Not only was Sandra Perkovic beaten at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels on Friday (31) evening, the Croatian also finished outside of the top two in a competition for the first time since the IAAF Continental Cup in 2014.
Perkovic admitted after the competition that she was still feeling the effects of a bout of illness earlier in the week but the 28-year-old was firing on all cylinders again on Tuesday (4) evening on home soil at the Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb.
Normal service was very much resumed as Perkovic also had the beating of the two athletes who overhauled her in the sixth round in Brussels on Friday. Her three best throws - 67.60m, 66.10m and 65.80m - would have all been good enough to beat Yaime Perez from Cuba’s best effort of 64.78m. Second in Brussels on Friday, Brazil’s Andressa de Morais was fourth in Zagreb with 60.75m.
Perkovic has won every major accolade in athletics on at least two occasions - or five times in the case of the European Championships - but she is yet to win a title at the Continental Cup.
After finishing third in Brussels on Friday, Sandra Perkovic returned to winning form in Zagreb tonight with 67.60m.— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) September 4, 2018
Next up: the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava this weekend where she will be representing #TeamEurope. pic.twitter.com/wqsiCbyNrf
Perkovic finished second in the inaugural edition at home in Split in 2010 before slumping to third in Marrakech four years ago but she will have another chance to hone in on victory for Team Europe in Ostrava this weekend.
Perkovic was been named on the European team alongside European silver medallist Nadine Muller but they will face strong opposition from the aforementioned Perez and de Morais - who will represent the Americas - and Australia’s Dani Stevens, the silver medallist behind Perkovic at the IAAF World Championships last summer.
Timur Morgunov continued his fine run of recent form with his third victory since winning silver behind Sweden’s Armand Duplantis at the European Championships. Morgunov cleared 5.76m on his second attempt in Zagreb to follow up his recent wins in Zurich and Brussels. He will also represent Team Europe alongside France’s Renaud Lavillenie.
Sergey Shubenkov was a late withdrawal due to a hamstring problem but there was still a European winner in the 110m hurdles. European bronze medallist Orlando Ortega from Spain won in 13.39 while European champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde had to settle for sixth in 13.76.
Ukraine took a one-two in the 400m hurdles courtesy of Anna Ryzhykova (55.89) and Viktoriya Tkachuk (56.24) while Andrea Ivancevic finished fourth in the 100m hurdles, setting a Croatian record of 12.85 in the process.
Poland's Marcin Lewandowski sharpened up for the 1500m at the Continental Cup with a runner-up finish in the 800m in 1:44.43 behind Botswana’s Nijel Amos in 1:44.08.