Olympic champions Daniel Stahl and Valarie Allman unstoppable in discus at memorial event Zagreb

Sandra Perkovic was once again no match for Allman as the two discus titans went head-to-head. Meanwhile Francine Niyonsaba set a new world record in the women's 2000m race.

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by Getty Images

The all-conquering Daniel Stahl struck once again on day two of the Boris Hanzekovic Memorial in Zagreb.

Hot off the back of claiming a Diamond League trophy in Zurich, the reigning Olympic champion from Sweden put in a stellar performance in the men’s discus to notch yet another win in the event.

And the event wasn't a given: The complete men's podium from Tokyo arrived on the hunt in Croatia.

Just as in Japan, however, the rest of field were unable to halt the storming Stahl train who won the competition with his first throw attempt of 67.79m – just over a metre short of his own meeting record.

Coming in behind the Swede were Lucas Weisshaidinger with 66.21 and Kristjan Ceh with 65.17. Tokyo silver medallist Simon Pettersson finished just outside the top three.

Valarie Allman in action
Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Allman and Perkovic go head-to-head once again

Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Valarie Allman got the better of her sporting hero Sandra Perkovic in the women's discus final.

The two-time Olympic champion was unable to bring her best to the occasion despite being on home soil in front of a crowd urging her on. Perkovic's best throw of 66.48m was over three metres short of Allman's best effort: 69.93m.

2021 has been the year of Allman.

Just two nights ago, the American smashed her own continental record at the Internationales Stadionfest (ISTAF) in Berlin. Her new record of 71.15m was the cherry on the top of an inspired season that saw her crowned Olympic champion and receive the coveted Diamond League trophy.

2,000m: Niyonsaba sets world record

It was also world record smashing kind of night in Croatia.

Francine Niyonsaba shattered the world record in the women’s 2000m race setting a blistering time of 5:21.56 over two seconds faster the previous time.

At the half-way point it was clear the Burundian was on pace to take the world record of 5:23.75 set indoors by Genzebe Dibaba in 2017.

Niyonsaba went through the bell in 4:20.23 meaning her final lap needed to be around 63 seconds to claim the record - and sure enough, she delivered.

The Rio 2016 800m silver medallist, who made the transition into long distance running, had a less than favourable Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020.

She was disqualified from the 5000m after a lane infringement during the heats kept her from the final. While in the 10,000m, the best the 28-year-old could muster was fifth.

Since then, however, Niyonsaba has become the one to stop. At the Diamond League final in Zurich, she triumphed over Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri in the women’s 5000m.

Meeting records take tumble in Zagreb

The Croatian Capital, which played host to the final World Athletics Continental Tour Gold event in Europe, also saw several meeting records fall.

110m hurdle runner Devon Allen of the U.S. has found the form of his life at the tail-end of the 2021 season.

He bested Tokyo 2020 gold and bronze medallists Hansle Parchment and Ronald Levy to go sub-13 seconds in the final (12.99). It wasn’t a meeting record from the 26-year-old, but it wasn’t far off; Mark Crear’s meet mark from 1999 stands at 12.98.

Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist Kirani James broke the meeting record in the men’s 400m final with a scintillating time of 44.46. His first place finish marks the Grenadian's ninth sub-45 performance of the season.

100m hurdle Diamond League winner Tobi Amusan brought the same momentum that saw her set a new African record run in Zurich, to Zagreb. The Nigerian motored through the hurdles to clock a new meeting mark of 12.61.

Christine Mboma dismantled the meeting record once belonging to America’s most decorated track and field athlete Allyson Felix in the women’s 200m final. The Namibian shook off Tokyo 100m bronze medallist Shericka Jackson to clinch the victory in 22.04.

The meeting record also fell in the men’s pole vault competition courtesy of the efforts of KC Lightfoot. The American vaulted 5.87m ahead of compatriot Sam Kendricks who came in second with 5.82m.

Click here to find out what happened on day one.