in the world. The Jamaican sprinter talked about his progress this year.
„I only focused on what I was supposed to do. I listened to my coach, did the technique in a correct way, pushed my shoulders forward and the time (of 9.78) came with it. As for the fact that I am in the same race with Tyson, I can only say that I will not focus on the neighbouring lanes, but only on my own.“
Two-time World Champion Lolo Jones:
„I expected to be more fatigued at the end of the season, but I feel well and I am hoping for a good race. I have had some technical problems, but everything is fine now. I am excited and I am looking forward to next years. I am on the Olympic path, and everybody knows what happened to me two years ago. I failed to qualify for Athens and then I arrived in Beijing as the favourite and learned a lot from that final. It all happens for a reason and I would never change my career. I am very motivated for London and I expect that my Olympic path might have a fairy tale ending.“
Shot putters Christian Cantwell and Reese Hoffa put up a little show and had great fun answering the Croatian journalists’ questions. It started with the question about who would win. Cantwell had been better this season, Hoffa had won in the Diamond League final in Brussels.
RH: Of course I will. I am joking. May we have good fun and may the better one win.
CC: It wouldn’t be fair to compare our seasons. Reese will only win if he has a lucky strike. So, good luck, Hoffa!
– On challenging the meeting record of 22.16 metres:
RH: This hasn’t been my best year and I will have to take a lot of effort to manage that.
CC: I have thrown further at three meetings and my goal is to improve that result.
– Ivan Ivancic, Sandra Perkovic’s coach and former shot putter, asked whether they were planning to challenge the world record of 23.12m set by Randy Barnes:
CC: I set out on that path two years ago. I have been close this year, but I have not been lucky enough. There is a reason why the world record in this event is 20 years old. It is difficult to top that result, maybe the indoor record (22.66) will be broken sooner. But everything is going as planned for now and the next year might be the one. I feel that I am on the good track.
RH: I am not planning to break the world record.