Bednarek and Vallortigara added to Banska Bystrica line-ups

Elena Vallortigara
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After a breakthrough season in 2018, Elena Vallortigara is turning her attention to the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships

Reigning European indoor high jump champion Sylwester Bednarek from Poland is among the latest additions to the line-up for the Banskobystricka Latka 2019, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on 9 February.

The prestigious annual high jump meeting in which participants can choose their own music to perform to celebrates its 25th anniversary next month. Special guests to be invited to Banska Bystrica include European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, inaugural women’s champion Sarka Kasparkova from Czech Republic and Great Britain’s Dalton Grant, who won the men’s competition the following year in 1994.

Bednarek has good memories of competing in Banska Bystrica, clearing an outright lifetime best of 2.33m for a joint victory in 2017 on the road to the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade where he cleared 2.32m to win gold in the Serbian capital.

Bednarek will face strong opposition in Banska Bystrica from two athletes who have the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships in their sights: Belarus’ Maksim Nedasekau and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi.

One of the most precocious young talents in the event, reigning European U20 champion Nedasekau won silver at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships in his first year as a senior. He has already showed medal winning form in the early weeks of the indoor campaign, clearing a world-leading 2.30m in Minsk before attempting a lifetime best of 2.34m.

Tamberi is on his way back after a well-documented ankle injury ruled him out of the 2016 Olympic Games. It was the Belarusian who knocked Tamberi out of medal contention in Berlin last August but the ebullient Italian concluded his outdoor campaign in confidence boosting form, clearing a season’s best of 2.33m in Eberstadt.

The men’s line-up also features former world champion Donald Thomas from The Bahamas and reigning US champion Jeron Robinson.

Additions to the women’s line-up include two of the breakthrough jumpers in 2018: Italy’s Elena Vallortigara and Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh.

Vallortigara fulfilled her early promise by improving her lifetime best from 1.91m to 2.02m during the outdoor campaign while Mahuchikh won titles at both the Gyor 2018 European Athletics U18 Championships and the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

The line-up also features the previously announced European and Olympic silver medallist Mirela Demireva from Bulgaria, world indoor bronze medallist Alessia Trost from Italy, European U20 champion Michaela Hruba from Czech Republic and Sweden’s Sofie Skoog.