LONDON (Reuters) – Double Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic looks set to land a second world title to go with her global collection as she dominated qualifying in the discus on Friday.
After an initial no-throw, the Croatian launched a huge second round throw of 69.67 metres, an effort that only she has bettered this year, to lead the qualifiers into Sunday’s final.
Back in the stadium where she won Olympic gold in 2012, Perkovic’s effort was more than four metres longer than the next best, the 65.58m recorded by Cuban champion Yaime Perez.
“I do not like it when I start with a no-throw, it makes me feel very nervous as it happened to me in Rio,” said Perkovic, who last month launched a 71.41m throw, the best by any athlete for 25 years.
“So I was very focussed in the second round and made it safe to the final.”
An even more relieved thrower was Cuba’s other major medal hope, reigning world champion Denia Caballero, who was on the verge of elimination before surpassing the automatic qualifying mark of 62.50m with her final attempt of 63.79.
“I was very tense because of a poor throw and then a no-throw so it’s good to be in the final,” said Caballero. “I feel relieved now and in the final, you can expect a surprise from me.”
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Catherine Evans