Fast middle distance action highlights Gothenburg Grand Prix

Daniel Rowden
Glenn T Unger

Brit Daniel Rowden overtakes Sweden's Andreas Kramer in the 800m at the Goteborg Friidrott GP

Fast middle distance action highlighted a cool and blustery edition of the Göteborg Friidrott GP, a World Athletics Continental Tour Bronze meeting, on Saturday (29) evening.

Competing for just the second time since reaching the semifinals at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships, Great Britain’s Daniel Rowden strode to victory in the 800m in a lifetime best of 1:44.74 ahead of Andreas Kramer who came close to his Swedish record of 1:45.03 once again in 1:45.34.

Rowden moved to second on the 2020 European list and became the third Brit to break the 1:45-barrier this year after Max Burgin (1:44.74) and Kyle Langford (1:44.83). Based on this year’s form the men’s 800m will be one of the most keenly contested events at next weekend’s British Championships in Manchester.

Fresh from a 4:01.81 lifetime best in the Stockholm Diamond League, Melissa Courtney-Bryant achieved a notable British win in the 1500m in 4:05.07 ahead of Australia’s Jessica Hull in 4:05.47. This was Courtney-Bryant’s second win on Nordic soil this month after winning at the Paavo Nurmi Games in Turku in 4:03.69.

There was a one-two for Australians Stewart McSweyn and Matthew Ramsden in a high quality 5000m - 13:09.83 and 13:16.63 - along with a string of significant results for the European contingent further down the results page.

Suldan Hassan finished third last night in a national U23 record of 13:18.01 although he was disappointed to just miss the national record of 13:17.59 which has stood to Anders Garderud, the 1976 Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion, since the year of his Olympic triumph in Montreal.

“It's mixed feelings. I set a personal best by 13 seconds and I usually say that I do not want to hear lap times, but today I wanted to know what I needed to do in the last 300 meters to reach the record. It was sad to miss it with so little but Anders Garderud is a legend and one of Sweden's best runners of all time. But I'll break the record one day,” said Hassan who is racing over 5000m again in Ostrava next month.

Hassan’s teammate Emil Millán de la Oliva also decimated the Swedish U20 record. Just one month after celebrating his 19th birthday, de la Oliva improved from 13:56.79 to 13:29.59 to finish seventh and move to third on the European U20 all-time list behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen (13:02.03) and Steve Binns (13:27.04).

Switzerland’s Jonas Raess and France’s Hugo Hay also set PBs of 13:20.08 and 13:27.47 respectively while European half marathon record-holder Julien Wanders was tenth in 13:34.88.

Amy Hunt was a commanding winner in the 100m in Gothenburg
Glenn T Unger
Amy Hunt was a commanding winner in the 100m in Gothenburg

Elsewhere on the track, European U20 200m champion Amy Hunt made a winning return to Swedish soil, cruising to victory in the 100m in 11.39. Her teammate Keely Hodgkinson, the reigning European U18 champion, led world silver medallist Raevyn Rogers into the home straight in the 800m before the American kicked away for the victory, 2:01.24 to 2:01.78.

The anticipated Swedish double in the long jump came to fruition. Thobias Montler was unable to surpass the stadium record of 8.17m but the European indoor silver medallist had four jumps in excess of the eight metre-line, his best jump measured at 8.11m. His teammate Khaddi Sagnia won the women's long jump courtesy of a wind-assisted first round effort of 6.75m.

In the women's pole vault which was affected by the blustery conditions, Angelica Bengtsson cleared 4.52m to eke out victory over Brit Holly Bradshaw at 4.48m to overturn the result of last weekend's Stockholm Diamond League.

Full results here.