Although Blanka Vlašic has been the poster girl for the IAAF / VTB Bank Continental Cup, there was almost as much expectation on the young shoulders of Sandra Perkovic to win the women’s Discus. The 20-year-old won a surprise gold medal at the European Championships and recently improved her National Record to 66.93m.
Perkovic got off to a good start with an opening throw of 62.30m, which was enough to lead through the first and second rounds. But by the time Perkovic came to throw in round three, she had suddenly been relegated to third behind China’s Li Yanfeng (63.79m) and Cuba’s Yarelis Barrios (62.58m).
Perkovic improved to 63.29m with her third throw to move into second place, but two-time Olympic finalist Yanfeng still held the lead. The positions did not change in the final round and Yanfeng held on for a surprise win, the first ever victory by an Asian athlete in the women’s Discus at the IAAF World Cup.
World Champion Dani Samuels, competing at the end of a long season, could only manage one legal throw, 61.34m, and finished fourth. Becky Breisch of Team Americas was fifth (60.70m), ahead of European silver medallist Nicoleta Grasu (59.69m) and Elizna Naude of South Africa (55.79m).
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF