New World Record Set at 71st Boris Hanžeković Memorial in Zagreb!

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL
Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL

The stadium along the Sava hosted great world stars, as many as 11 Olympic winners, seven world champions, and 16 medal winners from the Tokyo Olympics, and the biggest result of this “Hanžek” edition is the world record of Burundi’s Francine Niyonsabe, who improved the world record by two seconds in the women’s 2000m race. In addition, four rally records were set, and Sandra Perkovic was second in the discus throw, which Olympic champion Valerie Allman celebrated.

The 2 km race is not an Olympic discipline, nor is it run at world championships. Still, throughout history, this discipline has been run by some of the world’s greatest middle-distance runners – Sonia OSullivan, Maricica Puica, Tatjana Kazankina, and Zola Budd. 

Niyonsaba is a former world and Olympic runner-up in the 800 meters who is now great in long distances. The previous record was held by Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who ran 5:23.75 in 2017 in Sabadell, Spain.

Croatian athlete Maja Pačarić also gave her all in setting the record.

“I am overjoyed; this season was great for me. This is my first time in Zagreb, and I will always remember this race,” said 28-year-old Niyonsaba.

The rally records were set in the 400 m and pole vault for athletes and in the 200 m and triple jump for women.

In the 200-meter race, two athletes competed, winning three medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Christine Mboma was second in the 200 meters breaking the world junior record, while Shericka Jackson won bronze in the 100 meters and gold in the 4 × 100 meters. Jackson would probably have won a medal in the 200 meters as well if she hadn’t casually slowed down in front of the finish line in qualifying.

In Zagreb, Mboma celebrated with the result of 22.04, breaking the previous record of the rally of 22.35, which Allyson Felix has held since 2012. Jackson was second with 22.30, which was also faster than the previous record, while Bahamian Anthonique Strachan was third with 23.05.

Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts, in the triple jump, recorded a distance of 14.77 m, which is 19 centimeters better than the 12-year-old Zagreb rally record, which Cuban Mabel Gay owned.

In second was Slovenian Neja Filipić with 14.37, while third was Finn Senni Salminen with a jump of 14.24.

The rally record was also set by the American KC Lightfoot, who won the pole vault with a result of 5.87 meters. The previous record was held by the Russian Timur Morgunov, who jumped 5.76 meters in 2018. In second was the American Sam Kendricks with 5.82, as was the third-placed Australian Kurtis Marschall.

In the 400 m, Grenadian athlete Kirani James won with 44.46, which is a new rally record. James ran faster than the previous American record holder Gil Roberts, who ran 44.94 in 2017.

In second was Isaac Makwala from Botswana with a score of 45.15, and third was Italian Edoardo Scotti (45.30). Mateo Ruzic was seventh with a score of 47.53.

“This is my first time here, and I am happy to win. The race was good, the season is over, and I can be satisfied with the result and the rally record. It feels good to investigate the rally record, especially since the old record was held by Roberts against whom I ran at university,” James said.

On Monday, the new rally record was set by the Olympic winner and world record holder in the shot put, American Ryan Crouser, who won the 7th edition of the Ivan Ivančić Memorial with a result of 22.84, which is the best on the European continent since 1988.

Last year, Crouser threw 22.74 in Zagreb, which was the best shot on European soil in the last 30 years. In the meantime, that record went to Lausanne (22.81), but it is in Zagreb again. Crouser set a new world record of 23.37 in June this year in Eugene, Oregon.

American Devon Allen won the Boris Hanžeković Memorial 110-meter hurdles race, which is being held as part of the Zagreb athletics rally.

Allen won with a score of 12.99, which is the second result this season in the world and his personal record. Faster than him this year was only American Grant Holloway, who ran 12.81 in June.

In second was the bronze medalist from Tokyo, Jamaican Ronald Levy, with 13.11, while the Olympic winner from Tokyo, Jamaican Hansle Parchment, was third with 13.12. Allen was fourth at the Tokyo Olympics.

“I ran under the magical 13.00; I am happy and overjoyed. I ran great in the last races. But, unfortunately, the season is coming to an end,” said Allen. Mark Crear’s rally record (12.98) from 1999 was better by a hundredth.

The 110-meter hurdles race, just like the entire Zagreb rally, is named after Boris Hanžeković, the best pre-war Croatian athlete, who died in 1945 while trying to escape from the Jasenovac camp.

Boris Hanžeković reached his athletic peak at the Balkan Games in Belgrade in 1938. He was less than 22 years old at the time and managed to defeat the Greek Christos Manticas, a finalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then the best athlete in the Balkans, in a direct duel in the 110-meter hurdles.

The 110-meter hurdles race has been named after Hanžeković since 1952 and the second edition of the club duel between Mladost and Dinamo, which in 1957 grew into a national, and in 1962 into an international athletics meeting. The first winner of the 110-meter hurdles was Dinamo’s Petar Grgin, after which Mladost athlete Ervin Srp won twice. 

The organizers have always paid special attention to the 110-meter hurdles, and so far in the Boris Hanžeković Memorial Race, Olympic winners have won seven times and world champions nine times.

In one of the rally hits, the Olympic winner in the discus throw, the American Valerie Allman, won by breaking the series of seven consecutive victories of Sandra Perković at Mladost Stadium. 

Allman won by throwing 69.63, which is the third-best result this season. The American won in Zagreb with a better result than her “golden” shot at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she won with 68.98.

The nine-time winner of the Zagreb rally, Sandra Perković, was second with 66.48, while Jamaican Shadae Lawrence threw 60.80. Croatia’s second representative Marija Tolj took sixth place with a score of 57.66.

Close to the rally record was Ethiopian Getnet Wale, who won the 3,000-meter hurdles with a time of 8:12.06, which was close, but still 26 hundredths of a second slower than the 2012 rally record still held by Kenyan Jairus Kipchoge Birech.

In the discus throw, the Olympic winner, Swede Daniel Stahl, celebrated with 67.79 meters. In second was the Austrian Lucas Weisshaidinger with 66.21, while third was the Slovenian Christian Cech (65.17). Croatia’s Martin Markovic was seventh with a score of 62.36.

Rio de Janeiro Olympic winner Sara Kolak continued a series of poor results at the Zagreb meeting. Kolak threw the javelin 57.72 meters, winning fifth place. Veronika Šakota was one step lower with a result of 54.22. Latvian Madara Palameika won with a result of 63.25 m.

In the long jump, Marko Čeko won with 7.70 m ahead of Filip Pravda, who jumped two centimeters less, while in third was Slovenian Dino Subašić with 7.55 m.

In the pole vault, the Slovenian Lia Apostolovski won with a jump of 1.81 m. Sara Aščić finished second with 1.78, and in third was Slovenian Monika Podlogar, also with 1.78.

Source: HRT

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