|100 Metres||11.90||+0.7||Sremska Mitrovica||18 MAY 2013|
|Long Jump||7.10||+0.3||Beograd||11 SEP 2016|
|Triple Jump||13.78||+0.2||Beograd||14 JUN 2014|
|60 Metres||7.31||Novi Sad||31 JAN 2015|
|800 Metres||2:43.68||Novi Sad||19 JAN 2013|
|60 Metres Hurdles||8.49||Novi Sad||19 JAN 2013|
|High Jump||1.78||Novi Sad||19 JAN 2013|
|Long Jump||7.24||Beograd (Kombank Arena)||05 MAR 2017|
|Shot Put||12.40||Novi Sad||19 JAN 2013|
|Pentathlon||4240||Novi Sad||19 JAN 2013|
|2013||11.90||+0.7||Sremska Mitrovica||18 MAY|
|2009||12.09||+0.5||Novi Sad||30 JUN|
|2006||12.02||+1.4||Novi Sad||10 JUN|
|2015||7.02||+0.5||Zürich (Letzigrund)||03 SEP|
|2014||6.88||+1.5||Eugene (Hayward Field), OR||30 MAY|
|2013||6.82||+0.1||Moskva (Luzhniki)||11 AUG|
|2012||6.64||+1.1||Sremska Mitrovica||03 JUN|
|2009||6.71||-0.1||Novi Sad||24 JUL|
|2006||6.38||+0.6||Novi Sad||11 JUN|
|2005||6.43||+1.7||Trípoli, GRE||30 JUL|
|2011||13.54||0.0||Novi Sad||18 JUN|
|2016||7.36||Novi Sad||13 FEB|
|2015||7.31||Novi Sad||31 JAN|
|2014||7.43||Novi Sad||18 JAN|
|2006||7.68||Budapest (WT)||27 JAN|
|2013||2:43.68||Novi Sad||19 JAN|
|2013||8.49||Novi Sad||19 JAN|
|2013||1.78||Novi Sad||19 JAN|
|2017||7.24||Beograd (Kombank Arena)||05 MAR|
|2016||7.07||Portland (Oregon Convention Center), OR||18 MAR|
|2015||6.98||Praha (O2 Arena)||07 MAR|
|2014||6.92||Istanbul (Ataköy Arena)||22 FEB|
|2009||6.47||Budapest (Syma Csárnok)||14 FEB|
|2006||6.48||Budapest (WT)||05 FEB|
|2013||12.40||Novi Sad||19 JAN|
|2013||4240||Novi Sad||19 JAN|
|4th IAAF World Youth Championships||5h11||12.28||+1.6||Marrakech (Sidi Youssef Ben Ali)||13 JUL 2005|
|The XXXI Olympic Games||3||7.08||+0.6||Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico)||17 AUG 2016|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships||2||7.07||Portland (Oregon Convention Center), OR||18 MAR 2016|
|15th IAAF World Championships||3||7.01||+0.8||Beijing (National Stadium)||28 AUG 2015|
|2nd IAAF Continental Cup 2014||2||6.56||-0.1||Marrakech (Le Grande Stade)||14 SEP 2014|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014||3||6.77||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR 2014|
|14th IAAF World Championships||3||6.82||+0.1||Moskva (Luzhniki)||11 AUG 2013|
|The XXX Olympic Games||10||6.35||+0.9||London (Olympic Stadium)||08 AUG 2012|
|13th IAAF World Championships in Athletics||q1||DNS||Daegu (DS)||27 AUG 2011|
|The XXIX Olympic Games||16q2||6.30||+1.8||Beijing (National Stadium)||19 AUG 2008|
|12th IAAF World Junior Championships||1||6.61||+1.3||Bydgoszcz (Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak)||12 JUL 2008|
|5th IAAF World Youth Championships||2||6.41||+0.5||Ostrava||15 JUL 2007|
|11th IAAF World Junior Championships||7||6.23||0.0||Beijing (Chaoyang Sport Center)||19 AUG 2006|
|4th IAAF World Youth Championships||8q1||5.97||+2.1||Marrakech (Sidi Youssef Ben Ali)||16 JUL 2005|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 9 September 2014
Ivana SPANOVIC, Serbia (Long Jump)
Born: 10 May 1990, Zrenjanin, Serbia
Lives: Novi Sad
Coach: Goran Obradovic
Manager: Daniel Wessfeldt
Ivana Spanovic has been gracing long jump pits around the world for a long time. The 24-year-old, Serbia’s first ever IAAF World Championships medalist has been a regular participant in global and continental competition for almost ten years, having first represented her country at the 2005 World Youth Championships in Marrakech, aged just 14. Having picked up medals on a regular basis during that time, it seems that she was always destined for a successful career as a senior athlete.
Over the past 9 years, the woman from Zrenjanin in northern Serbia has come a long way since her 8th place in her qualifying pool at those first championships, making pleasing yearly progression which culminated in a bronze medal and outdoor national record at the Moscow World Championships in 2013 and, in 2014, a bronze medal in the IAAF World Indoor Championships and a silver at the Zürich European Championships.
The popular Serbian also set an indoor national record at the Balkan Championships in February, just 8cm shy of the magical 7m barrier.
Sport was always going to play a big part in the young Spanovic’s life, but not necessarily long jumping. “I grew up in a sports oriented family,” she recalls. “I tried several sports. I enjoyed doing karate with my brother, playing handball and volleyball, but in the end it was athletics that won my heart.”
That decision, which has proven to be a wise one, was in no small part down to the exploits of her mother, who herself was no stranger to success on the track. “I was inspired and motivated by my mother's medals, who was a very good sprinter,” she says. “I still have a good memory of when my father took me to my first training.”
“I started my career in athletics when I was 7 years-old and was coached by Jani Hajdu, who had trained my mother as well. At the beginning I wanted to run faster than she did and to win more medals than her.”
Before long, it was apparent that Ivana had considerable talent for jumping – so much so that she soon had to look outside of Serbia for competition.
“When I look back, I can say that I started very early, winning medals and being part of the international scene. I didn’t have strong competitors in my country, which led me to look up to international athletes’ performances and seek motivation from them. I always wanted to be well positioned in the European and world rankings.”
A 7th place at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing in 2006 when aged 15 was Spanovic’s initial breakthrough, but it was the following year at the World Youth Championships that she really began to make her mark. Having competed at the senior European Indoor Championships at the age of 16, she went on to take the silver medal in Ostrava with an excellent 6.41m.
That was just the start of things to come, as she went one better the following summer, taking the World Junior title in Bydgoszcz, this time with a 6.61m leap, before competing at the Beijing Olympic Games later in the summer, where she uncharacteristically underperformed, jumping only 6.30 in qualifying.
The knack of performing at her best in her main competition of the year is one that Spanovic appears to have developed, something that she readily acknowledges:
“It was very satisfying to be awarded with medals for all the hard work and sacrifice that I had to make in order to achieve success. Winning the medals at big championships is always one of my main goals and I am happy that I have managed so far to be in the best shape at the right moment.”
Indeed, her run of medals continued into 2009, when Spanovic got to compete in front of a Serbian crowd in international championships not once, but twice, as Belgrade hosted the World University Games and Novi Sad was the venue for that summer’s European Junior Championships.
The then 18-year-old didn’t disappoint, taking home the gold at the Universiade and a silver medal in the European Juniors, with a huge 6.71m. “I really enjoy competing at home in front of my home crowd,” she admits. “It’s always a special atmosphere and energy that I can feel and share with my fans and supporters. They motivate me to push myself over the limits.”
The transition from precocious junior to successful senior was not necessarily easy for Spanovic, whose initial bids for senior medals were met with good, but not outstanding results, although an 8th place finish at the European Championships in 2010, a silver medal at the European Under 23 Championships in 2011 and an 11th placing at the London Olympics hinted at things to come. The period marked a big change in her circumstances, as she left Zrenjanin to move to the city of Novi Sad to start working with current coach Goran Obradovic.
2011 and 2012 were also notable for Spanovic’s first encounter with serious injury, in the form of a stress fracture to her jumping ankle, which understandably hindered her progress.
So it was at the Moscow World Championships in 2013 that Spanovic finally found her feet as a senior. With her personal best of 6.78 having been set in 2010, it might have appeared that her progression had stalled, that the precocious teenager was destined to be an ordinary senior. Yet, having flown out to 6.70 in the first round of the final to briefly sit in silver medal, she jumped a Serbian record 6.82 in round 5 to take bronze on countback from Volha Sudareva of Belarus.
It was the crowning moment of her career so far and, as the first medal of any kind for a Serbian athlete at an outdoor IAAF World Championships, it didn’t go unnoticed back home.
“It was very emotional and it still is, not only for me, but for my team, my country,” she concedes. “So for all of us it was a historic moment that we will always remember. Of course, there is a lot of public and media interest, but I try to stay focused on what I have to do in order to achieve this again.”
The impact of the medal wasn’t so much life changing for Ivana, but for the whole sport in Serbia, which also had Emir Bekric’s 400m hurdles bronze medal to cheer.
“The World’s medal didn’t change me,” she says. “But athletics as a sport has become more popular with youngsters in Serbia after Moscow. I am glad to be recognised as a role model and I am so happy when I come to a stadium and see more and more children there.”
If 2013 was a success, 2014 has been even better, although that there have been minor disappointments along the way. The year started well with her national indoor record in February and Spanovic headed to Sopot for the IAAF World Indoor Championships with gold on her mind.
“I went there as a person who probably should win the gold medal, but the day of the final, things didn’t go well,” she says. “I had trouble with my take off and my landing and in the end I finished third. My result was worse than I expected. I expected to jump over 7 metres because 2 weeks before I jumped 6.92, so I wanted to jump even further at the World Championships. I didn’t make it, but in the end I’m satisfied, because it’s my second big medal, so I’m happy.”
That satisfaction continued, as the outdoor season began as the indoors had ended – with big jumps and a high level of consistency.
“The season has been perfect. I had a pretty good indoor season and we’ve moved on from that result. I finished with 6.92 indoors and started outdoors with 6.85 and my second Diamond League competition was 6.88, which was a world leading result. I haven’t improved on that mark, but I have a medal from the European Championships.”
Indeed, the only item missing from Spanovic’s 2014 record is the elusive 7 metre jump that she has been chasing all year.
“I feel that I am close to 7m,” she reveals. “I was close at the Europeans, but I was far from the board because I had some troubles with the wind, but I am ready for 7m and I think it’s just a question of the day that I jump it.”
That could come as soon as the IAAF Continental Cup, which is high on the Serb’s list of priorities, following victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Zürich, which saw her narrowly miss out on taking the overall title.
“I would like to be in the first three at the Continental Cup. I want to be the best and it’s a very important competition for me. It’s my first one and I’m very satisfied with the season. I’m very happy that I’m going to be there, jumping for the European team.”
Off the track, her success has provided Spanovic with business opportunities to keep her busy when she’s not competing, but, understandably, given her new-found celebrity status, it’s the small things in life that she appreciates most.
“We have a fitness centre, which is specialised only for ladies and we are very proud of all our members. But most of the time when if I am not on the track and in the gym, I spend with my family and friends, do some shopping, playing with my dog and relaxing by reading a good book.”
Having already improved her outright personal best to 6.92 in the 2014 indoor season, the future looks rosy for Ivana, who knows that she still has more to achieve in the sport.
“I will keep working hard in order to improve my performance and keep fighting for the finals and a podium at the biggest championships and meets,” she promises. “My biggest wish is to be injury-free and do my best to fulfill my dreams. And yes to jump over 7m is something that I dream of every day.”
In the form of her life and with the World Indoor Championships coming up in Sopot, that dream could come true more quickly than she realises.
Long Jump (Outdoor): 6.88 (2014)
Long Jump (Indoor): 6.92 (2014)
2004 – 5.91; 2005 – 6.43 NJR; 2006 – 6.38 (6.48i); 2007 – 6.41 (6.53i NR);, 2008 – 6.65 NJR; 2009 – 6.71 NR; 2010 – 6.78 NR; 2011 – 6.71 (6.74w); 2012 – 6.64; 2013 – 6.82 NR; 2014 – 6.88 NR (6.92i NR)
2005 qualifying IAAF World Youth Championships (Marrakech) 5.97
2005 heats IAAF World Youth Championships (Marrakech) 12.28 (100m)
2006 1st Serbian Junior Championships (Kragujevac) 6.28
2006 1st Serbian Championships (Novi Sad) 6.18
2006 7th IAAF World Junior Championships (Beijing) 6.23
2007 18q European Indoor Championships (Birmingham) 6.18
2007 1st Serbian Junior Championships (Senta) 6.36
2007 2nd IAAF World Youth Championships (Ostrava) 6.41
2007 5th European Junior Championships (Hengelo) 6.22
2007 2nd European Youth Olympic Festival (Belgrade) 6.20
2008 1st Serbian Championships (Novi Sad) 6.45
2008 1st Serbian Junior Championships (Senta) 6.65
2008 1st IAAF World Junior Championships (Bydgoszcz) 6.61
2008 30q Olympic Games (Beijing) 6.30
2009 1st Serbian Junior Championships (Novi Sad) 6.47
2009 1st Universiade (Beograd) 6.64
2009 2nd European Junior Championships (Novi Sad) 6.71
2010 1st European Team Ch. – 2nd League (Beograd) 6.78
2010 8th European Championships (Barcelona) 6.60
2011 2nd European Under 23 Championships (Ostrava) 6.74
2011 1st Serbian Championships (Kragujevac) 6.39
2012 1st Serbian Championships (Novi Sad) 6.50
2012 14 q European Championships (Helsinki) 6.33
2012 11th Olympic Games (London) 6.35
2013 1st Serbian Indoor Championships 6.65
2013 5th European Indoor Championships (Göteborg) 6.68
2013 3rd IAAF World Championships (Moscow) 6.82
2014 3rd IAAF World Indoor Championships (Sopot) 6.77
2014 2nd European Championships (Zürich) 6.81
Prepared by Dean Hardman for the IAAF 'Focus on Athletes' project. Copyright IAAF 2014.