The revised format of the discus competition at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 always had the potential to throw up a surprise and that’s exactly how it turned out in Saturday afternoon’s competition, with Yaime Perez of Team Americas upsetting Sandra Perkovic of Europe to take victory.
Perkovic had the longest throw of the day (meaning she still takes home the leading prize of US $30,000) but the victor in the competition itself was Perez.
With the first three rounds used to only as qualification to select the best athlete from each team for the semi-final, it was Perez, Perkovic, Yang Chen of Asia-Pacific and Chioma Onyekwere of Africa who advanced to the fourth round.
Onyekwere was eliminated there courtesy of a foul, while Chen’s effort of 61.63m was also not enough to advance to the fifth and final round, well shy of the 65.57m thrown by Perkovic and the 64.01m thrown by Perez.
Perkovic had opened the competition with a whopping effort of 68.44m, but when the pressure came on she couldn’t quite execute in similar fashion in the final. Her fifth-round effort sailed well beyond the 65-metre line, but was ruled a foul, handing Perez the freedom to win the competition if she registered any valid throw.
Rather than play it safe, however, the Cuban went for broke, heaving the discus 65.30m, her longest throw of the day. Together with teammate Andressa de Morais, who finished sixth with a best of 58.44m, that was enough to secure the maximum eight points for Team Americas and extend their lead at the head of the standings.
“When Sandra over-stepped I had the comfort position to throw anything but it did not drag me out of focus,” said Perez. “I was still going for it and I am super excited to win here. The season is over for me now but a big one is ahead. After a rest I will be getting ready for the Pan American Games and the World Championships.”
Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF