The shot put event is the highlight of the athletics season, and the start list of the 4th Ivan Ivančić Memorial, an overture to the Hanžeković Memorial, is in no way inferior to the world’s strongest competitions.
New Zealand’s Tom Walsh, the reigning world champion, holds the record with a total of three wins in Zagreb, but he is not the meeting record holder. In an unforgettable competition two years ago, he threw 22.21 metres, his personal best at the time, but he was eventually outthrown by Olympic Champion Ryan Crouser, who won with 22.28.
„I’m not planning to finish second in Zagreb this year. I enjoy the competition here very much, I like it when the audience is close to us and when the music is turned up, it’s a great feeling“, Walsh said. The current world leader (22.67) won with an amazing shot of 22.60 metres in Zurich last week.
„I expect throws of over 22 metres again. I am quite certain that I could throw over 22.28 metres. Moreover, I trust that we will soon throw 23 metres, as well“, USA’s Ryan Crouser was confident. In the coming seasons, he and Walsh could even challenge the world record of 23.12 held by Randy Barnes.
This is the competition that Croatian record holder and world bronze medallist Stipe Žunić will face.
„It is an honour to have world-class athletes here. Shot put is currently the strongest athletics event“, said Stipe Žunić, who will share the field with the world’s best shot putters.
„I will obviously have to beat them up to be the main guy here next year“, joked Žunić, who hasn’t been at his best this season.