International sport returned to Belgrade last week at the Republic Square, where a competition in the shot put (“throws up to 22”) was held, with the participation of the biggest names in world athletics at the moment. Event organized by the Serbian Athletics Federation (SAF), all as part of the promotion of the 2022 World Championships in a hall hosted by the Serbian capital), has attracted a lot of attention from the “Queen of Sports” fans and the entire sports public who had the opportunity to see the two best shot-putters today – Olympic champions Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs.
Crouser confirmed its status as the first favorite by throwing 22.59m which is an announcement that the 30-year-old Randy Barnes world record (23.12m) could be threatened in the future.
“I was hoping to cross 23 meters tonight, but this competition really thrilled me with the music and the atmosphere. Most of the time I competed in front of 50 people, so it was great to have an audience. I love events like this where we can move them from the stadium to the city center and to the streets. This year was really difficult for everyone, but it also fueled my passion for sports. Finding ways to train, I was on the sidewalks and in the parks. Of course, it was not an optimal training and I am not as strong as in previous years because I did a lot of training in the garage. What makes me happy is that I set myself a goal to compete this summer (despite all the problems) and I committed myself 100 percent to that,” Crouser said on that occasion.
“Serbia has opened the door to the world’s athletic elite. The shot-putting rally is the beginning to announce the biggest and most important competition in athletics, the World Indoor Championships, which will be held in Belgrade in 2022. We are here to support and to cheer the Serbian champions who will compete with the biggest names in world athletics in this discipline. The preparatory period ahead of us is a good opportunity to promote the upcoming competition with such and similar events and show that Serbia is a country of champions “, pointed out the Minister of Youth and Sports Vanja Udovicic.
President of the Serbian Athletics Federation, Veselin Jevrosimovic, was delighted with the organization of the spectacle and pointed out that it is just one in a series of rallies that will be organized in the coming period as part of the promotion of the 2022 World Championships in Belgrade.
“We had two of the best pitchers in the world, a great spectacle and a real athletic show for the eyes. This is the first in a series of rallies as a promotion of the World Athletics Championships in Belgrade in 2022, and we plan to continue with such city rallies, “said Jevrosimović.
Belgrade and Serbia have once again shown that they can organize top sports competitions at the highest possible level. Next summer, the fifth European Universities Games await us, which will gather more than 5,000 athletes from 400 European universities in the city on the Sava and Danube.
Foto: Nikola Tomić, Telegraf