Spanovic improves world lead to 6.93m in Belgrade

Ivana Spanovic
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Ivana Spanovic set a world lead of 6.93m at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting in Belgrade

Ivana Spanovic has won three European titles - two indoors and one outdoor - in the long jump but she has yet to reach the top of the podium in a major global competition.

But she will head to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham next month on top of the world lists after regaining her world lead on home soil at the Serbian Open Indoor Meeting, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on Wednesday (21) evening. 

All five of Spanovic’s valid jumps would have been more than sufficient for victory in front of a full house in the Belgrade Athletics Hall ahead of Romania’s Angela Morosanu (6.45m). Spanovic opened with 6.64m before setting a season’s best of 6.85m in the second round, followed by a world-leading mark of 6.93m in the third round. Spanovic concluded her series with 6.72m and 6.67m before passing her sixth round. 

"We expected jumps of around 6.80m so the training was fully accomplished and the goal was fulfilled to the maximum. Ivana is looking forward to the IAAF World Indoor Championships and will be in a position to fight for a gold medal,” said her coach Goran Obradovic told 

Spanovic’s teammate Milica Gardasevic, the reigning European U20 champion, was fifth in an equal lifetime best performance of 6.30m.

Records for Tuka and Bryzhina

Former world 800m bronze medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia and Herzegovina set his third national record of the indoor season, stepping down to the 400m to claim victory in 47.14. He shaved 0.27 off his national record in the process.

On the women’s side, double European U20 champion Anastasiya Bryzhina from Ukraine stopped the clock at 53.30 for a narrow win over Serbia’s Maja Ciric (53.34). 

Bryzhina’s teammate Hanna Plotitsyna claimed another victory in the 60m hurdles in 8.02 and France’s Ludovic Payen won a good quality men’s 60m hurdles in 7.69 from Italy’s Paolo Dal Molin (7.74).

Elsewhere, Greece’s Konstadinos Baniotis won the high jump with a season’s best of 2.26m; Croatia’s Ivan Horvat won the pole vault with 5.62m; and European U18 3000m champion Elzan Bibic won a tactical 1500m on home soil in 3:52.87.