Mutaz Barshim at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels (© Gladys von der Laage)
The men’s high jump should be one of the most eagerly anticipated events at this year’s ExxonMobil Bislett Games, with the IAAF Diamond League meeting welcoming Mutaz Essa Barshim to Oslo for the first time on 11 June.
Meeting Director Steinar Hoen, himself a high jumper of distinction as a former European champion with a personal best of 2.36m, has assembled the finest ever field to contest the event at Oslo’s famous Bislett stadium with the announcement of a star-studded line up on Thursday (9).
Barshim, the world indoor champion, achieved a personal best and Asian record of 2.43m at last year’s IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels to make him the second-best jumper of all time. Some of the Qatari's clearances at high bars have been truly breath taking, with him going over huge heights by enormous margins.
But Barshim will face fierce competition in Oslo, including Russia’s Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov.
The powerful Ukhov has an outdoor best of 2.41m, and indoors has cleared 2.42m to be the co-holder of the European record.
One of the two men he shares that continental accolade with is Ukraine’s Bogdan Bondarenko, the world and European champion.
Canada’s Derek Drouin and Ukraine’s Andriy Protsenko both have personal bests of 2.40m and will add lustre to this event in Oslo.
Whenever competitors of this talent face off against each other, there is always a possibility of a world record. The Bislett Stadium is no stranger to records with a total of 69 world records achieved in the unique arena over the years.
However, of its 69 world records, Bislett has never hosted a world record in a high jump competition.
Perhaps this year, the men’s high jump might provide the ‘World Record Track’ with its 70th world record in its 50th anniversary edition.
The best marks on record in the Bislett Stadium is 2.37m from the man who is still the world record-holder, Javier Sotomayor of Cuba.
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September