2018 Berlin Diary: Stuart Weir writes on Sandra Perkovic, Discus Deity

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775199424AP00146_24th_Europ.JPGSandra Perkovic, Discus Deity, Saturday, August 11, 2018, photo by Getty Images/Berlin 2018

775199424HL00086_24th_Europ.JPGSandra Perkovic, Discus Deity, photo by Getty Images/Berlin 2018/European Athletics

Sandra Perkovic is the most under rated women athlete in the world. Perhaps, take the women notation out and write this, Sandra Perkovic is the most most underrated elite athlete in the world. Her domination of her event is supreme. If you spend five minutes watching the pride of Croatia, you can see a)Sandra loves to compete, b)Sandra loves to be an example for other athletes. From this column it is obvious that Stuart Weir worships her. And so do we at @runblogrun. Sandra Perkovic, like many of our favorite athletes, uses her sporting talent to encourage the next generation, and that, we believe is a good thing (taking quote from Martha Stewart, food maven who cooks with Snoop Dog).

Sandra Perković Discus Deity

Sandra Perković won a fifth consecutive European discus title with her fifth-round throw of 67.62m. She was also Olympic champion in 2012 and 2016 as well as World Champion in 2013 and 2017.

The discus team.jpgThe Discus Team, Rome DL, May 2018, photo by Stuart Weir

Afterwards, she explained how the competition had gone and how she got a big shock during it: "I think the next European championships will be much easier for me because I already managed to make the history with the fifth title today. I have a new slogan now: 'Sandra, give me five!' I am relieved. I feel like I win all my titles the same stressful way. Always very dramatic. Only in Zurich, it was a perfect competition without such drama. That is the way I win the championships. During the competition, I was thinking about my mum who is always very nervous watching me on TV. So I started to think about her and I imagined how nervous she must be at home seeing me not throwing so well. Then I managed to finally improve and I smiled to the camera. Then suddenly, I saw my mum in the crowd. She came here to surprise me".

The poof of the pasta is in the eating.jpgThe proof in the pudding is the eating of the pasta, Rome DL, May 2018, photo by Stuart Weir

Earlier this year I talked to Sandra at the Diamond League in Rome. She had won and set a stadium record. She thought it was her 10th stadium record. She explained to me how much she was looking forward to the European Championships and what a special place for her Berlin was: "My main aim for the season for sure is the European Championships in Berlin, where I will be seeking my fifth European title. I think I still have something to give to the German public and my German fans who have supported me since 2009 when I was still a junior and reached the World Championship final as a 19 year old girl. Now I can return to the beautiful Olympic Stadium nine years later and show what I can do". She certainly did that.

Hard at work.jpgThe teams hard at work, Rome DL, May 2018, photo by Stuart Weir

In Rome she took part, along with other athletes, in a celebrity Master Chef program for Italian TV. She told me she was going home to make a mean pizza!

She also explained to me how there is a lot more to her than throwing a discus. In 2015, for example, she was elected to the Croatian parliament and served for a year. She is also determined to use her platform as an elite athlete for good. She told me: "I love this sport and I am giving it my best and I am really enjoying it. My main goal throughout my career has been to get young kids to do sport - whether it is soccer, basketball, handball or track and field. When I see kids on the street I just want them off the streets and doing sport. Sport gives you so much - you meet new people and develop a new mentality. If I can achieve that it will be the highlight of my career".

A great champion and a great person.

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