25 Photos from the 2016 Hanzekovic Memorial – Zagreb

 

Courtney Okolo winning the Zagreb 400m ahead of Natasha Hastings

Courtney Okolo winning the Zagreb 400m ahead of Natasha Hastings

 

For the ongoing help-put-a-face-to-a-name file, here are 25 images from yesterday’s Hanzekovic Memorial IAAF World Challenge meet in Zagreb. Above is from the waning stages of the women’s 400m, won by Courtney Okolo of the US over compatriot Natasha Hastings.

Most of the images here are from the women’s 3000m won by Kenyan Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi in 8:45.69. In a quality race, eight of the 11 finishers clocked career or seasonal bests. There are also a few from the men’s 200m, won by Canada’s Aaron Brown and the women’s 400m hurdles, won by Czech Zuzana Hejnova.

If you missed it, my report for the IAAF of the meet’s main program is here, of the men’s shot put competition here, and image galleries from the shot put here and here. And the start lists and results here; if those disappear next year, they’ll definitely be on the IAAF website here.

First, a couple snaps of Croatia’s Sara Kolak, the recently-minted Olympic champion in the javelin throw. She’s still shocked by her victory.

Olympic javelin throw champion Sara Kolak in Zagreb

Olympic javelin throw champion Sara Kolak in Zagreb

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Somewhere Under a Double Rainbow

tom-walsh-under-a-zagreb-double-rainbow

Continuing from the previous post about yesterday’s shot put competition in Zagreb, I thought these two shots deserved their own. How many times, really, do you see Olympic medallists reaching for double rainbows?

Above is Tom Walsh of New Zealand, a recently-minted Olympic bronze medallist in the shot put. Below is Ryan Crouser, the Olympic gold medallist. I can’t image either has thrown in a similar setting too often.

More images from the competition are here; my report for the IAAF is here. Enjoy!

ryan-crouser-in-zagreb

 

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2016 Zagreb World Challenge Shot Put – 11 Images

2016 Olympic champion Ryan Crouser

2016 Olympic champion Ryan Crouser

That’s Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the US, who prevailed in a shot put-only competition in Zagreb last night, part of and prelude to the annual Hanzekovic Memorial IAAF World Challenge meet in the Croatian capital.

I’ve covered this meet most years since 2003 but this was my first time I made it for the shot put, which began as a separate competition in 2013. Despite the rain, it was a great event, festive, with the crowd very much involved. The throwers loved it to, and it showed.

Crouser threw 22.28m, beating Tom Walsh of New Zealand, who reached 22.21. For Crouser it was the second best throw of his career and for Walsh, his third continental record in nine days. It marked the first since 1988 that two men threw beyond 22.20m in the same competition.

The intro to my report for the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body:

Ryan Crouser prevailed in an eagerly anticipated reunion of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games medallists as the 66th edition of the Hanzekovic Memorial IAAF World Challenge meeting got underway with a festive shot put-only competition in the City Fountains Park in central Zagreb on Monday (5).

After a pair of narrow back-to-back defeats to New Zealand’s Tom Walsh over the past nine days, the newly-crowned Olympic champion turned the tables with a 22.28m victory in this attractive amphitheatre style setting, the second farthest throw of his career.

“Every time I throw against Tom and Joe (Kovacs) it’s a great competition, they’re awesome throwers, so I knew it would probably take 22 metres to win,” said Crouser, whose victory in the Croatian capital was the fourth 22-metre competition of his career.

The rest.

Ten more photos are below to help you put a face to a name. Beginning with Tomasz Majewski of Poland, the 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, whose appearance in Zagreb was the last of his professional career.

What’s next for the gentle giant?

“I’m just going to enjoy my life for a while,” he said, smiling widely.

I wish him nothing but the best.

Tomasz Majewski in the last competition of his career

Tomasz Majewski in the last competition of his career

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