Spanovic to headline Belgrade on the road to Birmingham

Ivana Spanovic
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Ivana Spanovic (SRB), who received 316 votes in the Athletes Commission election.

Ivana Spanovic will compete in front of her home audience for the first time since defending her long jump title at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on 21 February.

Spanovic produced one of the greatest series of jumps in event history at the Kombank Arena twelve months ago, capped off with a lifetime best of 7.24m. Spanovic might not be in quite the same shape at the moment but the 27-year-old still holds the world lead at 6.77m from Dusseldorf after a rare defeat in Karlsruhe where she could only produce one valid jump.

"I am satisfied with what I have done,” Spanovic told the Serbian media. “The biggest impression is that I made five fouls at the first meeting but these were still high quality jumps. I do not need to be in the best shape in these competitions."

Spanovic will then head to Glasgow for the final stop of the IAAF World Indoor Tour before the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham where she will seek to claim her first global title to sit alongside her three European titles, not to mention countless silver and bronze medals.

Spanovic was on the verge of claiming the title in Portland two years ago until the penultimate jump of the final when Brittney Reese landed in the sand at 7.22m to supplant Spanovic’s 7.07m. Her coach Goran Obradovic expects the winning jump in Birmingham will be around 7.10m.

The home favourite will face Romania’s Alina Rotaru at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting next week. On the comeback from injury, former European indoor champion Asmir Kolasinac faces Mesud Pezer and Tim Nedow in the shot put while former world 400m hurdles bronze medallist Emir Bekric faces Amel Tuka in the 400m flat.