Ivan Ukhov 2.38m again, this time in Paris (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News 11 May 2011 – Oslo, Norway

High flyers back at Bislett – Samsung Diamond League

Oslo, NorwayThe meet director of Oslo’s Exxon/Mobil Bislett Games, Steinar Hoen, has finally been able to express his true athletics passion by gathering together one of the finest men’s High Jump fields ever assembled at a Samsung Diamond League event.

Hoen is of course still the Norwegian record holder in the event and his performance of 2.36m has stood for well over a decade. Hence his resolve to again have Oslo’s Bislett Stadium react to the men’s High Jump as it did in the 1990s, when the spectators gathered tightly on the curve at the Olympic gate end of the arena and would wildly cheer every clearance .

Hoen has gathered a selection of the world’s finest for this year’s meeting on 9 June, and he knows that as the bar approaches Javier Sotomayor’s stadium record of 2.37m the atmosphere amongst the knowledgeable Bislett crowd will reach fever pitch.

The Russian high jumping team is currently the strongest in the world and they have all confirmed to be at Bislett.

World indoor champion Ivan Ukhov, who boasts a personal best of 2.40m, was virtually untouchable indoors will lead the assault.

World outdoor champion Yaroslav Ryabakov (2.38m PB.) and current Olympic champion Andrey Silnov (2.38m PB.) will also be present. Adding to that trio will be Aleksandr Shustov whose strong jumping in the wet conditions in Barcelona last season saw him take the European title, one previously won by Silnov, Ryabakov and Hoen.

Hoen clearly remembers the fierce competitions and the harrowing after parties, something always favoured by high jumpers of the time! Fighting for victories against the likes of Sweden’s Patrick Sjoberg, Cuba’s Sotomayor, the Germans Deitmar Mogenburg and Carlo Thranhardt, with results hovering around the 2.40m mark. Then celebrating these extraordinary contests with his fellow competitors into the small hours of the following morning, often the athletes would miss their return flights.

The field this year will also include a rejuvenated 2007 World champion Donald Thomas of the Bahamas and the very consistent Cypriot Kyriakos Iaonnou.

Although Bislett stadium is regarded as “the World Record Stadium”, the only time a High Jump World record was established in the arena was in 1961 when the Romanian Iona Balas set an “unofficial world junior best” of 1.70m in the women’s event.

Samsung Diamond League

Steinar Hoen is the Meeting Director of the EXXON Mobil Bislett Games in Oslo , Norway. He was European Champion in the High Jump and finished fourth in three IAAF World Championships and 5th at the 1996 Olympic. His personal best was 2.36m and cleared 2.30m on 62 occasions. He still holds the Norwegian record and lives on the outskirts of Oslo.