Sara Kolak: The gold-winning javelin thrower from the centre of the world

Sara Kolak: The gold-winning javelin thrower from the centre of the world

About 30 kilometres from the Baroque palaces of Varaždin, you will find the centre of the world. Located on the green plains of Podravina, beneath the rippling hills of the Kalnik Mountain, is Ludbreg, a town that was known as Castrum Iovia in antiquity. According to ancient legend, the present-day main town square is supposedly situated at the centre of concentric circles representing Earth that spread like rings and encompass major cities, which are equidistant from the measuring point. 66 metres and 18 centimetres stand between the centre of the world and one of the biggest achievements in the modern history of this quiet town in Podravina. No, this is not the distance from another Croatian city or a large global metropolis, such as Paris, London or Rome, but the length of the gold-winning javelin throw made by the Ludbreg native Sara Kolak (born on 22 June 1995) on her fourth attempt at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The Croatian athlete caused one of the biggest upsets in one of the oldest athletics disciplines on her debut at the greatest sporting competition in the world.

Sara Kolak
HRVATSKI ATLETSKI SAVEZ

Sara Kolak made her first foray into sports in primary school, when she started playing football and handball, ultimately substituting ball throwing for javelin throwing and achieving sporting immortality in Rio. As a teenager she moved to Rijeka, with her early performances in youth competitions foretelling a stellar javelin career. Two bronze medals at the European and World Junior Championships were indicators of great success. 2016 was a dream year for the Ludbreg native. After securing an Olympic berth by winning the bronze medal at the senior European Athletics Championships, she climbed the top step of the winners’ podium in Rio on a warm night in August. This made Ludbreg the centre of the world once again. The world of athletics, mind you, and all because of Sara Kolak.

Sara Kolak
HRVATSKI ATLETSKI SAVEZ