World junior record holder and European champion Mondo Duplantis is assured of a great reception from the Swedish crowd when he competes at Friday’s Gothenburg Athletics Grand Prix, which is live on this page of runjumpthrow.com from 1700 BST.
The 6.05m vaulter is one of a number of top names in the field, where there is a strong women’s long jump battle expected. Olympic champion Tiana Bartoletta is joined by world silver medallist Shara Proctor and European and Commonwealth medallist Jazmin Sawyers. But another young Swede has been grabbing all the headlines. Tilde Johansson beat Bartoletta and Sawyers at the Karlstad Grand Prix earlier in the season with a national junior record 6.73m jump. She then went on to take sprint hurdles gold and long jump silver at the European Under-20 championships.
Speaking at the press conference ahead of the Grand Prix, Bartoletta says she expects the youngster to continue to shine, noting that she is adapting after changing take off foot this year. “As you get faster and stronger the force you need to apply at the the board increases exponentially and my left foot just could not handle it because of the sprains and just 21 years of pounding it, running full speed”.
Jazmin Sawyers meanwhile maintains “its not over until its over” in her battle to obtain the qualifying standard of 6.72m required for the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha this autumn, with a number of other British women such as Proctor going close to the distance this year.
Olympic and world champion Francena McCorory is entered for the women’s 400m, with the American set to compete against Britain’s Zoey Clark, Lisanne de Witte of the Netherlands and Sweden’s former European champion Moa Hjelmer.
Moving up from one lap to two, world runner-up Melissa Bishop and Swedish record holder Lovisa Lindh join Norway’s Hedda Hynne, Irish champion Ciara Mageean and big improver Mari Smith on an exciting 800m start list. The men’s race includes Berlin 2018 silver medallist Andreas Kramer, European under-23 champion Mateusz Borkowski, and World Indoor medallist Andrew Osagie. They are expected to be joined by World University Games winner Mohamed Belbachir and Spainish international Daniel Andujar.
9.96s Jamaican sprinter Tyquendo Tracey headlines the men’s 100m final, with Commonwealth medallist Everton Clarke and 2018 Chinese champion Zhouzheng Xu also involved. However, the main man the Gothenburg faithful will be cheering is European under-23 champion Henrik Larsson, with the 19-year-old being just 0.02s away from the 10.18s Swedish record this season, a mark that has been held since 1996 by Olympic finalist Peter Karlsson.
While plenty of top Swedes are hoping to do well, it is a short trip over the border for top Norwegians like the aforementioned Hynne along with discus thrower Ola Stunes Isene. Both won the European Team Championships First League on home soil last weekend and Stunes Isene is fifth in the world this year, having improved to 67.78.
He is set to throw against former NCAA champion Sam Mattis and Estonia’s Martin Kupper, who was fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games. Another strong Norwegian, Sondre Guttormsen won the pole vault in Sandnes and he will be joined by Britain’s Adam Hague.
Clearances of a different kind are the aim for the 400m hurdlers who include Commonwealth medalist Wenda Nel, Britain’s Lina Nielsen and Belgium’s Hanne Claes on the women’s side. On the men’s, 2011 world champion Dai Greene faces African title winner Abdelmalik Lahoulou along with Mamadou Kasse Hahn who was fourth at last year’s European Championships for France and former European junior champion Timofey Chalyy.
The men’s long jump sees top Swedes Michael Torneus and Thobias Nilsson Montler do battle, while the women’s hammer has world medallist Malwina Kopron and 2018 NCAA champion Janeah Stewart. The other events part of the main programme are the men’s 1500m and women’s 3000m.
The grand prix will be live on runjumpthrow.com, with viewers in North America able to watch the broadcast on RunnerSpace. Full start lists and the timetable can be found on the event website.