Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Karsten Warholm, Armand Duplantis and Yulimar Rojas will be in the spotlight on Thursday (15) at the Bislett Games, the 5th stage of the 2023 Diamond League series, in a sold-out Bislett Stadium in Oslo.
Twenty-five world records have been set since 1965, when former politician Arne Haukvik founded the Bislett Games. The most memorable highlights of the major Norwegian meeting were world records set by Sebastian Coe in the 800m (1:42.33) in 1979 and in the 1000m (2:12.18) in 1981, David Moorcroft in the 5000m (13:00.41) in 1982, Steve Cram in the mile (3:46.32), Said Aouita in the men’s 5000 metres (13:00.40), Ingrid Kristiansen in the women’s 10000 metres in 1985 (30:59.42), Yobes Ondieki in the men’s 10000m (26:58.38) in 1993, Haile Gebrselassie in the men’s 10000m (26:31.32) in 1997, Trine Hattestad in the women’s javelin throw (69.48m) in 2000, Meseret Defar in the women’s 5000m (14:16.63) in 2007, Tirunesh Dibaba in the women’s 5000m (14:11.15) in 2008 and Karsten Warholm in the men’s 400 metres hurdles (46.70) in 2021.
Men’s 1500 metres:
Norwegian star Jakob Ingebrigtsen will face eight of the top nine athletes of the World Athletics Ranking. Ingebrigtsen could threaten the 25-year-old world 1500 metres record set by Hicham El Guerrouj in Rome in 1998 with 3:26.00.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen: “I see the world record as one of the biggest challenges I am going to face in my career”.
Ingebrigtsen became the first Norwegian athlete to win the Oslo Dream Mile in last year’s edition of the Bislett Games breaking the national and the Wanda Diamond League record with 3:46.46. He moved up to sixth on the world all-time list, just 0.14 shy of Steve Cram’s European record of 3:46.32 set in Oslo in 1985. This year his target is to become the first Norwegian athlete to win the 1500m in the history of the Bislett Games.
Ingebrigtsen continued his successful 2022 season with the gold medal in the 5000 metres and the silver medal in the 1500 metres behind Jake Wightman at the World Championships in Eugene, the double European gold medal in the 1500m and 5000m at the European Championships in Munich. In the Diamond League he won two 1500m races in Lausanne in 3:29.05 and the Zurich final in a world leading time of 3:29.02.
The Norwegian star started his Diamond League season with a win in the 1500 metres in Rabat in 3:32.59 and a world all-time best over the two miles distance in Paris with 7:54.10.
The other Norwegian athletes in the field are Jakob’s elder brother Filip Ingebrigtsen, European champion in Amsterdam 2016 and world bronze medallist in London 2017, and Gilje Narve Nordas, who improved his PB to 3:32.39 in Montesson last Saturday.
Mohamed Katir will run his second Diamond League race of the season after winning the 5000 metres in a world seasonal lead of 12:52.08 at the Golden Gala in Florence. The Spanish athlete won the world bronze medal in the 1500m in Eugene in 3:29.90 and set the national record of 3:28.76 in the Monaco Diamond League meeting in 2021.
The Kenyan challenge is led by Timothy Cheruyiot and Abel Kipsang. Cheruiyot won the world title in Doha 2019 in 3:29.26 and the Olympic silver medal behind Ingebrigtsen in 3:29.01. Cheruiyot had won 12 of his previous 13 head-to-head clashes against Ingebrigtsen, but the Norwegian athlete finally beat his Kenyan rival to win his Olympic title. Cheruiyot gifted his friend Ingebrigtsen a bracelet as a display of sportsmanship.
Kipsang finished fourth at the Olympic Games in his PB of 3:29.56 and won the world indoor bronze medal in Belgrade 2022. He set a seasonal best of 3:32.70 in Nairobi and finished fifth in Rabat.
The other top athletes to watch are Josh Kerr from Great Britain, Olympic bronze medallist in Tokyo in a PB of 3:29.05 and fifth at the World Championships in Eugene 2022, Oliver Hoare from Australia, Commonwealth Games gold medallist in a PB of 3:30.12 in Birmingham 2022, Neil Gourley from Great Britain, European Indoor silver medallist in the 1500m in Istanbul and national indoor record holder with 3:32.48 in Birmingham last February, Mario Garcia, who finished fourth at the World Championships in Eugene in his lifetime best of 3:30.20, Stewart McSweyn from Australia, Oceanian record holder in the 3000 metres with 7:28.02 in Rome in 2020 and winner at the Oslo Dream Mile in 3:48.37 in 2021, USA’s Yared Nuguse, winner at the Wanamaker Indoor Mile at the Millrose Games with a North American record of 3:47.38, Azeddine Habz from France, who won the European indoor bronze medal in Istanbul and set PBs of 1:43.90 in the 800 metres in Paris last week and 3:31.74 in the 1500 metres in Monaco in 2021.
Men’s 400 metres hurdles:
Norwegian 400 metres hurdles star Karsten Warholm will run his first 400 metres hurdles race of the season in front of his home fans. Warholm won three times in his career at the Bislett Games in 2017 in 48.25, in 2019 with a European record of 47.33 and in 2021 when he broke the long standing world record set by Kevin Young clocking 46.70. Warholm improved this record for the second time one month later at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where he won his first Olympic gold medal becoming the first hurdler in history to break the 46 seconds with 45.94.
Warholm sustained an injury at the Rabat Diamond League meeting last June and did not fully recover in time for the World Championships in Eugene where he finished seventh in 48.42. He made his come-back one month later at the European Championships in Munich in a championships record of 47.12. Last March he won his second European Indoor title in the 400 metres in Istanbul in 45.35.
Warholm won the Diamond Trophy in two consecutive editions of the Wanda Diamond League Finals in 2019 in 46.92 and in 2021 in 47.35.
CJ Allen is the only athlete in the field to have broken the 48 seconds barrier this season with 47.93 in Doha, 47.92 in Los Angeles and 47.92 in Paris.
The line-up also features four more hurdlers, who are in the top 10 of the World Athletics Ranking: USA’s Trevor Bassitt, second at the World Championships in Eugene in 2022, USA’s Khalifah Rosser, fifth at the World Championships in 47.88 and second at the Diamond League Final in Zurich in 47.76 last year, France’s Wilfied Happio, fourth at the World Championships in Eugene in 47,41 and silver medallist at the European Championships in Munich behind Warholm in 48.56 and Estonia’s Rasmus Magi, seventh at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 48.11. The line-up is completed by Carl Bengstrom from Sweden, who won world and European indoor bronze medals in the 400 metres and set a PB of 48.56 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in 2022. The world seasonal lead of 47.74 held by Raj Benjamin could be under threat.
Men’s pole vault:
Olympic and world champion Armand Duplantis will chase the fourth win of his career at the Bislett Games after clearing 5.86m in 2020, 6.01m in 2021 and a meeting record of 6.02m in 2022.
Duplantis improved his world record by one cm to 6.23m in Clermont Ferrand during the 2023 indoor season and started the current outdoor season with two wins in Los Angeles with 5.91m on countback over Sam Kendricks and in Hengelo with a meeting record of 6.11m.
The Oslo line up will reunite the entire podium of the World Championships in Eugene 2022, including silver and bronze medallists Christopher Nilsen from the USA and Ernest John Obiena from the Philippines.
Obiena became the first athlete from the Philippines to win a medal at the World Championships and improved his national record to 6.00m in Bergen beating KC Lightfoot on countback last Sunday.
Nilsen won silver medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 with 5.97m and the World Championships in Eugene with 5.94m. The US vaulter set his seasonal best of 5.92m in Bydgoszcz on 6 June.
Kendricks made his comeback from injury by clearing 5.91m in Los Angeles last May. The US vaulter won at the Bislett Games in 2019 with 5.91m a few weeks before winning his second world title in Doha with 5.97m on countback over Duplantis.
Another past winner of the Bislett Games is former world record holder Renaud Lavillenie, who won four times in Oslo in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
The Norwegian crowd will support their local stars Sondre Guttormsen, European Indoor gold medallist in Istanbul with 5.80m and NCAA Indoor champion in Albuquerque with a national record of 6.00m, and Pal Haugen Lillefosse, European outdoor bronze medallist in Munich with 5.75m.
Two other top European vaulters to watch are Ben Broeders, Belgian record holder with 5.85m and fifth placer at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade 2022, and Bo Kanda Lita Bahere from Germany, European silver medallist with 5.85m in Munich 2022.
Women’s triple jump:
World record holder Yulimar Rojas from Venezuela will make her first appearance at the Bislett Games. Rojas opened her season with a world leading mark of 14.96m at the Spanish Club Championships in Madrid. The Venezuelan jumper won the Olympic gold medal with a world outdoor record of 15.67m, her third consecutive world outdoor title in Eugene with 15.47m, the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade 2022 with a world indoor record of 15.74m and the past two editions of the Diamond League Finals in Zurich in 2021 with 15.28m and 2022 with 15.48m.
Rojas will line up against Cuba’s Leyanis Perez Hernandez, who improved her PB to 14.84 at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat and won two more competitions with 14.80 in L’Avana and 14.65 in Lucca, Shanieka Ricketts from Jamaica, world silver medallist in Doha and Diamond League winner in 2019, Maryna Bekh Romanchuk from the Ukraine, European outdoor champion in Munich with her PB of 15.02m and world indoor bronze medallist in Belgrade, Thea Lafond from Dominica, who finished fifth at World Championships in Eugene with 14.56m and won in Savona with a wind-assisted 14.68, in Geneva with 14.47m and Annecy with 14.41m, Kimberly Williams from Jamaica, world indoor bronze medallist in Birmingham 2018 and two-time Commonwealth Games champion in 2014 and 2018, and Keturah Orji, fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 14.71m.
Women’s 100 metres:
Marie Josée Ta Lou from Ivory Coast and Shericka Jackson set the fastest time among the entrants this year.
Ta Lou narrowly missed her African record by sixth hundredths of a second with 10.78 in Clermont and won her first two European races of the season at the Golden Gala in Florence in 10.97 and in Chorzow with 10.82.
World 200 metres champion Jackson won the 100 metres in a seasonal best of 10.78 at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston. In the Diamond League the Jamaican sprinter placed second to Sha’Carri Richardson in Doha in 10.85 and won the 200 metres in Rabat in 21.98.
Dina Asher Smith returns to Oslo where she won the 100 metres in 10.92 in 2018. The former 200m world champion and European champion finished third in Doha in a seasonal best of 10.98.
European and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Darryil Neita showed her good form in the first part of the season clocking 10.97 in the 100 metres in Savona and a PB of 22.23 in the 200 metres in Bydgoszcz.
Another British sprinter in the line-up is Imani Lansiquot, who finished third at the Golden Gala in Florence in 11.16.
Two other sprinters, who showed good early-season form are Ewa Swoboda from Poland, who set her outdoor PB to 11.03 in Chorzow, and Anthonique Strachan from the Bahamas, who finished second to Jackson in the 200m in Rabat in her PB of 22.15.
Women’s 400 metres hurdles:
European record holder Femke Bol from the Netherlands will chase her second win in the women’s 400 metres hurdles at this year’s edition of the Diamond League after setting a world seasonal lead and a meeting record of 52.43 in Florence. Bol took the win in the past two editions of the Bislett Games in Oslo in 2021 in 53.33 and in 2022 in 52.61. The Dutch athlete has changed her stride pattern running with 14 strides until the seventh hurdle.
Bol will face again US heptathlete Anna Hall, who improved her PB to 54.42 to finish third in Florence. Hall recently won the heptathlon competition at the Hypo Meeting in Goetzis in a PB of 6988 points, becoming the fifth best combined events specialist in history. Last week she also improved her PB in the 400m to 50.82 in Paris and cleared 1.91 in the high jump.
The line-up also features 2019 world bronze medallist Rushell Clayton from Jamaica, who set her seasonal best of 54.15 in Rabat, her compatriot Janieve Russell, two-time Commonwealth Games champion in 2018 and 2022, Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk, who finished fifth and sixth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Gianna Woodruff from Panama, who finished fourth in Florence in 54.49, and Line Kloster from Norway, who set the national record of 53.91 in La Chaux de Fonds.
Men’s 400 metres:
Wayde Van Niekerk will make the first appearance of his career in the men’s 400 metres at the Bislett Games in Oslo.
Van Niekerk broke through with his gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing 2015 in 43.48. The following year he won the Olympic gold medal in the 400 metres breaking the world record with 43.03.
The 30-year-old South African star started the 2023 season with a win in the 400 metres at the South African Championships in Potchefstroom in 44.17, his fastest time since the World Championships in London 2017, when he won his second consecutive title in 43.98. He came close to his seasonal best on 11 June, when he won in 44.21 at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston.
Van Niekerk could attack the Bislett Games record of 43.86 set by former world record holder Michael Johnson since 1995. He has made a steady return since his injury reaching the semifinal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and finishing fifth in the final of the World Championships in Eugene 2022 in 44.97. He finished the 2022 season on a high note winning the 400 metres at the Galà dei Castelli meeting in Bellinzona in 44.33.
Van Niekerk is aiming to win the first Diamond Trophy of his career.
The South African star will clash against Zambian 20-year-old rising star Muzala Samukonga in an African head-to-head clash. Samukonga set the world seasonal lead clocking a national record of 43.91 in Gaborone and won another Continental Tour Gold race in Nairobi in 44.25.
The line-up also features Anthony José Zambrano from Colombia, silver medallist at the World Championships in Doha 2019 in 44.15 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 in 44.08, Matthew Hudson Smith from Great Britain, world bronze medallist in Eugene in 44.66 after improving the British record to 44.35 in the semifinal and European gold medallist in Munich in 44.53, Bayapo Ndori from Botwana, who won the Olympic bronze medal in the 4x400 in Tokyo and improved his PB to 44.61 in the 400 metres, Vernon Norwood, Olympic 4x400 relay champion in Tokyo and second in Nairobi this year in his seasonal best of 44.68, and Zakhiti Nene from South Africa, fourth at the Diamond League final in Zurich in 44.74 in 2022.
Men’s 200 metres:
Erryion Knighton will chase his second Diamond League win this season in the 200 metres after taking the victory at the Golden Gala in Florence in 19.89. The 19-year-old US star followed his win in Florence with another sub-20 time in Bydgoszcz in 19.95. Knighton broke Usain Bolt’s world under 20 record clocking 19.84 at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene and finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 19.93 at the age of 17. The former American Football player set the fifth fastest time in the world all-time list with 19.49 and won the world bronze medal in 19.80 in Eugene last year.
André De Grasse, who won six Olympic medals and four world medals in his career, returns to the track of the Bislett Stadium where he won four times in 2016 (10.07 in the 100m), 2017 (10.01 in the 100m), 2021 (20.09 in the 200m) and 2022 (10.05 in the 100m). He finished sixth at the Doha Diamond League meeting in the 200 metres in 20.35.
Joseph Fahnbulleh won three NCAA titles in the 200m in 19.91 in 2021, in the 100 metres in 10.00 and in the 200 metres in 19.84. The Liberian sprinter placed fifth in the 200m in 19.98 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and fourth over the same distance in 19.84 at the World Championships in Eugene 2022.
Alexander Ogando from Dominican Republic improved the national record to 19.91 before finishing fifth in the final in 19.93 at the World Championships. He also won the world gold medal in the 4x400 mixed relay.
Luxolo Adams from South Africa made his breakthrough last year when he won the 200 metres in a PB of 19.82 in Paris.
The line-up is completed by two European sprinters Mouhamadou Fall from France, who improved his PB to 20.24 in Tucson this year, and Joshua Hartmann from Germany, who finished fifth at the European Championships in Munich in 20.50 after improving his PB to 20.33 in the semifinal.
Men’s long jump:
Olympic and European indoor and outdoor champion Miltiadis Tentoglou is aiming to win his second consecutive Diamond League competition after taking the victory in Paris with 8.13m. The Greek jumper hopes to improve his outdoor seasonal best of 8.26m set in Limassol last May. He is defending his Diamond League title won last year.
Tentoglou will renew his rivalry against Swiss record holder Simon Ehammer, who placed second to Tentoglou with 8.11 in Paris. Ehammer set the world all-time best in the long jump for a decathlon competition with 8.45m in Goetzis and won the world bronze medal with 8.16m in Eugene and the European silver medal in the decathlon in Munich last year.
The other top contenders are Tayaj Gayle from Jamaica, world champion in Doha 2019 with a national record of 8.69m, USA’s Marquis Dendy, three-time world indoor medallist, Steffin McCarter, fifth in the Olympic final in Tokyo, and Sweden’s Thobias Montler, Diamond League winner in Zurich in 2021 and European outdoor and indoor silver medallist behind Tentoglou. The local crowd will support Ingar Bratseth Kiplesund, national record holder with 8.21m, and combined events specialist Sander Skotheim, European indoor silver medallist in the heptathlon with 6318 points and third in the decathlon in Goetzis with 8590 points.
Women’s discus throw:
Two-time Olympic and world champion Sandra Perkovic from Croatia will go head-to-head with reigning Olympic champion Valarie Allman.
Perkovic leads 13-10 in her head-to-head clashes against Allman. The US discus thrower has a better record of 10 wins to 4 defeats in the head-to-head clashes against her Croatian rival in the past two seasons, but Perkovic won the silver medal at the World Championships in Eugene with 68.45m beating Allman, who claimed bronze with 68.30m.
Perkovic won six consecutive Diamond League titles between 2012 and 2017. Allman won the past two editions of the Diamond League final in Zurich in 2021 and 2022. Perkovic beat Allman only once in last year’s edition of the Diamond League at the Oslo Bislett Games with 66.82m.
Allman won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021 with 68.98m and threw six times over the 70 metres barrier. She set the US record of 71.46m in San Diego last year and the world seasonal lead with 70.25m in the same venue last April. Her Diamond League season started with two wins at the Golden Gala in Florence with 65.96m and in Paris with 69.04m.
Allman and Perkovic will be joined by Olympic silver medallist Kristin Pudenz from Germany, who set a seasonal best of 66.34m in Halle, European bronze medallist Claudine Vita from Germany, Jorinde Van Klinken from the Netherlands, fourth in the discus at the World Championships in Eugene and third in the shot put at the European Championships in Munich 2022, and Liliana Ca from Portugal, fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Women’s shot put:
World champion Chase Ealey will renew her rivalry with Maggie Ewen, who set the world lead with 20.45m at the Los Angeles Grand Prix on 27 May. Ealey, who won last year’s Diamond League final in Zurich, set a seasonal best of 20.06m in Halle and finished second in Paris with 19.43m. The US shot putters will face Auriol Dongmo from Portugal, who won the European indoor gold medal in Istanbul with 19.76m and the Diamond League meeting in Paris last week with a seasonal best of 19.72m, 2019 world silver medallist Danniel Thomas Dodd, who improved the national record to 19.77m at the Los Angeles Grand Prix, and Jessica Schilder, world bronze medallist in Eugene with 19.77m and European champion with a national record of 20.24m, Sarah Mitton from Canada, Commonwealth Games champion in Birmingham 2022, Sara Gambetta from Germany, European indoor silver medallist in Istanbul 2023 with 18.83m, Swedish shot putters Fanny Roos, European Indoor silver medallist in Torun 2021 and Axelina Johansson, NCAA champion in Austin with 19.28m last week, and USA’s Adelaide Aquilla, two-time NCAA champion in 2021 and 2022.
Men’s hammer throw:
Reigning Olympic champion Wojciech Nowicki from Poland will take on his compatriot Pawel Fajdek, who won five world gold medals and the Olympic bronze medal, and US record holder Rudy Winkler and Canada’s Ethan Katzberg in a great men’s hammer throw competition, a non-Diamond League scoring event.
Nowicki set a seasonal best of 80.00m at the Memorial Januz Kuzocinski in Chorzow and won at the Continental Tour meeting in Nairobi with 79.78m. Winkler, who won the US title in Eugene in 2021 with a national record of 82.71m set a seasonal best of 80.88m in Tucson and won in Bydgoszcz with 79.73m.
Fajdek set his seasonal best of 76.42m in Forbach but he holds a national record of 83.93m in 2015.
Katzberg won in Paris last week with 77.93m beating Winkler and set a PB of 78.41 in Kamloops last May.
Women’s Dream Mile:
The women’s Dream Mile will be held this year. The trademark race of the Dream Mile is shaping up as a wide-open competition. Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha, world indoor bronze medallist in Belgrade 2022 and winner of two Diamond League races in Rabat and Rome in 2022, will face Ireland’s Clara Meshesha, European and Commonwealth Games silver medallist and winner in the 1500 metres in Brussels with a national record of 3:56.63, USA’s Nikki Hiltz, national indoor champion in the 1500m, and Katie Snowden, secondo in the Continental Tour meeting in Los Angeles in the 1500m in 4:00.04.