The start lists of the 68th Hanžeković Memorial once again promise a spectacular competition in Mladost Stadium.
Of course, the world’s best athletes will be led by Croatia’s best athlete Sandra Perković, the reigning Olympic, world and European champion.
“I’ve been here for 12 years. I am the favourite when you look at the whole season, but not regarding my last appearance, when I finished third“, Sandra Perković said. She will have an opportunity to get even with Cuba’s Yaime Perez for the defeat in the Diamond League final in Brussels.
„Fever exhausted me in the past few days, but, with the help of the audience, I’ll come back to where I belong. I love to throw in Zagreb. After the debacle in Brussels, which happened due to some things that I don’t like to use as excuses, I am hoping for the support of the Zagreb audience, who will give me the strength to heave the discus over 65 metres“, Sandra Perković said.
The pole vault competition will be a face-off among the 2015 world champion Shawn Barber, Olympic champion Thiago Braz and European vice-champion Timur Morgunov.
It is expected that this trio might break the meeting record of 5.75 set by Augusto Dutra five years ago.
“I am expecting a positive atmosphere, in which we should show the whole beauty of the pole vault”, Morgunov announced.
A strong field always “pulls” the athletes. It should also be the case at Hanžeković Memorial.
“I hope that we will enjoy the competition”, said Braz, who won with 6.03 at the Rio Olympics two years ago.
“All three of us are in very good form this season, I expect good results”, Barber said.
The meeting record will be challenged in the long jump, as well. Irving Saladino’s jump of 8.45 from 2007 could become history. World champion Luvo Manyonga is definitely ready to jump over 8.50.
“I will conclude the season here and I want my name to be remembered in Zagreb. Breaking the meeting record is a possibility. Rain won’t bother me, I jumped 8.56 in such weather at the Diamond League in Shanghai”, Manyonga said.