As one of very few athletics meetings this year Berlin’s traditional ISTAF will readmit spectators when the event will go ahead in the iconic Olympic Stadium on 13 September. Despite ongoing restrictions 3,500 fans will be allowed to follow the action. And they will likely witness thrilling events and see some of the world’s best athletes. The men’s Pole Vault and the Discus Throw look likely to produce highlights as Swedish stars Armand Duplantis and Daniel Stahl are confirmed entries. German crowd favorite Malaika Mihambo will be the favorite in the Long Jump while Christian Taylor of the US will compete in the Triple Jump. The final process of putting the fields together is still ongoing. The ISTAF, the world’s oldest track and field meeting, will be celebrating its centenary in 2021. A number of tickets for the ISTAF are still on sale. Information on how to obtain a ticket is available at: www.istaf.de
Armand Duplantis has been in great form recently. The Swede improved the world lead just a few days ago in Lausanne, where he cleared 6.07 m. He became the second best pole vaulter outdoors behind legendary Sergey Bubka (6.14 m). However Duplantis of course holds the world record with a 6,18 m indoor mark.
The world record holder needs to confirm his top form to avoid an upset in the Olympic Stadium. Among his rivals are two time World Champion Sam Kendricks of the US and Poland’s world-class Pole Vaulter Piotr Lisek, who has enjoyed some success in Berlin in the past. Both showed fine form recently. Kendricks was second in Lausanne with 6.02 m and Lisek cleared 5.90 in Szczecin (Poland). Reigning Olympic Champion Thiago Braz of Brazil will also compete, making it four athletes with personal bests above six metres. „This is a truly outstanding field and we can look forward to a spectacular Pole Vault,“ said Meeting Director Martin Seeber.
The Discus event will be a clash of three World Champions and two athletes are on the start list who have thrown beyond the 70 m mark this season. Reigning World Champion Daniel Stahl of Sweden currently is the dominant athlete in this competition. He is unbeaten this year and achieved a world lead of 71.37 m in Sollentuna (Sweden) a month ago. Stahl was close to his national record of 71.86 m. He will compete against the two previous World Champions: Andrius Gudzius of Lithuania won the gold medal in 2017 and Poland’s Piotr Małachowski took the title back in 2015. Columbia’s Mauricio Ortega should also be in the mix in Berlin. He is number two in the current world list with a personal best of 70.29 m, which is also a South American record. „We are happy to welcome these extraordinary athletes to the ISTAF, where the Discus Throw has a special significance,“ said Martin Seeber.
Malaika Mihambo returns to the ISTAF once more. It was in February when Germany’s World Long Jump Champion thrilled the spectators of the ISTAF indoor with a world leading jump of 7.07 m. A year ago she also took the event at the ISTAF with 6.99 m. This time another world lead could well be the goal. This mark currently stands at 6.93 m.
In contrast to Malaika Mihambo it will be the first time that Christian Taylor competes at the ISTAF. The Triple Jumper from the US is the dominant force in this competition in the past decade. He has collected two Olympic and four World Championship titles. Taylor will be eager to improve his season’s best of 17.34 m. Germany’s European Champion Max Heß is also on the start list.
„I have competed three times at the ISTAF and have won on every occasion,“ said Johannes Vetter and added: „Of course I would like to continue this series.“ The Javelin World Champion from 2017 currently is the world’s number one with 91.49 m.
More information about the ISTAF and tickets are available at: www.istaf.de