Friday, 14 August 2020

One Minute Ludbreg: Olympic Gold Javelin Throw from the Centre of the World

August 14, 2020 - What happens if you start from the centre of the world? Meet the Olympic Gold javelin throw from Ludbreg. 

It is almost 4 years to the day that the Croatian town which translates as Crazy Hill went absolutely crazy, as locals took to the streets to celebrate the success of their new local Olympic champion. 

For far, far away on the other side of the planet, local Ludbreg girl Sara Kolak, aged just 21, was crowned Olympic gold javelin champion after stunning the competition with a personal best of 66.18 metres. 

Kolak returned to Ludbreg to a great party, and the new local heroine had her fantastic achievement marked in a number of ways. Local winery Strucic produced a special Sara Kolak label in her honour, while a more permanent record of her incredible success was marked on the main square of the town, just a few metres from Ludbreg's most famous attraction - the centre of the world. 

Sara built on her Olympic success in Lausanne the following year, where she threw what is currently the 8th longest throw in history. All this is recorded on the main square in front of the statue built in her honour with those famous 66.18 metres. 

The milestone throws are recorded further down the square in front of Sara's statue, and you can stand behind her and dream that you too could one day be an Olympic champion. 

Learn more about Sara's achievement and the statue in her honour in the latest edition of the new TCN series One Minute Ludbreg, which is putting all the considerable secrets of this rather unusual town into one place. 

The One Minute Ludbreg video series is a project in paid partnership with the Ludbreg Tourist Board.

To learn more about Ludbreg beyond its stereotype as the centre of the world, read Marc Rowlands' Ludbreg, the Croatian Road Less Travelled

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Sara Kolak Breaks Javelin Throw Record at IAAF World Challenge in Zagreb

September 4, 2019 - Olympian Sara Kolak has set a new javelin throw record at the IAAF World Challenge Zagreb - "Hanžek". 

The gold medalist javelin thrower from the 2016 Rio Olympics achieved her first victory at the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Zagreb, setting a new record of 66.42 meters, reports

This is also Sarah's best result this season in her first competition, led by her new coach, the legendary Norwegian javelin thrower Andreas Thorkildsen.

"The goal was to do the first three throws as best I could. I wanted some of the details I worked on to match, and it worked. I'm glad I went into the first throw relaxed, because I was always nervous with the first one. I was very pleased. The audience was phenomenal, and they carried me through. I'm glad this happened at home, and it is a great result before Doha. We have three weeks to prepare and all thoughts are on Doha,” said Sara Kolak after breaking the record and added:

"The hardest part is staying the same, after every great result, staying the same person you were before. I try to stay the same, even better - it's crazy. I want to be Sara, who enjoys throwing and not burdening herself with other things."

Sara Kolak’s first three throws were over 60 meters (65.82 and 61.51), and her longest (66.42) was longer than her throw to win the 2016 Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.

Sara Kolak celebrated at Mladost in front of Canadian Elizabeth Gleadle (63.77 m), Polish thrower Maria Andrejczyk (60.91 m) and Slovenian Martina Ratej (60.50 m).

Furthermore, the world's best discus thrower Sandra Perkovic achieved her eighth victory by throwing 67.78 meters in her 12th appearance at the IAAF World Challenge Series in Zagreb, while the second Croatian representative Marija Tolj finished third with a distance of 62.57 meters.

"I am very pleased with this performance. The new round at the stadium is very fast, but I have shown that I can throw well. I am only sorry that the last throw ended up in the net," Perkovic said on

The Olympic gold medalist and world and European discus champion achieved her second best throw this season, just short of the 68.58 meters she has achieved at the European League competition in Varazdin.

"I wanted to be in the best possible mental and physical condition at Hanzek, because on Friday I am expected to appear in the final of the Diamond League in Brussels, where I am going for the win. My priority this year is the Doha World Cup, second in the list is the Diamond League, while Hanzek was in third place."

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 19 August 2016

A Javelin Olympic Gold Medalist Without a Javelin

The newest and youngest Croatian gold medalist in Rio had help from another gold medalist - Sandra Perković

Friday, 19 August 2016

Sara Kolak Wins The Olympic Gold!

Croatian javelin thrower staged a miracle in Rio