News04 Jun 2004

Great fields in Bergen will help 2004 TDK Golden League start in style


Hestrie Cloete celebrates winning the high jump final (© Getty Images)

With the demolition and redevelopment of the aging Bislett stadium in Oslo now underway, the Evergood Bergen Bislett Games, the opening meeting of the new TDK Golden League, takes place in exactly one week’s time in Norway’s second largest city, Bergen, a historic port city on the west coast of the country.

To highlight the first TDK Golden League meeting of the season, the organizers have signed up a number of world stars. No fewer than 30 gold medallists from either the Olympic Games or the World Championships will take centre stage at Fana Stadium, not to mention a host of winners from the European Championships, World Cup and World Junior Championships.

Advance ticket sales indicate that the refurbished Fana Stadium will be sold out, so a night of high excitement is definitely on the agenda. The evening promises a collection of fast times, extraordinary distances and enthralling head to head clashes worthy of the marvellous traditions of the Bislett Games.

Spotlight on the Field events

In the men’s Triple Jump, Sweden’s Christian Olsson has quickly taken the crown from Britain’s Jonathan Edwards as the king of the discipline. Success at the European Championships, the World Championships and the World Indoor Championships has firmly placed the Swede as an overwhelming favourite for the Olympic title in Athens.

Olsson has not hidden his desire to win a share of the Golden League Jackpot and to do so he will have to be successful in Bergen where his main competition will come from former World champion Charles Friedek (GER) and the fabulously talented Phillips Odowu (GBR). 2004 World Indoor silver medallist Jadel Gregorio of Brazil who improved his personal best to 17.25m this year will also offer strong opposition.

The men’s Discus Throw returns to the Bislett Games for the first time in over 10 years. Olympic and World champion Virgilius Alekna of Lithuania must overcome the challenge of Hungary’s European champion Robert Fazekas and former World No.1 Lars Riedel (GER). Such is the depth of the Bergen start list that it includes the top 5 finishers from last year’s World Championships in Paris.

In the women’s High Jump, South Africa’s Hestrie Cloete returns to the Bislett Games with high expectations. An outstanding performer last season, Cloete won the World Championships title in a new personal best and African record 2.06m. The challenge this year will come from the emerging Croatian star Blanka Vlasic a former World Junior champion, who improved her personal best to 2.01m in 2003.

More previews of the Evergood Bergen Bislett Games will be published next week.


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