Perkovic improves Croatian record to 71.41m

Getty Images

Sandra Perkovic improved her world-lead and Croatian discus record to 71.41m in Bellinzona

Sandra Perkovic has suffered two rare defeats this summer to Cuba’s Yaime Perez but the Olympic and European champion has reasserted herself as the hot favourite for the world title in London next month with two ginormous throws at the Gala dei Castelli in Bellinzona on Thursday evening.

Perkovic opened her series with 69.08m which would have been enough to win by eight metres but this was just a warm up as with her next effort, the Croatian launched the 1kg implement beyond the 70m line and out to 71.41m - surpassing her three-year-old lifetime best of 71.08m set at the 2014 European Championships in Zurich.

Not only that but Perkovic’s throw last night was the longest since 1992 when China’s Xiao Yanling went out to 71.68m.

Perkovic followed up that world-leading effort with throws of 65.77m and 66.87m before finishing with 69.02m in the fifth round and another 70m-plus throw of 70.05 in the sixth round. Any six of her valid efforts would have sufficed for victory ahead of Germany’s Anna Ruh (61.76m) and the United States’ Ashley Whitney (61.54m).