Organizers of the Zagreb Meet Announced the Stars of the Meet
World and Olympic Champions at the "Hanžek"

ZAGREB - 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 the 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.

Autor Dražen Brajdić (06.07.2005.)
More Money for More Stars

ZAGREB - 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 the Meeting.
"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
The 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 damages.
"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.

JL (02.05.2005.)
Hanžek has fulfilled the expectations

Zagreb 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 place.

Shingo SuetsuguWorld’s 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.

Athletes’ statements:

Ivana Brkljačić:
- 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.

Blanka Vlašić:

- 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.

Liu Xiang:
- 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.

Hestrie Cloete:
- 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.

JL (29.06.2004.)

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