• Crouser beats Kovacs in Zagreb street event on the eve of the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Zagreb hosts the Memorial Boris Hanzekovic, the final leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold. 

The Croatian meeting started on Friday with the women’s pole vault and the men’s long jump. These disciplines were held as street events during the Zagreb City Challenge. The programme continued on Saturday with the men’s shot put, which was street event in the city center.

Report shot put (city event held on Saturday): 

Kovacs took the early lead with a throw of 21.97m in the first round. 

Crouser threw over the 21 metres barrier three times (21.95m, 21.76m, 21.72m) before producing the only throw of the evening over the 22 metres with 22.19m in the fifth round to take the win. Kovacs threw over the 21 metres barrier thee times (21.49m, 21.94m and 21.91m). 

Eight shot putters threw over the 21 metres barrier. Josh Awotunde  moved into third with a throw of 21.73m in the fourth round repeating the same podium order as the World Championships in Eugene. 

This year’s Commonwealth Games champion Tom Walsh placed fourth with 21.32m. European Championships fourth placer Nick Ponzio took fifth place with 21.27m. The other three shot putters, who were able to throw over the 21 metres barrier were Roger Steen (21.15m), European champion Filip Mihaljevic from Croatia (21.09m) and Armin Sinancevic from Serbia (21.04m). 

Crouser finished in the top-two in all of his competitions in 2022. 

Ryan Crouser: “It was a slow start for me tonight, technically I had some struggles. I connected with one throw but unfortunately in the latter rounds and that was too late to build on it. The main thing is to get the win as the field is so talented and deep, as every year in Zagreb; to walk  away with a win from this meeting is always an honour. That was an amazing competition in Zurich. Joe has been on the edge of such a big throw for so many years and we knew he could do it. We have been travelling together for seven years now so to see him to do such a big throw was just awesome. It is excellent to have such strong opponents because it makes me train harder and want to throw further. It can be difficult at times. To throw 22.74m in the Diamond League final and finish second, but it is great for the sport. I will compete against Kovacs in Bellinzona ”. 

Joe Kovacs: “It was a pretty bad meeting for me. I had a delayed flight yesterday, lost my bags and I had just one meal today, so I lost my energy quickly. This is a great venue in Zagreb. I just wish that it all went better. My family from Hungary came down here to support me.” 

Men’s long jump: 

Harry Frayne from Australia, world indoor silver medallist in Istanbul 2012, won the men’s long jump with 8.11m in his fifth round in a street event held on Saturday in the Ben Jelacic Square. National champion Filip Pravdica from Croatia took second plZagreb will host the Memorial Boris Hanzekovic, the final leg of the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold. 

The Croatian meeting started on Friday with the women’s pole vault and the men’s long jump. These disciplines were held as street events during the Zagreb City Challenge. The programme continued on Saturday with the men’s shot put, which will be street events in the city centre. 

Report shot put (city event held on Saturday): 

The men’s shot put was held on Saturday on the throws circle next to the city fountains the day before the main programme.

Ryan Crouser won the Memorial Ivan Ivancic with 22.19m avenging his recent defeats against his compatriot Joe Kovacs, who beat Crouser in the Lausanne Diamond League meeting with 22.65m and in the Diamond League final on Sechselautenplatz in Zurich with 23.23m moving up to second on the all-time list. 

ace with 8.03m beating his compatriot Marko Ceko (wind assisted 8.00m). Former world champion Tajay Gayle, who came back from injury in Padua with 8.26m last Sunday, finished fourth with 7.99m. 

Women’s pole vault: 

World indoor and European outdoor bronze medallist Tina Sutej from Slovenia won the women’s vault with 4.61m in a street event on Friday. Sutej improved Fabiiana Murar’s previous meeting record by 11 cm in damp weather conditions. Anjuli Knnasche took second place with 4.41m. 

Women’s discus throw: 

Reigning Olympic champion Valarie Allman from the USA will clash against two-time Olympic gold medallist Sandra Perkovic. 

Perkovic won the world silver medal in Eugene with 68.45m beating Allman by 15 cm and went on to win her sixth consecutive European gold medal in Munich with 67.95m. The Croatian thrower will be seeking her 10th win in Zagreb in front of her home fans. 

Perkovic leads 12-9 in her head-to -head clashes against Allman. The US thrower won at the ISTAF meeting in Berlin with 70.06m and her second consecutive Diamond League title in Zurich with 67.77m beating Perkovic by almost half metre. 

The other top name in the field is Kristin Pudenz, who won two silver medals at the  Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and at the European Championships in Munich 2022. 

Men’s discus throw: 

Kristjan Ceh won his first world title in Eugene last July with 71.13m, the silver medal at the European Championships in Munich and the Diamond Trophy in Zurich with 67.10m. The Slovenian thrower won four more Diamond League meetings in Birmingham with a national record of 71.27m, Rabat (69.68m), Rome (70.72m), Stockolm (70.02m) and a Continental Tour Gold competition in Szekesfehrvar with 71-13m. 

Ceh will clash against Olympic champion Daniel Stahl, who set the world seasonal best with 71.47m in Upssala and finished fourth at the World Championships in Eugene with 67.10m. 

The other top names in the field are last year’s Olympic silver medallist Simon Petterson, who won the Swedish title with 70.42m, Lawrence Okoye from Great Britain, European bronze medallist in Munich with 67.14m, and US thrower Sam Matthis, fourth at the Diamond League final with 65.24m. 

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