Ostrava Golden Spike Event by Event Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The Ostrava Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold, is set to dazzle fans with top-tier athletic performances in sprint and pole vault events this Tuesday. The event will feature Olympic champions and record-holders, making it a key tune-up before the upcoming Olympics. Notably, spectators will witness Mondo Duplantis, the pole vault world record holder, and Marcell Jacobs, the reigning Olympic 100m champion, among other elite athletes competing at the Mestsky Stadion​.

Men’s pole vault:

Armand “Mondo” Duplantis returns to Ostrava for the third time in his career after winning his second consecutive world indoor title in the men’s pole vault in Glasgow with 6.05m. He won at last year’s edition of the Golden Spike in Ostrava with a meeting record of 6.12m.

Duplantis has remained undefeated  in his six competition this year and set his eighth world record with 6.24m at the Diamond League meeting in Xiamen. He claimed his second consecutive win on Chinese soil in Suzhou with 6.00m.

Duplantis has won all the major titles, including the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021 with 6.02m, two world outdoor titles in Eugene 2022 with 6.22m and in Budapest 2023 with 6.10m, and two European outdoor gold medals in Berlin 2018 with 6.05m and in Munich 2022 with 6.06m. He broke the world record for the seventh time in his career by clearing 6.23m at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene 2023 and cleared the 6.00 metres barrier 76 times in his career. 

Armand Duplantis: “I am so excited to come back for the third time. I had a great form last year and I hope to do better in the upcoming year. It can be super fun, a nice tune-up before the Olympic Games in Paris and I hope to jump high”.  

Duplantis will be joined by Asian record holder Ernest John Obiena. The pole vaulter from the Philippines won two world medals finishing third in Eugene 2022 with 5.94m and second in Budapest 2023 with the Asian record of 6.00m. Obiena placed third with 5.90m in his previous appearance at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. 

Czech pole vaulters Matej Scerba and David Holy, who improved their PBs to 5.65m and 5.62m respectively, will have an excellent opportunity to compete in a high-quality competition in front of their home fans. 

Men’s 100 metres: 

Reigning Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs from Italy will clash against his training partner André De Grasse. Jacobs will make his first appearance in the men’s 100 metres at the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava. The Italian sprinter won the Olympic gold medal in the 100 metres in a European record of 9.80, the European 100m gold medal in 9.95 in Munich 2022 and won the Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 relay in Tokyo 2021 in a national record of 37.50 and the world silver medal in the 4x100 in Budapest 2023 in 37.62.

Last autumn Jacobs moved to Jacksonville (Florida) to train with André De Grasse, Trayvon Bromell and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown under the guidance of his new coach Rana Reiner. Jacobs is aiming to defend his titles at the Olympic Games in Paris and at the European Championships on home soil in Rome. 

Jacobs finished second to De Grasse in 10.11 in Jacksonsville on 27 April and won at the Rome Sprint Festival on 18 May in his first two races of the 2024 outdoor season. He is the fastest man in the field on season’s best. 

Marcell Jacobs: “It is going to be my first time in Ostrava. I could not miss the opportunity to run on a very fast track in front of such a great audience”.

Jacobs is one of the five sprinters in the line-up with a sub-10 second PB.

De Grasse won the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo 2021 in the 100 metres in a lifetime best of 9.89 and equalled this time at the Diamond League final in Zurich later that year. He set a seasonal best of 10.11 and finished second in 10.19 in the Diamond League meeting in Marrakesh last week.

The other sprinters to watch are Reece Prescod, winner at the Ostrava Golden Spike in 2022 with his lifetime best of 9.93, USA’s Trayvon Bromell, world 100m bronze medallist in Eugene 2022, and Ryiem Forde from Jamaica, eighth in the World Championships final in Budapest 2023 in 10.08.

Local sprinter and national champion Zdenek Stromsik has his place in the 100 metres line-up.

Men’s 200 metres:

Olympic champion André De Grasse will double up in the men’s 200 metres with the goal to break Usain Bolt’s meeting record of 19.83 since 2008. De Grasse won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with a national record of 19.62 and a total of six Olympic medals and four world medals. The Canadian sprinter won the world gold medal with the 4x100 relay and the Diamond League title in Eugene in 19.76 last September.

De Grasse will face his compatriot Jerome Blake, who won the gold medal with the Canadian 4x100 team in Eugene 2022, and Andrew Hudson from Jamaica, NACAC champion in Freeport 2022 with 19.87.

Men’s shot put:

World outdoor silver medallist Leonardo Fabbri improved Alessandro Andrei’s 37-year-old Italian record with 22.95m in Savona on 15 May. Joe Kovacs improved Fabbri’s world lead with 23.13m in Eugene, but the Italian shot putter still leads the European seasonal list.

Fabbri started the year with a national indoor record in Liévin with 22.37m and a world indoor bronze medal in Glasgow last March. He has remained unbeaten in his first four outdoor competitions of the outdoor season in Modena (22.88m), Savona (22.95m), Lucca (22.59m) and Asti (22.91m) and threw beyond the 22 metres barrier 12 times.

Leonardo Fabbri: “Breaking Andrei’s Italian record is a dream come true. I started to compete in the shot put when I was 12 years old. Many people have always made comparisons between me and Andrei, with the performances he did as a child, with those he did as an adult, and I have always tried to match him. In many things I have succeeded, and I am proud of that because for me he is like a divinity. There is still one medal separating us, let’s if in two months at the Olympic Games in Paris I can get close to him. I have thrown more than him, but Alessandro Andrei will forever remain in the history of Italian sport for what he has done”.

Fabbri will take on two-time world indoor champion and Olympic bronze medallist Tom Walsh from New Zealand. Walsh won the world indoor silver medal in Glasgow with 22.07 ahead of Fabbri and finished second at last year’s edition of the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava with 22.15m.

Men’s javelin throw:

Four-time global medallist Jakub Vadlejch will take on reigning European champion Julian Weber and 2019 world champion Anderson Peters in the men’s javelin throw, one of the most popular events of the Golden Spike meeting.

Vadlejch took the win at the Diamond League meeting in Doha setting the  second best performance in the world this year with 88.38m. Weber won in Dessau with 88.37 last Friday moving to third in the world seasonal list.

Women’s javelin throw:

World champion Haruka Kitaguchi from Japan will take on two-time world under 20 champion and 2022 European silver medallist Adriana Vilagos from Serbia.

Kitaguchi won two competitions in her sixth attempt in Suzhou with 62.97m and Tokyo with 63.45m. The Japanese thrower claimed the world gold medal in Budapest with 66.73m and the Diamond League title in Eugene with 63.78m.

Vilagos improved her lifetime best to 63.58m in Offenburg earlier this month.

Men’s high jump:

Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi will not compete in Ostrava due to a discomfort on his knee. He was planning to jump at this meeting in what was supposed to be his competition before the European Championships in Rome with the qualification of the high jump taking place on Sunday 9 June and the final on Tuesday 11 June.

Gianmarco Tamberi: “I was really looking forward to it. It was supposed to be the only start before the European Championships in Rome. Now nothing will come out of it. I will greet the great fans in Ostrava and I believe that I will please them next year”.

The line-up will feature US Shelby McEwen, Bogdan Bondarenko and Jan Stefela.

McEwen won the world indoor silver medal in Glasgow with 2.28m last March and reached two world outdoor finals finishing fifth at World Championships in Eugene 2022 and seventh in Budapest 2023. He equalled his PB of 2.33m during the 2024 indoor season.

Bondarenko returned from a serious injury. The Ukrainian jumper won the world title in Moscow 2013 with 2.41m and the European title in Zurich 2014. He set his PB of 2.42m in New York in 2014.

Czech high jumper Jan Stefela will have the opportunity to compete against the best high jumpers in front of his home fans. Stefela won the European under 23 gold medal in Tallin 2021 and finished fifth at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow with 2.24m. He improved his PB to 2.30m in Trinec in 2024.

Men’s 400 metres:

Reigning Olympic 400 metres champion Steven Gardiner will be aiming to win his third race of the season over this distance. The Bahamian athlete has remained unbeaten this year in his first two races in Baton Rouge in 44.45 and at the Diamond League meeting in Doha in 44.76. He won the 400m in 44.95 in his previous appearance at  the Golden Spike in Ostrava in 2019. Later that year he went on to win his first world gold medal in 43.48 in Doha. Gardiner has remained undefeated in the 400 metres since the 2017 World Championships in London . 

Gardiner will take on Alexander Doom from Belgium, double world indoor champion in the 400 metres and the 4x400 relay and winner at the Diamond League meeting in Marrakesh in his lifetime best of 44.51.

Gardiner was the first athlete to meet journalists before the Golden Spike.

“I am just happy to be here in Ostrava and I am hoping for a good performance not only for me but for the whole crowd here in Ostrava. It is very good to be here and it will be my last start before the Olympic Trials in Nassau. It will be a great race and I just want to go out there and surprise myself on Tuesday”.

The Golden Spike meeting record has been held by Lashawn Merritt since 2014 with 44.16, but Gardiner is not focused on a specific time.

“I just want to go out there and try my best. Once I see the clock, I want to be satisfied and I want to see a good time. If there is something like 44.0, I will have a good day, but I don’t want to tal about times. Anything can happen and anybody can have a good day or a bad day. I do not want to call anybody out. I just want to focus on my own race. Ostrava is good fun to be here and I hope for nice weather. I liked it here so why not to come back. After Ostrava I will compete at the National Trials. I have no pressure at the Trials. I am already qualified. It is a small country, less than 400000 inhabitants, so almost the same as Ostrava. I remember,  when I won the Golden Spike. It rained right after that”, said Gardiner.

Women’s 100 metres:

Ewa Swoboda from Poland will clash against Zaynab Dosso from Italy. Swoboda and Dosso won silver and bronze medals at the World Indoor Championships in the 60 metres in Glasgow last March. Swoboda finished sixth in the 100 metres in 10.97 at the World Championships in Budapest 2023 and will compete for the first time at individual level in the 100 metres this year.

Dosso improved the Italian record in the 60 metres with 7.02 in Torun and in the 100m twice with 11.12 in the heat and 11.02 at the Memorial Giulio Ottolia in Savona on 15 May.

The line-up will also feature reigning European 200 metres champion and Doha 2019 world 200 metres bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji from Switzerland and Gina Bass from Gambia, African Games champion and sixth placer in the World Championships final in the 200 metres.

Women’s 100 metres hurdles:

European outdoor champion Pia Skrzyszowka from Poland will go head-to-head against European indoor gold medallist Ditaji Kambundji from Switzerland, 2022 world silver medallist Britany Anderson and USA’s Amber Hughes in the women’s 100 metres hurdles.

Kambundj won her first Diamond League race in Doha in 12.49 missing her national record by 0.02.

Skrzyszowska won the world indoor bronze medal in Glasgow in 7.79 and finished third in the Doha Diamond League race with 12.53.

Hughes finished fourth in 12.54 in Doha and won two races in Banska Bystrika in 12.69 and Budapest in 12.73. Anderson made her come-back from injury with two wins in Savona in 12.88 and Lucca in 13.06 and finished third in Nancy in 12.97.

Women’s 400 metres:

Poland’s Natalia Kaczmarek will take on Sharlene Mawdsley from Ireland.

Kaczmarek won the world silver medal in Budapest in 49.57 and set a national record of 49.48 in Chorzow. The Polish athlete finished second in Xiamen in 50.29 and won at the Memorial Kusocinski in Chorzow with 50.42 this year.

Mawdsley finished third with 4x400 relay in 3:11.53 at the World Relays in Nassau and won in the 400m in Savona in 51.43 ahead of 800m European champion Keely Hodgkinson.

Women’s pole vault:

World indoor champion Molly Caudery from Great Britain will take on Tina Sutej from Slovenia and 2016 Olympic champion Ekaterini Stefanidi from Greece.

Caudery won the world indoor gold medal in Glasgow with 4.80m and the first Diamond League competition of the season in Doha with 4.73m.

Sutej, world indoor champion in Belgrade 2022 won at the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava with 4.73m last January and at the Golden Spike outdoors last year with 4.64m.

Men’s 800 metres:

Djamel Sedjati from Algeria and Ben Pattison from Great Britain, world silver and bronze medallist respectively in Budapest 2023, will renew their rivalry in the men’s 800 metres. Sedjati won his first Diamond League race in Brussels in 1:43.60. The line-up also features world finalist Slimane Moula from Algeria, Catalin Tecuceanu from Italy, who improved the Italian indoor record with 1:45.00 in Madrid and his PB twice this year with 1:44.22 in Chorzow and 1:44.01 in Asti.

Women’s 1500 metres:

Irish record holder Clara Mageean will go head-to-head against the Ethiopian trio formed by Axumawit Embaye, Netsanet Desta and Tigist Girma in the women’s 1500 metres.

Magaeen finished fourth at the World Championships in Budapest in 3:56.61 and won a Diamond League race in Brussels in 3:56.63. She won the European silver in Munich in 2022.

Embaye won the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade 2022. Girma improved her indoor PB in the 1500m to 3:58.79 in Torun in 2024.

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