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Reigning 100 m World Champion Justin Gatlin to race in Zagreb

Justin Gatlin (Photo: Hanžeković Memorial)

ZAGREB, 26 August 2019 – Reigning 100 m World Champion Justin Gatlin, and Olympic gold medallists Allyson Felix, Sandra Perković and Sara Kolak will compete at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Zagreb on 3th September.

The American will lead the field in the 100 m at the 69th Hanžeković Memorial. Gatlin defeated three-time world and Olympic champion, Usain Bolt in the 100 m final at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics in London. Gatlin ran 9.87 in the final at the US Nationals, which is only two hundredths of a second slower than the Zagreb meeting record held by the world record holder Usain Bolt since 2011.

Gatlin will share the field in Zagreb with Divine Oduduru, who is second in the IAAF world rankings with 9.86, Arthur Cissé, fifth in the IAAF rankings with 9.93, and Aaron Brown, who is ninth with 9.96. The start list also includes Zagreb’s last year’s winner Michael Rodgers and – Asafa Powell. The former world record holder is running the 100m in around 10 seconds again, and he is always especially motivated at his favourite meeting. The race will be run on a new tartan track.

Meanwhile, six-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix, who holds the Hanzekovic Memorial 200m meeting record, will contest the 400m at this year’s edition.

Allyson Felix (Photo: Hanžeković Memorial)

All three medallists from the IAAF World Championships London 2017 will be reunited in Zagreb as Felix, the bronze medallist on that occasion, will line up against world champion Phyllis Francis and world silver medallist Salwa Eid Naser.

Two of Croatia’s biggest athletics stars will also be in Zagreb as Olympic champions Sandra Perković and Sara Kolak will contest the discus and javelin respectively.

“I want to break the meeting record,” says Perković, who set the existing mark of 70.83m in 2017. “The current record was set on the old circle, but now a new one has been laid.”

Sandra Perković (Photo: Hanžeković Memorial)

Similarly, Kolak will have one eye on the meeting record of 65.20m in the javelin, set by 2004 Olympic champion Osleidys Menendez.

On the eve of the Hanzekovic Memorial, the Ivan Ivančić Memorial – a shot put competition – will take place near Zagreb’s city fountains. Croatia’s world bronze medallist Stipe Žunić and national record-holder Filip Mihaljević will compete against at least three of this year’s seven 22-metre throwers.

More details on the official website.

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