Excellent men’s shot put to take centre stage in Belgrade

Asmir Kolasinac
Getty Images

Serbia's Asmir Kolasinac won the European indoor title in the shot put in 2013

The final Indoor Permit Meeting of the 2020 season takes place tomorrow (27) evening in Belgrade, the host city of the 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships and the 2022 World Indoor Championships.

The highlight of the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting will be the men’s shot put and the hosts will be particularly well represented in this event courtesy of Asmir Kolasinac and Armin Sinancevic, both of whom have surpassed the 21 metre-line in 2020.

Now 35, former European indoor champion Kolasinac improved his five-year-old Serbian indoor record to 21.06m in late December but that mark only lasted a matter of weeks. Twelve years his junior, Sinancevic extended the national record to 21.13m at the start of the month.

The leading Serbian exponents will face international opposition from Mesud Pezer from Bosnia & Herzegovina, who recently beat both Kolasinac and Sinancevic for the Balkan indoor title, as well as Croatia’s Filip Mihaljevic who begins as the pre-competition favourite.

Mihaljevic will be looking to cap his best indoor season to date with yet another win. The world finalist has already taken notable wins this winter in Dusseldorf and Madrid, setting national records of 21.52m and 21.74m respectively. 

There will also be optimism of home success in the men’s long jump with European indoor bronze medallist and national record-holder Strahinja Jovancevic in action. His main rival will be Albania’s Izmir Smajlaj who was one of the gold medallists when the European Indoor Championships was held in Belgrade three years ago. 

Another leading international star competing tomorrow evening is reigning European indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi who concludes his brief indoor season in the Serbian capital. The high jump line-up also features his training partner Silvano Chesani and Bulgaria’s Tihomir Ivanov who has twice finished fourth at the European Indoor Championships.

On the track, European U20 1500m champion Delia Sclabas from Switzerland drops down in distance to contest the 800m, Hungary’s Grete Kerekes is the favourite in the 60m hurdles and Czech Republic’s Michal Desensky goes head-to-head with Albanian record-holder and European U23 finalist Franko Burraj in the 400m.