World record holders Armand Duplantis, Ryan Crouser and Lamecha Girma, world champion Kristjan Ceh and Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn lead the line-up at the 62nd edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava at the Metzky Stadium.
Men’s pole vault:
Armand Mondo Duplantis returns to the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava where he won in 2021 with 5.90m. Since then he has improved the world record to 6.22m in Clermont Ferrand, won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo, and become indoor and outdoor world champion.
Duplantis is aiming to break the meeting record of 5.93m set by his friend and rival Sam Kendricks. The Ostrava Golden Spike meeting could see the first six-metres performance of this meeting.
Duplantis won every competition this season indoors and outdoors and is looking to extend his winning streak. He vaulted 5.91m in Los Angeles, 6.11m in Hengelo and 6.01m in Oslo in his first three appearances of the outdoor season.
Armand Duplantis: “I am happy to come back to Ostrava after 2021. I really like the stadium and the nice atmosphere, which makes me motivated. Let’s get that meeting record and possibly attack 6 metres. The 2023 season is very important for me with the World Championships and I want to make sure I enjoy every competition”.
Duplantis will take on Ernest John Obiena, who cleared the 6 metres barrier for the first time in his career in Bergen. Obiena became the first athlete from the Philippines to win a medal with his bronze in Eugene with 5.94m and beat Duplantis at the Brussels Diamond League meeting with 5.91m.
The line-up also features Emmanouil Karalis from Greece, European indoor silver medallist in Istanbul and second at last weekend’s European Team Championships in Chorzow with 5.80m, Piotr Lisek from Poland, three-time world outdoor medallist and fourth at the European Team Championships in Chorzow with 5.80m, Kurtis Marshall from Australia, two-time Commonwealth Games champion in 2018 and 2022, Pal Haugen Lillefosse from Norway, European bronze medallist in Munich, and Thibaut Collet from France, third at the European Team Championships in Chorzow with 5.80m.
Men’s shot put:
Reigning Olympic and world champion Ryan Crouser returns to Ostrava for the third time in his career. He finished fourth in 2018 on his debut at this meeting and won in 2020 with a meeting record of 22.43m.
Crouser improved his own world record by 19m to 23.56m at the Los Angeles Grand Prix. He threw over the 23 metres barrier seven times.
Crouser threw 23.37m at the US Olympic Trials in June 2021 breaking Randy Barnes’ 31-year-old record of 23.12m by 25 cm. He defended the Olympic title In Tokyo 2021 improving the Olympic record to 23.30m. All six of his throws in the Olympic final in Tokyo improved his previous Olympic record set in Rio.
Olympic and world medallist Tom Walsh from New Zealand is the only other entrant, who threw over the 22 metres barrier this year with his seasonal best of 22.12m in Los Angeles.
Leonardo Fabbri from Italy won the first Diamond League competition of his career in his home city Florence and came close to the 22 metres with his seasonal best of 21.81m in Pergine Valsugana.
The line-up also features Filip Mihaljevic from Croatia and Tomas Stanek from Czech Republic, who won the gold and bronze medal at the European outdoor Championships in Munich 2022, Michal Haratyk from Poland, European outdoor champion in Berlin 2018, and Mostafa Hassan from Egypt, who improved his PB to 21.65m this year.
Filip Mihaljevic: “Training after the indoor season went very well. In Ostrava I will definitely aim for my seasonal best. The stadium in Ostrava is beautiful. The competition has a great cast. I am looking forward to great attempts. Last year I finished sixth at the World Championships, but this year I would like to do even better in Budapest. The medal will hang very high. At this time with very strong Americans it is very difficult to think about a medal, but everything is possible and drives me forward. The level of shot put is now crazy. Not only is the level of the competition high, but also the qualification limits are set very far. When one improves, the others are affected and everyone improves. I think the human body is capable of throwing 24 metres. I think it is certainly possible. It’s definitely within the possibilities of Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs ”.
The shot put will have a new position, in the direction of the 100 metres and near the pole vault.
Men’s discus throw:
World champion Kristjan Ceh from Slovenia will be aiming to improve the long-standing Golden Spike meeting record of 68.06m set by Cuba’s Luis Delis in 1983. Ceh surpassed the 70 metres barrier three times this year, throwing 70.89m in Doha, 70.32m in Rabat to win the first two Diamond League competitions of the season, and a PB of 71.86m in Johvi, where he became the first man in history to throw beyond the 71 metres barrier three time in the same competition. In his most recent competition Ceh threw 69.94m at the European Team Championships Second Division in Chorzow last week.
Kristjan Ceh: “I had a good competition in Poland, but I needed a little more motivation. I was still throwing quite controlled. I am tired, but I am feeling better and I am confident of a very good performance again on Thursday. I even believe in a 72m throw in Ostrava. I think it was my coach Gerd Kanter, who managed to show such performance the last time. I would like to do something similar. I think that the world record is realistic this year. We just need to have the right conditions, the right technique and wind. This year I already attacked 72 metres and I think still have some reserves. I have room for improvement”
The line-up will feature Lawrence Okoye, who won the bronze medal at the European Championships in Munich and finished second at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year.
Men’s javelin throw:
The javelin throw has always been one of the traditional highlights of the Ostrava meeting. World record holder Jan Zelezny is the meeting director of the Golden Spike.
Two-time world champion Anderson Peters will take on Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch from Czech Republic. Peters threw a lifetime best of 93.07m in Doha and won last year’s edition of the Golden Spike with 87.88m. This year the Grenadan thrower set a seasonal best of 85.88m in Doha. Vadlejch set the world seasonal lead with 89.51m at the Continental Tour meeting in Turku and finished second in Doha with 88.63m.
The other top name in the line-up is Timothy Herman from Belgium, who won at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi with his lifetime best of 87.35m beating Peters.
Women’s javelin throw:
European champion Elina Tzengko from Greece will face Haruka Kitaguchi from Japan, who won the world bronze medal in Eugene and took her second consecutive win at the Paris Diamond League meeting. Two-time Olympic champion and world record holder Barbora Spotakova is making a surprising come-back to competitions. The Czech legend retired last year after winning the bronze medal at the European Championships in Munich.
Women’s 100 metres hurdles:
Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho Quinn from Puerto Rico will go head-to-head against world gold medallist and record holder Tobi Amusan.
Camacho Quinn returns to Ostrava, where she won in 12.56 narrowly missing the world record of 12.49 held by Danielle Williams since 2018. Camacho Quinn, who set her lifetime best of 12.26 in the semifinal of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, is unbeaten in her six competitions this year in Jacksonville with a wind-assisted 12.29, in Doha in 12.48, in Devonshire with a wind-assisted 12.17, in Los Angeles in 12.31, Montreuil in 12.40 and Chorzow with 12.42.
Jasmine Camacho Quinn: “In Ostrava I want to go out there and have fun. I just want to enjoy myself and also to challenge myself. This year the field is a bit deeper. I know the record will be broken tomorrow. I cannot give you the time but let’s see how we can go tomorrow”
Amusan set the world record with 12.12 in the semifinal of the World Championsships in Eugene and went on to win the world title with a wind-assisted 12.06.
Tobi Amusan: “I just had a couple of races so far this season. I did not get a lot of races in. I will try to go to the National Trials not because I need to qualify but to get another good race before Budapest. I will run in Lausanne, at the National Trials and we will see what the schedule will be. I would like to defend my world title in Budapest. I need to do the best. The 100m hurdles race is different now. It’s nobody’s race until the finish line. I set the first world record for my country. We celebrated of course, but nothing really changed”
Nia Ali, who won the world title in Doha, also showed her good form this year clocking a seasonal best of 12.53 in Gainesville and recently won in Hengelo in 12.61 and in Copenhagen in 12.59.
The line-up also features 2018 world under 20 champion Tia Jones, who set a seasonal best of 12.44 at the Drake Relays in Des Moines and finished third in Los Angeles in 12.50 and second in Kingston in 12.72.
Men’s 100 and 200 metres:
Three-time NCAA champion Joseph Fahnbulleh from Liberia will double up running the 100 and in the 200 metres. Fahnbulleh set a national record of 9.98 in the 100 metres earlier this year. The Liberian sprinter will line-up against former African record holder Akani Simbine from South Africa, who finished second in the Rabat Diamond League meeting with 9.99, six-time Olympic medallist André De Grasse, who holds a PB of 9.89, European indoor champion Samuele Ceccarelli from Italy, who finished fifth at the Golden Gala in Florence and first at the European Team Championships in Chorzow equalling his PB of 10.13, and 4x100 relay world champion Jerome Blake from Canada.
Men’s 200 metres:
Fahnbulleh, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 19.98 and fourth at the World Championships in Eugene in 19.84 in the 200 metres, will line up in the 200 metres against Luxolo Adams, who set a lifetime best of 19.82 in Paris and finished eighth at the World Championships in Eugene.
Men’s 1500 metres Emil Zatopek Memorial:
World 3000 metres steeplechase record holder Lamecha Girma will step down in distance to run the 1500 metres Emil Zatopek Memorial. In last year’s edition Girma set the Ethiopian record in the 3000 metres steeplechase with 7:58.68. After that performance, the Ethiopian athlete won his second silver medal in Eugene and broke two world records in the 3000m at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Liévin with 7:23.81 and in the 3000 metres steeplechase with 7:52.11 in Paris Charlety and won the 3000m in the Doha Diamond League meeting with 7:26.18.
Lamecha Girma: “I am happy to return to the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting this year to try and run a very fast 1500 metres time. Ostrava is a good track and event for me, and I look forward to seeing the fans again and using their energy to push myself beyond my limits and run a time to make everyone proud”.
Girma will face Elijah Manangoi from Kenya, world champion in London 2017, George Mills, winner at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Karlsruhe 2023, Jimmy Gressier from France, who won the 5000m and the 10000m at the European Under 23 Championships in 2019 and clocked 3:33.90 in Montesson this year, Melese Nberet from Ethiopia, who set a PB of 3:31.82 in Monaco in 2021, Isaac Nader from Portugal, who set a PB of 3:31.67 and finished second to Mohamed Katir at the European Team Championships in Chorzow last weekend.
Men’s 400 metres:
Last year’s Commonwealth Games champion Muzala Samukonga from Zambia is seeking another fast time in the men’s 400 metres. Samukonga set the fastest time in the world clocking 43.91 in Gaborone and won his second Continental Tour Gold race of the season with 44.25 in Nairobi.
The line-up also features Hungarian rising star Attila Molnar, who clocked 44.88 in Limassol last May, Zakhiti Nene from South Africa, fourth at the Diamond League Final in Zurich in 44.74, and three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak from Czech Republic.
Women’s 400 metres:
Salwa Naser from Barhein made her come-back this year with two sub-50 seconds winning in Huelva in 49.78 and finishing third in Paris in 49.95. She won the world gold medal in Doha 2019 with the Asian record with 48.14.
Naser will face last year’s European silver medallist medallist Natalia Kacmarek from Poland, who improved her PB to 49.86 at the Diamond League meeting in Chorzow.
Men’s 110 metres hurdles:
Japanese record holder Shunsuke Izumiya leads the line-up in the men’s 110 metres hurdles. Izumyia set the second fastest time in the world with 13.04 at the Japanese Championships in Osaka and won at the Continental Tour meeting in Yokohama in 13.07. Izumiya will line up against Just Kwaou Mathey from France, European seasonal leader with his PB of 13.09 at the Paris Diamond League meeting, in-form Wilhelm Belocian from France, who clocked 13.24 in Montreuil and 13.20 in Paris, and Pascal Martinot Lagarde, European champion in Berlin 2018 and French record holder with 12.95, 20-year-old Jakub Szymanski from Poland, European Indoor silver medallist in Istanbul in 7.56, Roger Iribarne from Cuba, who improved his PB to 7.48 in the 60 metres hurdles in Madrid last February, Damian Czykier from Poland, fourth at the World Championships in Eugene and national indoor record in the 60m hurdles with 7.48, and Antonio Alkana from South Africa, who holds the African record of 13.11.
Men’s 800 metres:
European 1500m indoor silver medallist Neil Gourley from Great Britain steps down in distance. Gourley set the British indoor record in the 1500m with 3:32.48 in Birmingham and improved his outdoor PB to 3:30.48 in Oslo.
Gourley will go up against his compatriots Elliot Giles, who set the British indoor record with 1:43.63 in Torun, and Ben Pattison, who won the 800 metres at the Continental Tour meeting in Bydgoszcz in 1:45.80, Peter Bol from Australia, fourth in the Olympic Games final in Tokyo, Amel Tuka from Bosnia and Herzegovina, world silver medal in Doha 2019, and European under 23 champion Simone Barontini from Italy, who improved his PB to 1:44.96 in Rovereto last year.
Women’s 1500 metres:
The women’s 1500 metres line-up features four Ethiopian runners, who have dipped under the 4 minutes barrier in their careers and could attack the meeting record of 3:59.05. Diribe Welteji leads the field with a PB of 3:56.91 set at the Diamond League meeting in Chorzow last year. The other top names are Hirut Meshehsa, world indoor bronze medallist in Belgrade 2022 and winner at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat with 3:57.30, Axumawit Embaye, world indoor silver medallist in Belgrade, and Ayal Dagnachew, world under 20 champion in the 1500m in Nairobi 2021.
The line-up also features Italian middle distance runners Gaia Sabbatini, second at the Continental Tour meeting in Turku in 4:04.88, and Ludovica Cavalli, who improved her PBs in the 1500m with 4:03.04 in Florence and in the 5000m with 15:08.96 in Vienna.