News31 May 2017

High flyers return to Oslo – IAAF Diamond League


Mutaz Essa Barshim at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo (© AFP / Getty Images)

The world’s finest high jumpers will return to the Oslo Bislett Games for a showdown at the fifth leg of the 2017 IAAF Diamond League on 15 June as the gold, silver and bronze medallists from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games are all confirmed to compete in the Norwegian capital.

World and Olympic champion Derek Drouin heads the list of competitors. The Canadian, who has a personal best of 2.40m, showed great composure when winning his global titles in Beijing and Rio. On both occasions Drouin was almost flawless by clearing the majority of heights on his first attempt.

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim has jumped above 2.40m in nine competitions over the past four years. The Olympic silver medallist won the world indoor title in 2014 and went on to set a lifetime best of 2.43m later that year, putting him second on the world all-time list.

Bogdan Bondarenko is the other medallist from Rio who will return to Oslo. The Ukrainian won the world title in 2013, the Continental Cup and European title in 2014, then took world silver in 2015 before earning his bronze medal in Rio.

Meeting director Steinar Hoen holds the meeting record with a clearance of 2.35m from 23 years ago, but he fully expects that his name will no longer be in the record book after this year’s Oslo Bislett Games.

While the Olympic medallists from Rio will be the dominant forces in the event, there are other competitors in the field with the proven ability of upsetting the more favoured athletes. Previous Bislett winner Zhang Guowei of China, British record-holder Robbie Grabarz and Olympic finalist Majd Eddin Ghazal of Syria are all more than capable of taking victory.

Organisers for the IAAF

2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar:
5 May – Doha, QAT
13 May – Shanghai, CHN
27 May – Eugene, USA
8 Jun – Rome, ITA
15 Jun – Oslo, NOR
18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
1 Jul – Paris, FRA
6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
9 Jul – London, GBR
16 Jul – Rabat, MAR
21 Jul – Monaco, MON
20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
24 Aug – Zurich, SUI
1 Sep – Brussels, BEL