Perkovic back to her best in Velenje

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A little over 48 hours after suffering her first defeat in nearly two years and her winning streak of 16 competitions came to an end, Sandra Perkovic was back in winning form at the European Athletics Classic Meeting in Velenje on Tuesday (20) evening.

Her performance in Slovenia was a statement that she will still start as the favourite for the world title in London this August despite a rare defeat in the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm on Sunday.

Perkovic produced the second longest throw in the world this year with 69.58m - surpassed only by her early season world-lead of 70.23m - which she backed up with throws of 69.53m and 68.74m.

'It was a great atmosphere. After two Diamond League meetings where I was throwing with men it was nice to be back in a women-only competition. It was good training for the world championships,' she told TV Slovenia.

Perkovic has won the last two Olympic and the last four European titles but she lost her world title to Cuba’s Denia Caballero in 2015. Perkovic might not arrive in London with an unblemished card but she will still be very difficult to beat in a stadium where she won her first global title at the 2012 Olympics.

Another thrower who leads the world lists is Türkiye’s Eda Tugsuz and the 20-year-old continued her fine start to the season with victory in the javelin with 63.93m ahead of home favourite Martina Ratej from Slovenia with 61.14m.

On the road to the IAAF World Championships in London, Tugsuz is targeting the European Athletics Team Championships First League in Vaasa this weekend and the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz next month.

A fortnight after winning a shot put and discus throw double at the NCAA Championships, Croatia’s Filip Mihaljevic also claimed victory in both events last night. He went out to 20.14m in the shot put and won the discus with 62.38m.

On the track, 2015 world bronze medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia & Herzegovina won the 800m in 1:45.34 but the standout performance came from Olympic and world 400m champion Wayde Van Niekerk who demonstrated his versatility again by winning the 100m in a lifetime best of 9.94.

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