It’s Florence but it looks like Tokyo. The quality and the personalities ensure a big show at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, on the jumping runways on Thursday evening, which will be broadcast live on Rai 3 from 20 to 22. The jumping events will be headlined by three world champions: Mutaz Barshim in the men’s high jump, Malaika Mihambo in the women’s long jump and Anzhelika Sidorova in the women’s pole vault. Gianmarco Tamberi will jump against Mutaz Barshim and Ilya Ivanyuk in the men’s high jump dedicated to the memory of Alessandro Talotti. Larissa Iapichino will face many big stars in the women’s long jump. Sidorova will clash against olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi in a star-studded women’s pole vault competition.
Men’s high jump: It’s like an Olympic final in all respects. The men’s high jump is one of the most eagerly-awaited shows of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea on the runway of the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium. The home crowd will support Gianmarco Tamberi, who continues his build-up to the the Olympic Games in Tokyo after his outdoor debut in Hengelo (2.20m); in Tuscany he takes on most of his rivals, who will be his opponents in Japan in a few weeks. Mutaz Barshim, who is a good friend and rival of the Italian high jumper, returns to the Golden Gala as the reigning world champion. He holds the meeting record with his memorable 2.41m jump in 2014 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, just four cm off Javier Sotomayor’s world record. Besides the high jumper from Qatar, who cleared a seasonal best of 2.30m this year, the technical level is very high. Ilya Ivanyuk from Russia has shown the best form during the outdoor season by clearing the world lead of 2.37m and took the win in the Diamond League leg in Doha. Maksim Nedasekau cleared the same height a few months ago to win the gold medal in the final of the European Indoor Championships in Torun, beating Gimbo Tamberi by a narrow margin. Andiy Protsenko, who won the high jump competition at the Rome Olympic Stadium last September, does not lack experience, not even Brandon Starc. Swiss high jumper Loich Gasch is on the rise (2.33m) and Italian high jumper Stefano Sottile can turn around his season.
Women’s long jump: World and European champion Malaika Mihambo from Germany, world silver and European Indoor gold medallist Maryna Beck Romanchuk from Ukraine, reigning world bronze medallist Ivana Spanovic, world indoor under 20 record holder Larissa Iapichino : what a bright evening in Florence for the women’s long jump with all the best jumpers in the world. It’s going to be a preview of the Olympic final. Chantel Malone from British Virgin Islands holds the best performance this year among the entrants with 7.08m. There are four jumpers with a PB over the 7 metres barrier, besides Malone: Mihambo 7.30m, Spanovic 7.24m, Nastassia Mironchyk Ivanova from Belarus 7.08m. The line-up also features olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia). For home star Larissa Iapichino it’s time to compete against the best athletes in the world after jumping 6.91m during the indoor season. For the other Italian jumper Laura Strati it’s another chance to achieve the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games.
Women’s pole vault: It’s all about Kateina Stefanidi vs Anzhelika Sidorova. The pole vault, one of the competitions with the most glorious tradition at the Golden Gala, offers the big-height clash between two of the best specialists in the world, the Olympic champion from Greece and the world champion from Russia. Both jumpers vaulted 4.80 this spring and can jump higher. Holly Bradshaw jumped two cm higher improving the national outdoor record to 4.82m in Huelva last week. Tina Sutej and Iryna Zhuk cleared 4.74m. Italian pole vaulter Roberta Bruni is enjoying a good period of form and jumped the previous Italian record of 4.60m or higher three times before setting the Italian record of 4.70m and jumping 4.64m. The other vaulters to follow are European Indoor champion Angelica Moser and two talented vaulters like Robelylis Peinado from Venezuela and Angelica Bengtsson from Sweden.