of the Zagreb Meet Announced the Stars of the Meet
World and Olympic Champions at the "Hanžek"
- Although national championships of some track and
field giants (Germany, Russia, Great Britain) will be
taking place at the same time, and some other nations
(China) are sending their athletes to training camps
before the World Championships, big track and field
names are still coming to the Zagreb Meet.
According to the manager of the Zagreb Grand Prix Harald
Edletzberger, several great stars will compete here
on July 11. Jurica Grabušić will have the honour to
compete against four-times world 110m hurdles champion
Allen Johnson of the United States. Current Olympic
and world long jump champion Dwight Phillips (USA) will
come to the city at the Sava River to compete against
James Beckford of Jamaica. The 100m hurdles will feature
the 2001 world champion Anjanette Kirkland. If she weren't
hurt, Blanka Vlašić would have great competitors: Kajsa
Bergqvist of Sweden, Venelina Veneva of Bulgaria and
Vita Palamar of Ukraine.
Hammer thrower Ivana Brkljačić will be the one among
top Croatian athletes to encounter the fiercest competition.
Ivana is satisfied with the fact that Olympic vice-champion
Yipsi Moreno of Cuba and former Olympic champion Kamila
Skolimowska are coming to Zagreb, but not so with the
billboards announcing the Meet. The hammer throw competition
starts at 18:30 and not at 20:00, as is written on the
billboards, for which the Meet Director Dražen Kroupa
publicly apologized. The Croatian shot put record holder
Edis Elkasević plans to throw over 21 metres. To achieve
this, he will need strong competition (which he will
not have), but also the help of the audience, who will
have one last opportunity to put their hands together
for Branko Zorko.
Dražen Brajdić (06.07.2005.)
Money for More Stars
- The prize fund of the IAAF Grand Prix Zagreb 2005,
locally better known as the Hanzekovic Memorial, has
been increased to 3,600,000 kunas for a reason. The
main task is to bring in even better competitors. This
is the explanation for the increase offered by Velimir
Basic, Assistant Secretary General of the Zagreb Sports
Association, which will allocate 2.2 million kunas for
"We expect the Organizers, who we fully trust,
to raise the sports level of the Meeting. This is why
we have agreed to the increase."
Rehabilitate the Mladost Stadium
rest of the funds come from the IAAF, TV contracts and
sponsors - Drazen Kroupa, Meeting Director takes care
of this. One of the main tasks of his team, which also
includes Zeljko Grabusic, Executive Director, is to
rehabilitate the Mladost Stadium, so that it could obtain
the necessary certificate. As around 40,000 athletes
use the track annually, it is logical that there are
"We need two million kunas for a complete renewal
but we do not have this much money. We will repair the
most serious damage with 200-300 thousand kunas",
Kroupa pointed out.
Ideal Meeting Date
According to Harald Edletzberger, Meeting Director,
the Meeting date, July 11, is almost ideal. It is not
close to the Mediterranean Games, and "Hanzek"
is simply ideal to fill the gap between Rome (July 8)
and Madrid (July 16). It is very important to have a
good Meeting this year
(both regarding results and organization) due to a new
meeting classification, which the IAAF plans for this
autumn. The IAAF will rate all its meetings and keep
only the Golden League (it is still not known how many
meetings) and Grand Prix (10-12 competitions). The rest
will be designated as continental events. This is why
this year's Meeting could be a turning point for the
future status of "Hanzek". But, with the full
stands at Mladost, and stars like last year (such as
Xiang Liu, world record holder at 110m hurdles, and
top women hammer throwers) its future can only be bright.
The Meeting will be broadcast live on Eurosport again.
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 seventh
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
- 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 last year.
- 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.
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