- NEWS 2004
has fulfilled the expectations
likes Blanka Vlašić and Blanka Vlašić likes Zagreb
and the Zagreb IAAF Grand Prix. Young Split native
came second on Tuesday just like the last year
and again her duel with Hestrie Cloete, double
world champion, has marked the competition. Blanka
has again, as she did last year, attacked the
two meters level, but again this time she knocked
down the bar at that height, yet the South African
leveled the meeting record out of second attempt.
Only two of them arrived at that magical height
while the other high jumpers left the competition
at lower heights.
Croatian long jump record holder Siniša Ergotić
led the competition after third series with the
jump of 7.98 but at the end he finished third
behind Bulgarian Atanasov (8.01) and Bahamian
jumper Moxey (8.00).
"Little world championship" – as the
organizer had been announcing women’s hammer throw,
assuring the attendance of four out of ten of
this season’s best result hammer throwers. Expectedly,
Croatian record holder Ivana Brkljačić could not
reach a winning thrown faced with such a competition,
yet she came fifth with the throw of 66.74 which
she achieved in the first attempt. Russian Kuzenkova
(71.91) won the competition which was satisfactory
because 7 throws over the 70m limit were realized.
Young Chinese Zhang came second, while the actual
Olympic winner Skolimowska won a bronze medal.
Brkljačić underachieved in length but not in the
final placing as well as the other Croatian representative
Sanja Gavrilović, whose 63.09 was enough for the
fastest man at the moment ina 110m hurdles Chinese
Xiang Liu won the memorial 54th Boris Hanžeković
race with the result of 13.25. He was convincingly
ahead the Latwian Olijars and the Buarian Vidov.
Jurica Grabušić came sixth ahead of the disqualified
Duane Ross and Dos Santos.
As always on every meeting the attention is focused
on the shortest sprint disciplines.. Women 100m
race was won by Ghanaian runner Anim Vida (11.37),
while the fastest in the men race was the Zagreb
crowd favourite Abdul Aziz Zakari. In the 4oom
hurdles race world champion Jana Pittmann ran
the excellent 54.15, seasons third best, one hundredth
of a second slower than the meeting record. She
came to Zagreb for the first time. And won the
sympathies of the crowd instantly although it
was one of her first performances this season.
18-year-old Nikolina Horvat tok advantage of her
presence and improved national record fro a hundrdth
of a second which now stands 59.52.
- I was so hot about this meeting and in the end
i was totally disappointed. The conditions were
excellent and yet I managed to throw so short
while i recently threw 69 meters under rain. I’m
afraid that this came a little bit demoralizing
for me before the Olympics but this only means
i will have to work harder to do well in the Athens.
- Personally i am not satisfied, but objectively
i have to be pleased with my result. It is evident
that my shape is not as last year when i jumped
over 2 meters. I am sorry that i didn’t bring
joy to the Zagreb crowd by jumping over 2m as
- At the beginning of the race i felt very tired
due to several repeated starts. First three hurdles
I did excellent, while the rest of the race i
did bad because of my fatigue.
- I am pleased because this is my best result
this year.I’ve benn jumping in Zagreb for four
seasons now and i always jump over two meters.
Maybe i felt a bit tired because I arrived in
Zagreb late 9 pm on Monday, straight from South
Africa. I like to jump in Zagreb, i don’t know
if this is because of the track, the atmosphere
or Blanka. I will decide in September whether
i will continue to jump or end my career. If i
remain active i will come to Zagreb next year.
I will continue to come as long as i will be active.
invasion to "Hanžek"
the beginning of the next weekend in Zagreb there
will be a reminder of the times when Kazu Miura
played at the Maksimir stadium. Almost all of
the Japanese sport public's attention shall be
focused to Zagreb.
Namely, one of the attendants of the athletic
Grand prix meeting, held on Tuesday (5.30 PM)
at the Mladost sport park stadium, is a Japanese
Shingo Suetsugu. Being a winner of the first Japanese
medal at the Olympics or WC (200m bronze medal
in Paris) enjoys a status of the superstar in
his homeland, his every move over the world is
followed, especially in the Olympic year. Suetsugu
will arrive in Zagreb accompanied by his coach,
manager and a personal physiotherapist, and he
is also a reason that cca 30 of the Japanese reporters
are accredited. Among them also two television
networks, many daily paper reporters and agency
companies as well as the Tarzan magazine reporter,
a Japanese equivalent of the Playboy magazine.
It will be yet another promotion of Zagreb and
Croatia in Japan. Shingo Suetsugu is on European
tour and he will be running 100m in Zagreb.
His competition will consist of Darren Campbell
and Jason Gardener, both British. They too prepare
for the Athens where their goal id to win a medal.
Campbell won bronze at the "hundred"
a year ago in Paris and he plans a sequel at the
Olympics. Four years ago in Sydney he was silver
in the 200m race. In the career of this 29 year
old Manchester resident a title of the European
champion in 1998. exceeds as well as a bronze
medal in Munich two years ago.
Finally, Jason Gardener also plans his appraisal
in the "open field". His personal best
in the 100m race is 9.98 but so far he has won
medal only at 60m, he is a European and world
champion. He finally decided to get a medal also
in the 100m race. Zagreb will be his preparatrory
station at his rad to a medal in athens
spectacle already at 17:30 pm.
- Athletic Grand prix meeting will again bring
to Zagreb some of the biggest stars. On Tuesday
29th June popular "Hanžek" will offer
a three hour sport spectacle.
On of the best and most interesting disciplines
will be first in the time schedule, a hammer throw
for the female athletes. Due to security reasons
the organizers haven't been able to postpone this
highly technical discipline to a later term so
it will begin at 5.30 pm. Yet, it is worthwhile
to come to stadium on time because of the quality
of that discipline. Croatian record holder Ivana
Brkljačić will face strong competition which will,
as we are sure of, push her over the historical
frontier of 70 meters.
- After big events like the Olympics and world
and European championships "Hanžek"
is my most important competition.- Brkljačić often
The youngest Olympic athletic champion Kamila
Skolimowska has already become a regular guest
in Zagreb. This Polish native won a gold Olympic
medal being just 17 and 311 days old. This season
she has already thrown over 70 meters (70,93).
At «Hanžek» also the actual world record holder
a Romanian Michaela Melinte (76,07) will throw.
Hammer thrower from Romania has won world records
for eight times, in the late 90's she was a European
and world champion, but in the summer of 2000
she was suspended for doping. A Russian Olga Kuzenkova,
who has marked the initial seasons of this discipline,
is also present and she has achieved 11 world
best results. Two years ago she has won her first
gold medal (EC) and before that she was silver
five times at the big events. China will be represented
strongly with the Asian champion Gu Yuan and Zhang
Wengxiu who has thrown 72,42 m this year. Besides
Ivana Brkljačić, Croatia will be represented by
the olympic Sanja Gavrilović and a gold medal
candidate at the recent World junior championship,
championships" in high jump and hammer throw
ZAGREB – Two weeks before the athletic Grand prix
meeting in Zagreb ( June 29th , 5.40 pm), organizers
may brag with the excellent response of the competitors.
Two of the dissciplines may easily be marked as
the "little world championships" due
to the strong competition.
Ivana Brkljačić will have a strong competition
and we may rightfully expect of her to throw kladivo
beyond the 70-meter limit exactly at "Hanžek".
Zagreb will be visited by the best Moreno, Skolimowska,
Wengxiu as well as Kuzenkova.
- I too believe I could do that here. "Hanžek"
is , after the Olympics, my most important competition
and I would like to win.
Female high jump will be extraordinary as well.
Along with already announced Blanka Vlašić and
the world champion Cloete, Berqvist will perform
on «Hanžek» for the first time this year, and
at least one of the three excellent high-jumpers-
Palamar, Babakova, Slesarenko.- will come too.
Olympic athlete, Siniša Ergotić, will have a strong
competition. Stringfellow was certain to come,
but the he will miss the whole season because
of an injury.
-Whoever comes, I'm sure it will be great. I consider
"Hanžek" as my personal meeting and
my performance was never in question, nor it will
ever be.- Ergotić said.
Meeting manager Harald Edletzberger has publicized
part of the 110 m hurdles race starting line up-
Xiang Liu, Ross, Olijars, Grabušić. Tickets will
begin to sell on Monday at SP Mladost (at the
price of 30 and 50 kunas), also the official web
page of the meeting is all set (www.zagrebhanzek.com).
Kroupa, the meeting director, and Zvonko Merkaš,
member of the Auto Hrvatska board have signed
an agreement by which Auto Hrvatska has become
one of the main meeting sponsors. It is interesting
that already twenty Japanese journalist have signed
in for the meeting coverage.