Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic opened her long jump season at the Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Sunday.
And what a start she had with a national record breaking performance of 6.85m which came on her first attempt.
Although the record would not be enough to earn her the win - Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare having surpassed her mark by the smallest of margins with 6.86m - it still carried a lot of meaning and emotion for Spanovic with the floods currently inundating part of the Balkan region.
“This record belongs to Serbia. I’m terribly shaken by the situation back home, our nation is going through great adversity and hardship,” she said.
After winning bronze at the IAAF World Championships indoors and out, Spanovic has entered an elite field of jumpers and is among the favourites for gold at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, her main objective of the season.
“I will compete in a lot of meetings between now and Zurich and hope to be in best shape for the championships.”
“Regarding the results, I was really happy to start the season with a 6.85m jump, it shows that I am training hard and that we are well on the way towards even better accomplishments.” Spanovic stated.
We hope that in Spanovic, Serbia has found their next best athlete and that her road to glory begins in Zurich this summer.