Crippa and Ingebrigtsen to highlight the 3000m at the Golden Gala
World athletics stars will land in Rome. The show can start. The Golden Gala Pietro Mennea will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Thursday at the Olympic Stadium in Rome with another high-quality edition featuring Olympic and world medallists despite the truncated season because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The cast of athletes, who will take part at the Italian leg of the Wanda Diamond League, the major global athletics circuit, was unveiled by Meeting Director Luigi D’Onofrio during the press conference at the Olympic Stadium. The press conference was attended by CONI President Giovanni Malagò, Sport and Salute Chief Executive Officer Vito Cozzoli, and FIDAL President Alfio Giomi.
The 40th edition will be highlighted by Armand Duplantis, the 20-year-old Swedish pole vault world record holder (6.18m), who is pushing the boundaries of his discipline. He will face, among the others, Claudio Stecchi, who vaulted 5.82 in Chiari on Tuesday evening, eight cm off the Italian record held by Giuseppe Gibilisco. Besides Duplantis the line-up will also be highlighted by another very young Scandinavian star: European 1500m record holder Jakob Ingebrigtsen from Norway, who will run the men’s 3000m against Italian middle distance runner Yeman Crippa, who returns to track after breaking the Italian 5000m record in Ostrava with 13:02.26 (thirty years after Salvatore Antibo’s previous record of 13:05.59) after improving the national 10000m record last year.
The women’s high jump promises to be a big show with the all-Ukrainian clash between Yuliya Levchenko and Yaroslava Mahuchik, who both cleared 2.00m during the summer season. The women’s sprint will feature Ivory Coast’s Marie Josée Ta Lou. The women’s line-up will also be highlighted by the Scottish clash between Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie. The stand-out name in the men’s 110 metres hurdles will be Frenchman Pascal Martinot Lagarde. Many Italian stars will try to make an impact among the best world stars. Filippo Tortu and Marcell Jacobs will line up in the men’s 100 metres against South Africa’s Akani Simbine and US Mike Rodgers. In the men’s high jump Gianmarco Tamberi will fight against world seasonal leader Maksim Nedasekau (Belarus). Leonardo Fabbri will clash against European gold medallist Michal Haratyk and the other Polish shot putter Konrad Bukowiecki. Luminosa Bogliolo will line up in the women’s 100m hurdles. Other high-quality stars could be added to an already star-studded field.
Live broadcast on Italian television Rai 2
The most emotional moments of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea will be broadcast live on Rai 2: athletics fans will be able to watch the competitions of the Italian leg of the Wanda Diamond League on Thursday 17 September from 18.40 to 20.25.
The programme. Here are the 14 events of the meeting
The Golden Gala features 14 events: Men’s disciplines: 100m, 400m, 3000m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, high jump, pole vault, shot put. Women’s disciplines: 100m, 400m, 800m, 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles, high jump.
The Golden Gala team
The Golden Gala Pietro Mennea is co-organized by Fidal and Sport and Salute, is promoted by the CONI, has been made possible thanks to the commitment of the Main Partner Asics, Omega, Wanda, Fastweb, Toyo Tyres and Tua Assicurazioni, new partner of the meeting and the FIDAL. (which will make available insurance products for runners). Thanks to the official advisor Infront, the official supplier Acea, Uliveto, Cisalfa Sport, Italia Ortofrutta and the Media Partner Corriere dello Sport. The Golden Gala thanks the Representation od the European Commission, Regione Lazio, Roma Capitale, World Athletics, Gruppi Sportivi Fiamme Gialle for their institutional support.
Men’s pole vault: Duplantis ready to fly again, Stecchi is also in the line-up
He almost does not grab headlines, when he clears 6 metres, considering that he consistently clears the dream barrier for every athlete. He has already cleared 6.00m four times from 14 August, only speaking about the summer we are living, with the top result of 6.07m achieved in Losanna, the best outdoor jump since Sergey Bubka cleared 6.14m in 1994.
Last winter Armand “Mondo” Duplantis revolutionized the men’s pole vault with his elegant and dynamic athletics gesture, which enabled him to clear over the world record of 6.18m in Glasgow last February. Even during the lockdown he delighted his fans with the Ultimate Garden Clash. On the Rome runway Doha world silver medallist and European champion is set to highlight the pole vault competition together with former world record holder Renaud Lavillenie (France) and and world bronze medallist Piotr Lisek from Poland, without forgetting German vaulters Raphael Holzdeppe and Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, Belgium’s Ben Broeders. Claudio Stecchi returned to his best shape by clearing 5.82m in his third attempt in Chiari. The vaulter from Florence competing for the Fiamme Gialle team is looking to confirm this result at the Olympic Stadium.
Jacob ingebrigtsen will clash against Crippa in a high-quality race
It will be impossible to stop the rise of Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who will turn 20 two days after the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, but is already among the best middle-distance runners after breaking a series of European records. He set his latest European record in the 1500m in Montecarlo (3:28.68) on 14th August. The Norwegian runner, twice European champion in Berlin 2018, will race the 3000m in Rome with the goal to improve his PB over a distance, which he has not run outdoors for three years. He will face his elder brother Filip, Jacob Kiplimo from Uganda, the Australian trio formed by Stewart McSweyn, Ryan Gregson, Matthew Ramsden, but especially Yeman Crippa, the Italian runner, who is re-writing the history of Italian middle distance running and will try to come close to the 3000m Italian record held by Gennaro Di Napoli (7:39.54 in 1996) or even break it.
Ukrainian derby in the high jump: Levchenko vs Mahuchik
The Ukrainian duo formed by Yuliya Levchenko and Yaroslava Mahuchikh, who share the lead in the world seasonal list, will renew their battle in the Olympic Stadium, the venue of the high jump world record set by Stefka Kostadinova at the World Championships in 1987 (2.09m). Levchenko is 22 years old, while Mahuchikh is still 18 years old (she will turn her 19th birthday on 19 September). Mahuchikh has already cleared 2.04m to win the world silver medal in Doha. It is shaping up as a battle at big heights, in which Nicola McDermott from Australia, who recently cleared 1.98m, will fight against other solid jumpers like Sweden’s Erika Kinsey, Ukraine’s Iryna Gerashchenko, Poland’s Kamila Lichwinko, Great Britain’s Morgan Lake. The big clash atmosphere can push Italian champion Elena Vallortigara to heights, that are more suited to her level.
Tortu and Jacobs clash against Simbine and Rodgers
The eyes of all athletics fans will be set on the 100m straight. The Golden Gala named after Italian sprint legend Pietro Mennea relaunch the Italian clash between Filippo Tortu and Marcell Jacobs, Italian stars of a wide-open clash, where the stand-out names are experienced US sprinter Mike Rodgers and world championships fourth placer Akani Simbine from South Africa, who triumphed in Rovereto with 10.17 ahead of Jacobs (10.21). Other names to watch are German rising star Deniz Almaz, who holds the fastest time in Europe this year with 10.08, Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cissé, and Mario Burke from Barbados. Tortu’s last 100m race in Rome bring back the memory of his 10.04 clocking in 2018, that he set a few weeks before breaking the 10 seconds barrier (9.99 in Madrid), which improved the Italian record held by Mennea. The Italian sprinter, who brought Italy again to 100m final at the World Championships after thirty-two years and finished seventh in Doha, clocked 10.12 in Savona, but he opted to skip the Italian 100m Championships final in Padua because of a minor strain on his right harmstring. The 100m race in the Olympic Stadium is also the top competition for Jacobs, who holds the fastest time of the year in Italy with 10.10. The meeting in the Olympic Stadium also welcomes the fastest women. Double olympic champion Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) has pulled out of the meeting and Ivory Coast’s sprinter Marie Josée Ta Lou, who won in the 200m two years ago, will be in the spotlight. Switzerland’s Ajla Del Ponte shone on the international stage by winning two Wanda Diamond League 100m races in Monte-Carlo and Stockolm. The US sprint will be represented by Aleia Hobbs and Kayla White.
Men’s high jump: Tamberi will clash against Nedasekau
They clashed on Tuesday in Ostrava: Tamberi jumped 2.20m, while world seasonal leader Maksim Nedasekau cleared 2.24m. Tamberi needs to avenge this defeat. Without the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which have been postponed until next year, Tamberi described the Rome Golden Gala as the unofficial” World Championships” competition of 2020 and the competition in the Italian capital is fed by the competitive spirit of “Gimbo”. The 2019 European Indoor champion returns to the Olympic Stadium after clearing 2.28m last year. Four years ago he also cleared 2.30m in the season of his world indoor title in Portland and his Euopean outdoor gold medal in Amsterdam and the tragic night of his Italian record of 2.39m and the injury, which prevented him from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. He wants to return flying over the 2.30m barrier, clearing his seasonal best set in Ancona, one centimetre off his 2020 best peformance set in Siena with 2.31m indoors. The line-up features besides Nedasekau other top jumpers like Ukraine’s 2.40m performer Andiy Protsenko and European champion Mateusz Przybylko from Germany (PB 2.35), Italy’s Stefano Sottile, who cleared 2.33m last year, and other solid rivals like Loic Gasch from Switzerland, who cleared 2.30m recently, Netherlands Douwe Amels and Oleh Doroshchuk from the Ukraine.
Men’s shot put: Fabbri to clash against Haratyk and Bukowiecki
This time Leonardo Fabbri competes at home. The Italian shot putter holds the European seasonal best performance this summer with 21.99m and at the moment he has the best performance among the shot putters, who will compete in Rome. The 23-year-old putter from Florence has joined the elite group, at least at European level with the aim to become world-class athlete. He will face three shot putters with a PB of +22 metres in 2019. European champion Michal Haratyk from Poland (22.32m), his compatriot Konrad Bukowiecki (22.25m) and Luxemburg’s Bob Bertemens (22.22m). Last Sunday Fabbri beat Bukowiecki in Chorzow (Poland). Last Tuesday Fabbri finished third with 21.27m in Ostrava beating Bukowiecki for the second time. The line-up is completed by Nick Ponzio from the USA (21.72m this year) and Zane Weir, an Italian putter of South African origin, who improved his PB to 20.31m.
European line-up in the 400m, clash between Reekie and Muir in the 800 metres
The men’s 400m will be highlighted by US Khamari Montgomery and many European sprinters: Poland’s Karol Zalewski, emerging Italian 400m sprinters Edoardo Scotti and Vladimir Aceti, who clocked respectively 45.48 and 45.65, Slovenia’s Luka Janezic. Poland’s Justyna Swiety Ersetic, world 4x400 silver medallist in Doha and European 400m champion, will be in the spotlight in the women’s 400 metres. The top contenders will be Lieke Klaver from the Netherlands, Barbora Malikova from Czech Republic and US experienced sprinter Jessica Beard. Alice Mangione has deserved a lane after winning the Italian title in Padua and her good debut in the Diamond League in Brussels.
Women’s middle distance will feature an eagerly awaited 800m Scottish clash between Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie. While Muir was more competitive in the 1500m during this season, Reekie performed better in the 800m setting the world seasonal best with 1:58.63 (1:58.63) in Chorzow, which could be updated on 17 September. The line-up features many of the best specialists in this particular season: Ireland’s Clara Mageean, Norway’s Hedda Hynne, Noelle Yarigo (Benin) and Great Britain’s Alexandra Bell. It will be a good chance for Italian 800m specialist Elena Bellò, who improved her PB to 2:01.31 in Szczecin.
Hurdles: Martinot Lagarde against Pozzi in the 110m hurdles, Bogliolo to try against the best European specialists
European champion Pascal Martinot Lagarde (France) will face world indoor champion Andrew Pozzi (Great Britain), US Freddie Crittenden, South Africa’s Antonio Alkana and Italian hurdlers Lorenzo Perini and Paolo Dal Molin. The women’s 100m hurdles race will be higlighted by the top European specialists: European champion Elvira Herman (Belarus), 2020 world seasonal leader Nadine Visser (Netherlands), Hungary’s Luca Kozak, Finlad’s Annimari Korte are within the reach of Luminosa Bogliolo, who always aims at breaking the Italian record of 12.76. Rome could be the perfect stage where Elisa Di Lazzaro could break the 13 seconds barrier. In the women’s 400m hurdles the spotlight will be on Dutchwoman Femke Bol, who clocked 53.79m. She will face experienced hurdler Zuzana Hejnova, Ukraine’s Anna Rhyzhykova. Ayomide Folorunso will try to use the race in the Olympic Stadium as an opportunity to make a major breakthrough. The men’s 400m hurdles race will face olympic bronze medallist Yasmani Copello, Frenchman Ludvy Vaillant, Estonia’s Rasmus Magi and Italy’s Mario Lambrughi.