International indoor athletics to return to Stockholm next month

Angelica Bengtsson
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Two-time European indoor pole vault bronze medallist Angelica Bengtsson is confirmed for the Sparet 100 GP in Stockholm on 4 February

After a three year hiatus, international indoor athletics will take place in Stockholm again when a new meeting - the Sparet 100 GP - takes place at the Satra Sports Hall on Monday 4 February.

Not only is the Sparet 100 GP part of the Folksam Grand Prix series, the new event is also a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting. The event will feature many of the country’s leading athletes as well as some top-level international competition and will be televised live on Swedish television.

For many, the objective will be to obtain the qualifying standard for the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 1-3 March and this will be the aim for improving Swedish middle distance runner Hanna Hermansson in the 1500m.

Hermansson, 29, only started to train seriously for athletics in the winter of 2015 but she reached the 800m semifinal at the IAAF World Championships in London in 2017 before going one step better at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, finishing seventh in the 1500m final.

The 1500m qualifying time for Glasgow is 4:16 and Hermansson will face tough opposition from Ethiopia’s former world indoor medallist Axumawit Embaye, as well as fellow Swedes Linn Nilsson, Lisa Havell and Anna Silvander.

Also confirmed for the middle distance programme is European 800m silver medallist Andreas Kramer who has a busy schedule ahead of him.

Kramer, who equalled the Swedish record of 1:45.03 to win silver behind Adam Kszczot in Berlin, is targeting a full indoor season as well as a successful title defence at the Gavle 2019 European Athletics U23 Championships on the road to the World Championships in Doha.

On the in-field, former European indoor champion Michel Torneus is confirmed for the long jump, two-time European indoor bronze medallist Angelica Bengtsson will compete in the pole vault and the vastly improving high jumper Fabian Delryd - who cleared 2.33m last year - is also confirmed.

The last time international indoor athletics was staged in Stockholm was back in 2016 when the Globen Galan was held in the Ericsson Globe for the final time. Twelve world records were set at that meeting over the years and notable meeting records included Susanna Kallur's 7.74 in the 60m hurdles, Kajsa Bergqvist's 2.03m in the high jump and Christian Olsson's 17.64m in the triple jump.