Eunice Sum winning the 800m at the 2014 IAAF Diamond League in Doha (© Deca Text & Bild)
The start list of the women's 800m at the EXXON MOBIL Bislett Games is yet another classic event with three winners of the world 800m title set to compete at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo on 11 June.
Kenya's current world champion Eunice Sum has already displayed her form this season by winning not only the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha, but also the IAAF World Challenge meeting in Melbourne. Sum has a personal best of 1:57:38 and after her surprise win in Moscow last season is now definitely the world No.1 at 800m.
Sum's training partner Janeth Jepkosgei can almost be regarded as a veteran as she won the world junior title in 2002 and then became world champion in 2007, setting her PB of 1:56.04.
Jepkosgei’s tactical awareness has led to her winning a host of major medals, including golds at the 2010 African Championships and Commonwealth Games and silver medals at the 2008 Olympics, 2009 World Championships and 2010 African Championships. She has also run faster than 1:59 every year between 2006 and 2013.
A third world champion on the start list is South Africa's Caster Semenya. After winning the 2009 world title as a teenager with a PB of 1:55.45, Semenya earned silver medals at the 2011 World Championships and 2012 Olympics.
While the battle between the champions may be the highlight of the 800m, there are some other talented athletes in the field. USA’s world junior champion Ajee Wilson was a revelation last season, making the World Championships final and clocking a North American junior record of 1:58:21.
Local fans will welcome the return of Norwegian record-holder Ingvild Makestad Bovin who returns to the track after maternity leave and will look to improve on her personal best of 1:59:82.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep