Ahead of what should be an evening of celebration for European athletes in Zurich on Thursday at the first IAAF Diamond League final, there was a surprise and memorable win for Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw in the special pole vault competition held the night before.
As part of the Weltklasse, the Train Station Pole Vault saw a great line up led by Greece’s star of the summer, the Olympic and European champion Ekaterini Stefanidi.
But on this occasion Bradshaw, the 2013 European indoor gold medallist, took the honours as she won on countback with 4.76m from American Sandi Morris, who was also second in Rio, with Stefanidi in third with 4.71m.
The event at Zurich’s main train station had a special guest competitor too in Cooly the Cow, the mascot from the 2014 European Athletics Championships staged in the city.
And he treated the crowd to a fun night by successfully vaulting the bar - in a style all of his own.
He will be there again this evening at a sold out Letzigrund Stadium where the men's pole vault will be among the leading events.
Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie only needs to turn up to confirm his amazing Diamond Race triumph - it will be his seventh successive win, the only athlete to achieve this since the Diamond League started back in 2010 - and surely he will also be out for revenge against Brazilian Thiago Braz da Silva, who beat him to gold at the Olympics.
Along with Lavillenie, the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers (200m), Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic (long jump) and Croatian Sandra Perkovic (discus) just have to compete to secure their Diamond Race victory, while Spain’s Ruth Beitia should complete her amazing season, where she has won Olympic and European gold, by landing this title too as, with 41 points, she leads the high jump event by 16 from St Lucia’s Levern Spencer.