The greatest stars of the 7th Ivan Ivančić Memorial shot put event, which is held within the 71st Boris Hanžeković Memorial, were presented at the shot put venue by the Zagreb Fountains and the National and University Library.
Four world’s best shot putters ranked 1-4 on the World Athletics list spoke at the press conference – Ryan Crouser, Joe Kovacs, Tom Walsh and Filip Mihaljević.
“We didn’t get full attention in Zurich, they didn’t show us on TV or the big screen, but here it will be about us and we’ll make sure to put on a good show and entertain ourselves and the audience. I am hoping for a throw over 21 metres, which will satisfy me, my coach, and I hope the audience, as well. The competition has never been better, the four of us are at the top of the world ranking, and number 5 is also in Zagreb, which is not seen often”, Croatian record holder Filip Mihaljević said.
Tom Walsh, four-time winner of the Zagreb shot put event, returned to Zagreb after two years.
“I expect sunny skies, great fans, music and entertaining shot putters, who yell and throw far. I am not sure how far I can throw tomorrow, this is the last competition of the season, it will be like roll the dice and see who gets which number. But I know that I’m still in good shape and I can throw far. I don’t see Ryan as invincible. He is in incredible shape, but he has had a few cracks in the past few weeks, so Filip, Joe and I must work on how to fall into those cracks tomorrow evening.”
“We are all in good shape, Ryan is obviously throwing very far, and I have seen Filip and Tom in practice here. We might not need the 23-metre line, but it is always good when we can discuss such far throws and new records”, current world champion and Olympic vice-champion from Tokyo Joe Kovacs said.
Ryan Crouser set the new world record of 23.37 this year and he defended Olympic gold in Tokyo.
„Lots of throws are necessary, tens of thousands throughout your career, to throw 23 metres. “This year has been special, I have achieved all the goals that I have set for myself and I am happy that I am ending the season right here”, Crouser said.
Crouser threw 22.74 in Zagreb last year, which was the farthest throw in Europe in the last 30 years. In the meantime, that “record” went to Lausanne (22.81), but it might return to Zagreb already tomorrow.
“I will be more than happy if I bring that record back to Zagreb. I threw well in Lausanne, but I was a bit shaky with my technique at the next two meets. However, I had an excellent practice on Saturday, I worked on those things that held me back and I hope that I can improve the meeting record on Monday”.