70th Hanzekovic Memorial, A Symbol of Zagreb Sports, Begins Today

Daniela Rogulj

Hanzekovic Memorial Website
Hanzekovic Memorial Website

Hanzekovic Memorial Website

September 14, 2020 – The jubilee 70th Hanzekovic Memorial will be held in Zagreb on Monday and Tuesday this week. Held since 1951, it is the oldest sports event in Croatia and honors the tragically deceased athlete Boris Hanzekovic.

Index.hr reports that ‘Hanzek’ has been a Zagreb sports symbol for seven decades. Neither war nor politics, nor financial problems, nor the coronavirus have stood in its way for 70 years. Even today, when the sporting world is more uncertain than ever, athletics live on by the Sava.

The 70th edition of the Hanzekovic Memorial will be held on Monday and Tuesday under this year’s competition slogan “Serbus Hanžek moj”. History reveals that the first meeting was held as a club duel between Mladost and Dinamo in 1951. Later, it grew into an international meeting and slowly gained international status.

Until 2009 it was the Grand Prix, since 2010, the IAAF World Challenge meeting, while last year, it entered the prestigious Continental Tour Gold category. Almost all the biggest stars of world athletics, led by Usain Bolt, performed at Hanzek, but the first stars were and remain Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic and Sandra Perkovic.

Through all those years, the popular Hanzek became a symbol of Zagreb, like Dinamo, Cibona, handball, and Janica. Tradition and the connection between the audience and sports is an inseparable part of Zagreb’s sports image that travels worldwide and presents the Hanzekovic Memorial as one of the world’s best meetings. While the budget and infrastructure are not even close to the biggest, Hanzek remains an unavoidable part of the history of Zagreb, Croatian, European, and world athletics.

This year’s Hanzekovic memorial will be different from all the others and will be held following all prescribed COVID-19 measures. While the masked athletes will perform in front of a limited number of spectators, the Hanzekovic Memorial is available to everyone thanks to a TV broadcast to 85 countries on five continents.

While 10,000 tickets are usually in circulation, this year, there will be only 700. And all those 700 – 300 in the east, 220 in the west, 120 in the south and 60 in the north – are on sale for 50 to 100 kuna. Ticket buyers will need to fill out an access form and commit to adhering to all prescribed measures at the stadium. It should be repeated that tickets are on sale at the box office of SRC Mladost near the Sava, where the meeting is held, from 16.00 to 20.00 every day until the start of the competition on September 15, or until everything is sold.

Today, at 19:30, the event kicks off at the Ivan Ivancic Memorial near the Zagreb fountain, while tomorrow, the 70th Hanzekovic Memorial is held at the Mladost Stadium near the Sava, starting at 17:50.

You can read more about this year’s event here.

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