European Athlete of the Year Karsten Warholm from Norway will have his sights fixed on the clock in a solo race at the Impossible Games in Oslo which was launched today.
The COVID-19 pandemic means the Bislett Games cannot take place in its usual format on 11 June this year but meeting organiser Steinar Hoen has announced a new format featuring both leading Norwegian and international athletes which also adheres to strict infection control rules.
“You have two options: you can give up or look at the possibilities,” said Hoen. “We have had a very positive dialogue with both the City of Oslo and the Norwegian Infection Protection Superior in Oslo and we have come up with a concept that is well within the government's infection control requirements.”
The programme is yet to be fully confirmed and is subject to change but Warholm looks set to be one of the stars of the programme. One year after breaking the European record in the 400m hurdles for the first time, he will be targeting the world outdoor 300m hurdles best of 34.48. This time is clearly within Warholm’s range having clocked 34.26 indoors.
Warholm is one of two world champions to be announced with world discus champion Daniel Stahl from Sweden slated to face his teammate and training partner Simon Pettersson and Norwegian champion Ola Stunes Isene.
World pole vault record-holder Armand Duplantis from Sweden is also due to compete against leading Norwegian youngster Sondre Guttormsen but they will also compete against former world record-holder and 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie who will jump at home in his garden in Perignat-les-Sarlieve where he has cleared 5.85m.
Other prospective highlights include Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal competing in the 3000m where wavelight technology could assist her to Grete Waitz’s long-standing national record of 8:31.75. Amalie Iuel and Isabelle Pedersen will meet over neutral territory of the 200m hurdles and Hedda Hynne is due to meet Sweden’s Lovisa Lindh in the 600m.