After winning the gold in London and Rio, Sandra Perković was after a new Olympic medal in the discus throw in Tokyo on Monday.
Perković made the final after she was third overall in the qualifiers with a 63.75-meter throw. The best in the qualifiers was American Valarie Allman, who threw 66.42 meters, while Indian Kamalpreet Kaur was second with 63.97.
German Kristin Pudenz threw only two centimeters less than Sandra in Group A, Dutch van Klinken was fourth (61.15), and a big surprise was the poor performance of Cuban Deine Caballero, who was only 22nd with 57.96 meters.
But in the final on Monday, Sandra failed to win her third medal at the Olympics, finishing just outside the podium in 4th instead.
Her best throw flew to a distance of 65.01 meters, and the medal required 65.72, which was thrown by the bronze Cuban Yaime Perez. The silver medal was taken by the German Kristin Pudenz, who threw the best result in her career (66.86), while American Valarie Allman won the gold, throwing 68.98 meters in the first series.
Sandra opened the final with a score of 62.53, which was the fifth result of the first series, hit the net in the second series, and then there was a break due to a heavy downpour at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
The break lasted almost an hour, and Sandra returned with a score of 65.01, breaking through to fourth place. Unfortunately, her fourth series saw her throw below 60, and she hit the net in the fifth. In the last attempt, she threw 63.25, which was not enough for a medal.
“I can’t say I’m proud; I wasn’t on the level. It was a tough competition; that’s no excuse. I’m sorry about the first throw; the disc was full of water, the second shot – you don’t throw like that. Then it started to rain; I came back in the best possible way. We warmed up, cooled down. The circle was not good,” Perković began after the final.
“Allman opened the competition great; that’s how it’s done. You throw and let them catch you. When it rained, she couldn’t do anything either. Congratulations to Germany. Something has bothered me here in Tokyo from the beginning; it’s not up to anyone; it’s up to me. I saw from the beginning that it would not happen.”
“The first throw slipped out of my hand, the second was savage, and in the fourth series, water dripped from my discus. That’s not the reason; the season was full of trials for me; I survived them all, I came here. I didn’t make this. Paris in 2024 will be different. This is not how any cycle ends, not even mine. I hope it will be better there,” she added and continued:
“I don’t like fast and stupid laps. These were ridiculous distances; a medal was offered. These are not excuses; it’s my fault. Fourth place isn’t bad, but it’s not me. I have to concentrate, go home and move on.”
“I wanted 68 meters in the first set. But, unfortunately, the whole season was difficult, the Games were postponed, you have to focus again, look for zeal,” she said and concluded:
“I fought as hard as I could. Better luck next time.”
It was Sandra’s 13th grand final, and only the second she was left without a medal. She celebrated at nine, and so far, the only major competition in which she did not win a medal was her first World Championships in Berlin in 2009. She won gold at the Games in London and Rio.
Croatia had another representative in the women’s discus, but Marija Tolj was left without a final by only four centimeters.
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