Aiming high in Bislett
In the men’s high jump Mutaz Barshim and Danil Lysenko will renew their rivalry from the World Indoors in March where Lysenko took the gold medal. With Majid Eddin Ghazal of Syria, bronze medallist from London 2017, also in the field the competition is sure to be top class.
Prior to the event at the traditional pre-Games strawberry party in the famous City Hall, hosted by the City of Oslo, the three gathered to preview their event – and taste the magnificent berries!
World Champion, Mutaz Barshim hastwo wins from two Diamond League appearances and leads the IAAF Diamond League standings with 16 points following his win in Eugene last month where he jumped 2.36m to beat Lysenko who cleared 2.32m.
Barshim, clearly enjoying the strawberries, is delighted to be back in Oslo where he set a meeting record last year. “I am very much looking forward to the competition tomorrow. The weather is going to be good and I want to build on my good form from Eugene.
Asked about his tactics tomorrow, he added, “My coach says just go and jump and jump high! I will be deciding on my opening jump during the warm up once I know how I am feeling.”
World bronze medallist, Majid Eddin Ghazal of Syria who currently has seven Diamond League points, said “I decided not to do an indoor season as I did not want any injuries so I feel very ready for the summer. I have started my season well and feel good. I am targeting the Asian Games later in the year as well as reaching the Diamond League final.”
Asked about the troubles in his country, Ghazal said “I live and train in Damascus along with a training camp in Europe. I hope the Syrian troubles can be over soon and I understand that most people in my country are thinking about their family and their safety rather than sport.”
Danil Lysenko, ANA (Authorised Neutral Athlete), also has seven points from his one appearance in Eugene. He said “After the indoors I had some rest and I put on some weight but I was pleased with my season opener in Eugene. I am well prepared and have lost the weight! My target is the European Championships but the Diamond League is very important as well.”
Asked about his targets for the year, Barshim said, “I think I have the chance to break the world record this year. With no major championships to target it could be the right time for the world record to go.”
With good conditions forecast and the high jump always a favourite with the Bislett Stadium crowd an exciting competition with some big heights could be on the cards.