Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas won the 110mh Boris Hanzekovic Memorial Race. Excellent in the Diamond League this season, a great one, who bested the best David Oliver, proved his value. With 13.40 he came close to his season’s best by 12 hundredths of a second and he bested US hurdler Joel Brown, who had been better than him this season. Jurica Grabusic ran 13.88, 20 hundredths of a second short of his season’s best. Let us mention that the meeting record is 12.98, set by US hurdler Mark Crear back in 1999. Thomas – another big name on the list of Zagreb winners.[:]
60th ZAGREB MEETING
The annual Zagreb Meeting, now belonging to the World Challenge Series, took place in a spectacular atmosphere
Perkovic, Cantwell, Gay and Symmonds set new meeting records, Blanka cleared 2.02
It was really nice at the Mladost Sports Park. The stadium gleamed, there were 7,000 spectators, more than ever, large video walls, parachuters landed at the beginning, water polo players, participants of the European Championships, taking place in the pool right next to the stadium, came, as did the Zagreb Handball Club players led by Ivano Balic, Medvescak ice hockey players, IOC Member Antun Vrdoljak and city and sporting officials. Tiny Croatia’s Got Talent star Kim Verson sang the Croatian anthem – it all looked very American. The best Meeting ever, definitely by the names of the participants. Our little diamond for the end of the athletics season. As many as 15 stars were presented at the beginning – the largest crowd ever. Only Tyson Gay didn’t show up at the presentation of stars. But Croatia’s two stars were here – Blanka Vlasic and Sandra Perkovic.
Sandra won with a new meeting record of 65.56, breaking the 2-year old one set by her great competitor Yarelis Barrios. She was excited about her first performance as a favourite before her home audience.
„It was different, all my folks were on the stands. It was important for me to get a good throw, only to hit the landing sector, even if it was going to be 58 metres. And it flew 65.56! Everything was super after that. I threw a bit low, it wasn’t technically brilliant but it all ended up great“, Sandra said.
Blanka won with 2.02. She cleared all heights in the first attempt; she started at 1.87, then 1.93, 1.98 and 2.02. She went for 2.05 but she couldn’t achieve her season’s best.
„It was cold, I performed at 80% of my abilities. The hardest thing was to warm up, my feet were faster than they should have been. But, this win is going towards what I have been saying this season. Split will be the emotional pinnacle of my career. My form is good, I know I will have support, it will be warmer, but each competition brings its challenges“, Blanka said.
Tyson Gay fulfilled his promise. He is leaving Zagreb as a meeting record holder with 9.92. He broke Darvis Patton’s record of 9.94 in a race, in which he even slipped at the start. He said himself that he would have to work on his start to best Bolt, which was his objective. What would have happened if he hadn’t slipped, if it hadn’t been cold, if he hadn’t come to warm up with a winter hat on his head… Nesta Carter ran 10.07 – it also tells you something about the result and form of Tyson Gay, who was cheered on by the Zagreb crowd. Dario Horvat ran 10.83 in the B race; quite far from his personal best. Nick Symmonds ran 1:45.37 in the 800m, Christian Cantwell threw 22.22m in the shot put – meeting records to remember. So, four new meeting records for the 60th anniversary. Nice.
Cantwell „thrashed“ Hoffa as he had announced before the competition and showed that it was only Hoffa’s lucky strike when he had bested him earlier this season. Although Hoffa was very good with 21.47. Cantwell has been setting new meeting records for two years in a row now and he is becoming unavoidable in Zagreb.
200m (w): Marshevet Myers was the only one who ran under 23 seconds (22.94) – only 4 hundredths of a second short of her season’s best. It was a surprise, as her time had only been the seventh-fastest among the entrants.
400m (m): Nery Brenes of Costa Rica surprised the favourites Wissman and Kikaya. He ran only a solid 45.42, but the win is what is remembered. Croatia’s Zeljko Vincek finished with 48.12, almost 2 seconds slower than his season’s best.
400m (w) Natasha Hastings surprised everybody, especially the great favourite Debbie Dunn. The Jamaican athlete won with 51.35, a result less important than the win.
800m (m): A great race of US runner Nick Symmonds. He was two seconds short of his season’s best, but he set a new meeting record with 1:45.39, breaking the 14-year old one set by Kenya’s Peter Biwott (1:45.45). Croatia’s Jure Bozinovic achieved his season’s best with 1:48.41 and that was what was most important for him.
800m (w): A great race and great Jamaican runner Kenia Sinclair. One of the better results this season, her best, improved by 3 hundredths of a second, after she had been excellent in the Diamond League, as well.
100m hurdles (w): Great star Lolo Jones met expectations, as did Canada’s Perdita Felicien, who followed her closely. Her 12.87 was a good result in this part of the season, but far behind Shishigina’s meeting record of 12.60.
400m hurdles (m): US hurdler Justin Gaymon ran 49.19 and bested van Zyl of South Africa, who had been better this season. Croatia’s Milan Kotur ran 52.02, 60 hundredths of a second short of his season’s best time.
400m hurdles (w): Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer ran an excellent 54.23, but still far from her season’s best of 53.33. Still, she justified her role as a favourite. Croatia’s Nikolina Horvat finished seventh with a solid 57.17.
Long Jump (m): The winner is great, the result not so, especially for him. Dwight Phillips had good fun, entertained the audience, as well, but 7.85 was rather modest. The weather wasn’t warm. Croatia’s best competitor was Pervan with 7.34, Prugovecki was far from his season’s best of 7.77, which had looked promising.
Triple Jump (w): Slovakia’s Katarina Veldakova surprised the field. 14.24 was close to her season’s best, but Pyatykh, who had jumped 14.68, only made 13.89.
Discus Throw (m): great performance by Roland Varga, twice over 66m. With 66.14, he would have finished fourth at the European Championships in Barcelona, but he hadn’t. The best in the field, Iran’s Hadadi, won with 66.56, not much further than Varga, who was not too far from the Croatian record of 67.38 set this season.
Hammer Throw (m): a great duel of the world’s best this year was won by the better Koji Murofushi of Japan. He didn’t throw over 80m, but came very close with his 79.71 in an excellent series of five attempts, none of which was under 76.94.