Sandra Perkovic winning again, this time at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris (Jiro Mochizuki) © Copyright
Report Split, Croatia

Strong openers for Perkovic and Kolak in Split

Croatia's Olympic champions Sandra Perkovic and Sara Kolak produced impressive season openers at the Croatian Winter Throwing Championships in the Dalmatian seaside city of Split on Saturday (25).

Perkovic, the two-time Olympic discus champion, won her specialty with a 70.23m best, the seventh 70m-plus competition of her career. Opening with a 64.08m toss, she improved round for round, reaching 69.24m with her second throw and 69.99m with her third before the 70.23m effort, the sixth-farthest of the 26-year-old's career.

"I am very pleased with this result, the fourth consecutive year to open the season in Split with more than 70 metres," Perkovic, a five-time Diamond Race winner, told the Croatian national news agency HINA.

"Conditions were terrible, windy and it was cold. I was expecting after the second throw, when I threw 69 metres, it would go a little further, although technically I'm not in the best shape."

Kolak, the surprise javelin winner at the Rio Games last summer, also impressed with a consistent series.

Opening with 61.21m, she improved to 61.39m in round two, fouled in the third and improved again to 62.54m in the fourth. Following up with 62.06m in round five, she capped the competition with a 65.23m throw, the second best of her career. Only her Olympic title-winning effort of 66.18m has sailed farther.

"I'm satisfied!" Kolak told HINA.

"Well, not with the first round, but as the competition drew to a close I threw better. This is a great result for the start of the season. Last year I opened with 62 metres, so I hope that I can expect another successful year."

Elsewhere, Saturday also witnessed other good early season throwing marks.

Australia's 2009 world discus champion Dani Stevens won the New South Wales championships title with a 66.78m effort.

Martina Ratej won the Slovenian Winter Throwing championships title in the javelin in Domzale with a 63.95m effort.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF