News10 May 2021

Top long jump and shot put clashes set for Florence


Malaika Mihambo flies to a 7.07m leap in the long jump at the Diamond League meeting in Rome (© Jean-Pierre Durand)

A star-studded women's long jump field and top men's shot put clash have been announced for the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea in Florence, with exactly one month to go until the Wanda Diamond League meeting.

In the long jump on 10 June, Germany’s world champion Malaika Mihambo will begin her Diamond Trophy defence by taking on Serbia’s world indoor champion Ivana Spanovic, Ukraine’s world silver medallist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and Colombia’s Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen, who has claimed five Diamond Trophy wins in the triple jump as well as one in the long jump so far during her career.

Mihambo jumped a then PB of 7.07m at the Golden Gala in Rome on her way to the Diamond Trophy in 2019 and went on to improve her best to 7.30m to win the world title later that year.

Joining them in Florence will be Sweden's European indoor bronze medallist Khaddi Sagnia and home favourite Larissa Iapichino, who broke the world U20 indoor long jump record with a leap of 6.91m at the Italian Indoor Championships in February.

"I am happy and proud that this year the Golden Gala will take place in my city, in Florence,” said Iapichino, who will be making her Diamond League debut.

“I feel privileged and honoured to be among the participants in the long jump. I can't wait to compete with the best athletes in the world. I'm still young and I hope this, for me, is just the first of many Diamond League competitions.”

The men’s shot put will see New Zealand’s reigning Diamond League champion Tom Walsh compete against the Czech Republic's European indoor champion Tomas Stanek and Italian indoor record-holder Leonardo Fabbri, plus Poland’s European champion Michal Haratyk and Konrad Bukowiecki, who set the Golden Gala meeting record of 21.97m in 2019.

The 2021 Wanda Diamond League series begins in Gateshead, UK, on 23 May, with Laura Muir among the latest entries confirmed for that event.

The Scottish athlete, who will race the 1500m, is the reigning European champion over that distance and holds the British record with 3:55.22.

"I am training and racing in the United States right now, but the Muller Grand Prix Gateshead will be my first competition in the UK when I return home later this month," she said. "Diamond League events are always exciting and it is extra special for me when the event is on British soil."

Joining her in the 1500m will be her fellow British athletes Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Eilish McColgan, Adelle Tracey and Holly Archer.

Organisers for World Athletics