Diamond League Returns: Bislett Games Preview

Some of the world’s best athletes assemble in Oslo for the Bislett Games as the Diamond League gets underway again.

Karsten Warholm at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

Warholm aims to finally break Young’s world record

With the Diamond League in Norway and their pride and joy, Jakob Ingebrigsten, missing through illness (apparently he’s developed a sore throat), all of Norway will be getting behind their other athletics superstar, the third fastest 400m hurdler in history, Karsten Warholm.

Warholm’s ongoing battle with the USA’s Rai Benjamin, who ran 46.83 at the weekend, is one of the enthralling side stories to this year’s Olympic Games and particularly which of them is going to break Kevin Young’s world record. He’s got within half a second on 5 separate occasions. This is all warming-up to pre-Olympics head to head where Warholm will race Benjamin in Monaco in the Herculis Meeting. Anything close to world record pace for Warholm tomorrow will mean that he’ll win the race easily and he’s renowned for going out hard. He was still able to show some respect for the other competitors, “Tomorrow is going to be a very fun race with a lot of good athletes and exciting talent so it’s going to be a tough fight as well. It’s not an easy start for me!”

World Champion Obiri races in the 3000m

From one world champion to another, Hellen Obiri will be looking to silence any doubts about her form after she was defeated in Doha in a shock loss. Obiri runs in the 5000m against her rival and compatriot, Beatrice Chebet. It’s a stacked field and includes: Margaret Kipkemboii, Tsehay Gemechu and British athlete and European silver medallist, Eilish McColgan.

Track events

The men’s 3000m looks like another exciting race and will give us further insight into how the competition will line up in Tokyo next month. Yomif Kejelcha, a dangerous competitor, double world 3000m indoor champion and an athlete who won silver in the world 10,000m championships, races alongside Nicholas Kimeli, Bethwell Birgen and Michael Kibet amongst others.

Uniquely in events outside of the USA, the athletes will compete in a mile event (The Svein Hansen Dream Mile) with world-class athletes running including the irrepressible Australian national record holder Stewy McSweyn, Kenyan, Charles Simotwo and Pole, Marcin Lewandowski. That race is now wide open after Jakob Ingebrigsten withdrew earlier this week.

Dutch athlete Femke Bol will be looking to continue her impressive run of form in the 400m hurdles, whilst Javianne Oliver, fresh off qualifying for the US Olympic Team will also go in the 100m against established athletes including, Marie-Josee Thanks Lou and Ajla del Ponte. In the men’s sprint, Olympic silver medalist, Andre De Grass will be running in the 200m with the Canadian looking to build on his Doha 200m performance where he ran his 3rd fastest 200m time ever (19.89).

Pole Vault tops the bill for the Field events

All of the big names in men’s world pole vault will go toe-to-toe in Oslo in what promises to be one of the most exciting events of the meet, particularly given the nice weather forecast. World record holder and Swedish pole-vault prodigy, Mondo Duplantis lines up once again against American Sam Kendricks and, Frenchman, Renaud Lavillenie. Surprisingly, it’s Sam Kendricks who has won the majority of the meetings between the 3 men but after Mondo’s world-lead 6.10m in Hengelo, he’s the outstanding favourite. Kendricks and Lavillenie have SBs of 5.86m and 5.92m respectively.

When is it on?

The meet gets underway on Thursday 1st July at 17:44 UK time. The men’s 100m is the first track event at 18:34, UK time. You can view the full schedule and start lists here.

Where can I watch?

The meet will be streamed on the Diamond League YouTube channel which you can head to here.

Fans in the UK can also watch it on the BBC Red Button and Red Button HD.