Stuart Weir visited the Eternal City for the fourth Diamond League meeting of the season, the Rome Golden Gala. A crowd estimated at 24-26,000 watched a tremendous evening of track & field. Dominating her event, was Sandra Perkovic. Sandra came from behind and cranked out a 69.93 meter throw, giving her the tenth Meet record on the Diamond League series of 14 meets. Sandra Perkovic’s picture should be in Wikipedia next to the illustration of the word, “dominate”.
Sandra Perkovic (Rome DL)
Sandra Perkovic won the women’s discus with a Meeting Record throw of 68.93 with YaimÃ© PÃ©rez (Cuba) second with 66.62 and Denia Cabellero (Cuba) third with 63.48. The double world and Olympic champion said afterwards: “I am so happy and pleased with this result because I had a big battle in the competition. I was not in the lead until the fifth round. I opened with 64.13 but I knew I could be better. My second throw felt so good that I was surprised it was only 65 metres. Then I saw on the video that the discus hit the net so I knew my technique was good – to hit the net and still go 65 metres.
“So in the fifth round I said, ‘Sandra, it is now or never’ and I threw 68.93 which is a new meeting record and I am so happy. And I think that is 10 meeting records – so thank you Rome.
She revealed that she had a great passion to inspire young people, saying: “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”.
But her desire to inspire others does not mean that she lacks ambition for her own career as shared her goals for 2018: “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 final as a 19 year girl [finishing 9th]. Now I can return to the beautiful Olympic Stadium nine years later and show what I can do”.
In the immediate future, the winner of the Golden Gala celebrity masterchef said she as “going home to make a special pizza using what I learned this week. The pizza is going to be awesome”.