News07 Jun 2018

Stockholm’s top three moments – IAAF Diamond League


Susanna Kallur, Mitchell Watt and Fedrick Dacres in action at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm

In three days’ time, the IAAF Diamond League moves to Stockholm for the sixth meeting in the 2018 series. Here we look back at three of the more memorable moments from the Swedish capital's Olympic Stadium.

Kallur crowns her comeback, 2016

Sometimes victory is gauged in ways that can’t be measured on the results sheet. For Susanna Kallur, this was the case at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, where the darling of Swedish athletics returned for her first competitive 100m hurdles race in six years.

She went through hell to get back in the blocks, the 2006 European champion enduring a nightmare run of injury after missing the 2012 Olympics with a stress fracture. Multiple surgeries followed, but when Kallur made it to the start line on a rain-soaked evening in Stockholm, she got the biggest cheer of the night, by far, to welcome her back. She finished fifth in 13.00, well behind winner Kendra Harrison (12.66), but no one could call it a defeat.

Kallur narrowly missed Olympic qualification later that summer, and finally brought the curtain down on her glittering career the following spring. In Stockholm, she offered some powerful words of advice to those going through what she had: “As long as you want to keep going and there’s hope, I don’t feel you should listen to other people that are negative,” she said. “It’s possible to do so much more than what most people think.”

Watt powers to Oceanian record, 2011

The long jump is one of those events where, occasionally, things just click. So it was in Stockholm in July 2011, as Australia’s Mitchell Watt nailed the perfect jump to take victory and break the Oceanian record.

With an ideal following wind (1.7m/s), Watt added 10cm to his personal best in one fell swoop into the sand, his mark of 8.54m still untouched by an Oceanian athlete seven years later. What’s more impressive is he struggled with injury in the build-up.

“I knew if my heel didn’t hurt I was going to jump big,” he said. “I knew if I got a good wind and was good on the board it was going to be pretty big.” It was.

Dacres defeats Stahl, 2017

It’s tough to beat a thrower like Daniel Stahl, particularly when he launches the discus beyond the 68-metre mark. But to do so on his turf, with a partisan crowd cheering against you, makes it all the more impressive.

But that’s exactly what Fedrick Dacres managed at last year’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, the Jamaican coming out on top in a riveting back-and-forth duel in the men’s discus. Stahl seized command early with a 66.25m throw, but Dacres responded in kind with 67.04m. Stahl then answered with 67.34m, but in the fourth round Dacres found something extra, launching it to 68.36m. With the support of the Swedish crowd, Stahl offered a spirited effort in the sixth round, but his 68.13m came up just short.

“It was a very rough fight from the get-go, with guys throwing bombs in the first round,” said Dacres. “But I held my composure and made it out on top.”

Cathal Dennehy for the IAAF