Golden Gala, the event by event guide
Women’s high jump (17.45):
Ukrainian high jump stars Yaroslava Mahuchik (world silver medallist and world under 20 record holder) and Yuliya Levchenko will clash another time on the Olympic Stadium runway. The Golden Gala meeting record (2.03m) is within the reach of both jumpers, but they need to achieve a great feat. A win by one of the two big stars of women’s jump would be more predictable. It would be the first win by an Ukrainian high jumper in Rome. After jumping 1.98m Australia’s McDermott will try to become the first non-European specialist to break the ten-year dominance of Europe in the women’s jump in Rome. Elena Vallortigara is aiming at improving her outdoor seasonal best of 1.88m, the height that she cleared when she won the Italian outdoor title in Padua. Levchenko leads 11-7 in her head-to-head clashes against Mahuchik. They clashed for the first time at the 2018 Golden Gala (they finished respectively 5th and 12th).
Italian athletes in the competition: Elena Vallortigara and Desirée Rossit
Men’s pole vault (18.25)
Pole vault world record holder Armand Duplantis will make his debut at the Olympic Stadium. Will it be the right time to break the world outdoor record at 6.15m ? The Swedish pole vaulter has already tried to jump this height five times, including last Sunday in Berlin, with a total of 13 attempts. “Mondo” has already competed 14 times this year and jumped over the 6 metres barrier nine times. He set two world indoor records and his outdoor best of 6.07m in the outstanding Lausanne competition. Claudio Stecchi returns to competitions after setting his PB in Chiari with 5.82m and his condition is improving. The line-up also features the formidable French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie (who cleared 5.80m last weekend at the French Championships), former world outdoor champion Rapahel Holzdeppe and National record holders from Great Britain (Coppell), Philippines (Obiena) and Belgium (Broeders). Duplantis overtook Lavillenie in Lausanne and now leads 10-9 in their head-to-head clashes. Sergey Bubka still holds the Golden Gala record with 5.94m, the height he cleared when he broke the world record in 1984. The Olympic Stadium awaits the 6 metres.
Italian athletes in the competition: Claudio Stecchi
Men’s high jump (18.40):
Just few high jumpers were able to jump over 2.30m in this troubled season, but among them there are Gianmarco Tamberi (2.30m), Ukraine’s Andiy Protsenko (2.30m) and Maksim Nedasekau. The Belarusian jumper leads the world seasonal list with 2.33m. The starting list also features Italy’s Stefano Sottile (who cleared 2.33m in Bressanone last year) and two very young rising stars Sandro Jersin Tomassini (Slovenia) and Oleh Doroshchuk (Ukraine). The meeting record of 2.41m held by Mutaz Barshim is out of reach. Tamberi returns to Rome after his fourth place in 2019 and his third place (with 2.30m) in 2016.
Italian athletes in the competition: Gianmarco Tamberi, Stefano Sottile
Women’s 400 metres (18.43):
The favourite on paper is European gold medallist Justyna Swiety Ersetic, who holds the fastest time among the entrants and has the most decorated career. The line-up features British sprinter Nielsen’s, whose form is improving, and emerging stars like versatile Dutch sprinter Nielsen and Under 20 Malikova from Czech Republic. The fastest time in Europe this season of 51.13 is not out of reach. Italian champion Alice Mangione, who made a very good debut in the Diamond League in Brussels after setting her PB at the Italian Championships, and Rebecca Borga, who set her PB in Rovereto, deserved a lane in the Rome race
Italian athletes in the competition: Alice Mangione and Rebecca Borga
Women’s 400m hurdles (18.53)
Dutchwoman Femke Bol, world 400m seasonal leader with an impressive 53.79, is among the favourites in the 400m hurdles, her favourite discipline. The race in the Olympic Stadium offers a very high quality with good names and other emerging stars, like 20-year-old Slovakian hurdler Zapletalova, who has a great body and a textbook technique. The other big names are olympic silver medallist Petersen from Denmark, Ukrainian hurdlers Rhyzykova and Tkachuk, Knight from Great Britain. Italy will be represented by World University Games gold medallist Ayomide Folorunso, one of the most popular Italian athletes and the fifth fastest European hurdler this year with 55.40
Italian athletes in the competition: Ayomide Folorunso
Men’s 400 metres hurdles (19.03)
Karsten Warholm is like Duplantis: while the Swedish pole vaulter threatens records, every time he progresses towards big heights, the display can be lightened with record performances every time the Norwegian hurdler runs the 400m hurdles race. Warholm is the only hurdler to run under 47 seconds twice. He came just nine hundreds of a second off Kevin Young’s 46.78 winning performance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, the oldest world record set in running events. Warholm returns to Rome two years after setting one of his many national records with 47.82. Since then he has smashed his record by one second feat after feat in his run to the world record improving to 46.87. The Golden Gala record held by Qatar’s Samba is going to be put under threat by another great race by the world record of the Norwegian world champion. There is a realistic chanche that this could happen after his sensational 47.08 (the ninth fastest time in history) in Berlin on Sunday. Frenchmen Vaillant and Happio, Estonia’s Magi, US Kendziera and Italy’s Mario Lambrughi will try to finish with as little gap as possible from warholm.
Italian athletes in the competition: Mario Lambrughi
Men’s 400 metres (19.13)
The cast deserves attention, because experienced athletes like Great Britain’s Rabah Yousif and Poland’s Karol Zalewski will clash against Italian emerging stars Edoardo Scotti and Vladimir Aceti, who are on the rise this year and are are going to improve again. Zalewski, Scotti, US Montgomery and Aceti boast the four fastest times among the entrants. Two other athletes, who can perform well are Slovenia’s Janezic and Kuwait’s Karam, who makes his debut outdoors seven months after the brilliant season, in which he set two national indoor records. For Scotti and Aceti, who are still in the under 23 category, the motivation is to improve Claudio Licciardello’s Italian under 23 record
Italian athleties in the competition: Edoardo Scotti and Vladimir Aceti
Men’s 3000 metres (19.20)
It’s going to be one of the most eagerly awaited competition. Yeman Crippa will run his first race since his fabulous Italian 5000m record in Ostrava (13:02.26). The Italian middle-distance runner will run against Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Jakob Kiplimo. The Norwegian star won everything and set the European record in the 1500m. The Ugandan ruuner, who is 20 years old like Ingebrigtsen, won the best 5000m race of the year in Ostrava. Among the many good quality stars there is the Australian trio formed by McSweyn, Gregson and Ramsden and Jakob’s brother Filip Ingebrigtsen, and fast improving Dutchman Foppen. The 3000m race was run just three times in Rome from 1982 to 1984 with two wins for Alberto Cova and Great Britain’s Buckner, who set the meeting record (7:46.06) in the last race over this distance. A time close to the Italian record set by Gennaro Di Napoli with 7:39.54 is the goal to be excited again by Crippa. There are many Italian athletes in the seven and a half lap race: Osama Zoghlami, Razine, Abdikhadar, Riva, Arese and number 1 runner Crippa, who improved his PB in the 5000m at the Olympic Stadium last year before improving it in London. The Ostrava race a few days a few days ago is a new chapter in the history of Italian athletics.
Italian athletes in the competition: Yeman Crippa, Osama Zoghlami, Marouan Razine, Pietro Riva, Mohad Abdikhadar, Petro Arese
Men’s shot put (19.30):
The giant’s circle will host another competition with the best specialists. Leonardo Fabbri, who finished 11th last year, seems to have gone through another life rather than just a few months. This year the athlete from Florence has reached a new standard, missing the 22 metres barrier by one cm. He also finished third twice in competitions against the best specialists in the world. The Italian Indoor record holder is looking for another prestigious result against Pole Konrad Bukowiecki, who is returning to the best form of the past seasons. The field also features Bertemes from Luxemburg, another over-22 man, seasonal revelation Ponzio from the USA (but with Sicilian origin) and Otterdahl, but also shot putter of South African orgini Zane Weir (20.31m at the Italian Championships), who is waiting for the Italian citizenship.
Italian athletes in the competition: Leonardo Fabbri, Zane Weir and Lorenzo Del Gatto
Women’s 100m hurdles (19.38)
US specialists do not start as favourites this time, although the USA is represented Chadwick and Brooks. Four European specialists have the best chances to set the Olympic track on fire: Dutch hurdler Nadine Visser, world seasonal leader with 12.68, leads the starting list ahead of Luminosa Bogliolo, who is very close to the Italian record of 12.76 held by Veronica Borsi, Finland’s Annimari Korte, who is running consistently at a high-standard, and France’s Cyrena Samba Mayela, the last hurdler to reach a very high standard, who has not turned 20 yet and clocked 12.73 at the French Championships last weekend. Great Britain’s Ofili, sister of Tiffany Porter, Italian Under 23 champion Elisa Maria Di Lazzaro, and Danish record holder Graversgaard round out the best possible line-up of the moment with five of the best hurdlers in the world this year.
Italian athletes in the competiotion: Luminosa Bogliolo and Elisa Maria Di Lazzaro
Men’s 110m hurdles (19.47)
British star Andrew Pozzi, who is based in Formia, and US hurdler Freddie Crittenden are the best entrants and they can fight for the win by thousands of a second, like in Rovereto. Brazilian best specialist Gabriel Constantino will make his season debut. French mosqueteer Belocian, South Africa’s Alkana, and Kuwait’s record holder Yaqoub Mohamed Al Youha will be also in the line-up. Italian hurdlers Lorenzo Perini, who holds his fastest two times of the year in the last two races with 13.53 and 13.61 and Paolo Dal Molin, who will make his debut at the Golden Gala with the goal to improve his seasonal best with 13.61.
Italian athletes in the competition: Lorenzo Perini and Paolo Dal Molin
Women’s 800 metres (19.55)
The big favourite is Scottish star Laura Muir, who is back from her fabulous race in Berlin last Sunday, where she improved her world seasonal best in the 1500 to 3:57.40. The British middle-distance runner will return to the 800 metres after the win in Ostrava with 1:58.84. She will have the motivation to run against her compatriot Jemma Reekie, who clocked 1:58.63 this year, but was overtaken in the world seasonal list by surprising Norwegian middle-distance runner Hedda Hynne, who set the fastest time in the world this year with 1:58.10 in Bellinzona, and also against Switzerland’s Lore Hoffmann (1:58.50). Muir is a star in the Olympic Stadium. Last year she finished second in the 1500m with 3:56.73 in a sensational race. Elena Bellò, who set her personal best with 2:01.34 this year, and Eleonora Vandi, who improved her seasonal best to 2.01.83, less than one second off her personal best, will line-up in a wide-open race.
Italian athletes in the competition: Elena Bellò and Eleonora Vandi
Women’s 100 metres (20.05)
Reigning 100m and 200m olympic champion Elaine Thompson- Herah returns from Jamaica. She clocked her seasonal best with 10.88 and will run her first race abroad in 2020. Thompson Herah has already won in the Rome Golden Gala Pietro Mennea twice in 2016 (10.87) and in 2019 (10.89) and is aiming to win in the Olympic Stadium for the third time and equal Merlene Ottey, the only sprinter, who was able to win in 1991, 1993 and 1996. Thompson Herah is the favourite to win against Ivory Coast’s world silver medallist Marie Josée Ta Lou and the European sprinters, who are in the best form at the moment, like Switzerland’s Ajla Del Ponte and Great Britain’s Imani Lansiquot. US sprint is represented by Hobbs and White. Italy’s Anna Bongiorni will make her first apperance in the 100m at the Golden Gala.
Italian athletes in the competition: Anna Bongiorni
Men’s 100 metres (20.15)
It’s the big final race of the meeting. What a great final race ! Italian record holder Filippo Tortu (9.99), the fastest European sprinter this year with 10.07 on Tuesday in Belinzona, will return to 100m in the Rome Olympic Stadium after clocking 10.04 in 2018. Marcell Jacobs (PB 10.03, SB 10.10) has been aiming to run under the 10 seconds barrier for a long time. South African record holder Akani Simbine beat Tortu in Switzerland in 10.02. The always fearsome US sprinter Mike Rodgers, who has returned to good level in the past weeks. Nine high-level sprinter will line up in the Olympic Stadium. Former European seasonal leader Almas, Ivory Coast’s Arthur Cissé (first in Berlin with 10.10 on Sunday), the other sub-10 seconds sprinters Burke and Forte. Tortu and Simbine are the only two world finalist in Doha (they finished seventh and fourth respectively) in the Olympic Stadium. The line-up also features three semifinalists (Jacobs, Rodgers and Cissé). As the other top sprinters are not competing at the moment or have not flown overseas, a higher-level 100m sprint race could not be staged.
Italian athletes in the competion: Filippo Tortu and Marcell Jacobs