Golden League: Tropical rain and a new Norwegian record

Sanya Richards, USA, winning the 400m. Photo: Digitalsport.

Ezinne Okparaebo (21) improved her own Norwegian record on the 100m race at the Golden League meeting at The ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo on Friday. She placed in fifth, while Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart won. American Sanya Richards (24) won the 400m.

After two weeks of clear blue sky and temperatures above 30 degrees Celcius, the Golden League meet had to be interrurpted for an hour, as the Norwegian capital experienced a Monsoon-like storm with thunder and a tropical downpour. “I was like, ‘You know what, it doesn’t matter. I’ll go out there right now. I was ready,” joked Stewart, who had ever seen such torrential rain at an athletics meeting. She eventually won the 100m.

Richards put on the senior performance a the second leg of the six meeting ÅF Golden, with a World Junior record for Kenya’s William Biwott in the men’s Mile 3:49.29 an appropriate statistical headline in what is usually Oslo’s traditional finale event.  “I did not expect a world lead after the storm. We were worried in the warm-up about what would happen, when will be the steeple, when will we be running,” said Richards, who is planning her wedding for next February.

In the men’s javelin, Norway’s double Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen finished only third in front of the home crowd with a best throw of 83.15 metres. World champion Tero Pitkamaki of Finland won with 84.63, with compatriot Teemu Wirkkala in second with 83.54.  

The first international athletics meeting was held at Bislett in 1924. Torshaug IF staged large events called “the Americans meetings” from 1924 to 1937. The Bislett stadium has a capacity for around 15,100 spectators. 

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