David Storl, winner of the shot put at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris (© Jiro Mochizuki)
The Golden Gala Pietro Mennea will see world champion throwers David Storl and Sandra Perkovic, as well as top high jumpers Alessia Trost, Mariya Kuchina and Kamila Licwinko, in action at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on 4 June, the meeting organisers announced on Thursday (9).
Germany’s Storl, the 2011 and 2013 world shot put champion, will be making his debut in the historic Stadio Olimpico but Croatia’s Perkovic knows what the conditions are like, having won the discus in Rome two years ago.
Both throwers have already shown good early season form with Storl winning the European indoor title last month and Perkovic, the reigning Olympic, world and European champion, having launched her implement out to a massive world-leading 70.08m on home soil in Split last month.
The Stadio Olimpico has seen some superb women’s high jump competitions in the past, notably on 30 August 1987 at that year’s IAAF World Championships, when Bulgaria’s Stefka Kostadinova cleared a world record of 2.09m, a mark that still stands today.
In a few months’ time the spotlight will be on local star Trost, the European indoor silver medallist, who will face the woman who beat her to that title last month: Russia’s Mariya Kuchina.
The pair are old foes, their rivalry going back to the 2009 IAAF World Youth Championships when Trost reversed the result from Prague and beat Kuchina to the gold medal.
However, the head-to-head tally currently stands at 10-5 to the Russian.
Poland’s world indoor champion Kamila Licwinko, the indoor world leader this winter with 2.02m who took the bronze medal in Prague, will be looking for revenge after being beaten by Kuchina and Trost at the European Indoor Championships.
The Golden Gala meeting record stands at 2.03m, which has been jumped by four women in two other terrific high jump contests: Hestrie Cloete and Yelena Slesarenko in 2004, Blanka Vlasic and Chaunte Howard-Lowe in 2010.
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 JulyZ
urich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September