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Warholm world record attempt to headline Oslo's Impossible Games

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16:23 23 Apr 2020

Oslo's traditional Diamond League event has been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but the Bislett Stadium will not lie idle on June 11. 

The Impossible Games is an event that's been devised to take the place of the Diamond League meeting in the Norwegian capital.

It's to be headlined by hometown hero Karsten Warholm, who will attempt to break Chris Rawlinson's 18-year old outdoor 300m hurdles world record of 34:48. Warholm holds the indoor record for the rarely-run event.

Organisers say, "The concept will see a number of world-class athletes take part in a one-off, showpiece event in full observation of Norway’s coronavirus regulations and social distancing rules."

The Diamond League today confirmed that both of their meetings schedule for June - in Eugene (June 7) and Oslo (June 11) - have been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oslo meeting director and Bislett Alliance CEO Steinar Hoen said the athletes were “hungry for competitions”.

“We want to give them a high-class event. We have had a very positive dialogue with both the municipality of Oslo and the infection prevention superior in Oslo, and have confirmed a concept that is well within the government's infection control requirements,” he added.

While no fans will be allowed in the stadium, the hour-long event will be shown live by Norway’s public broadcaster NRK, and will be partly financed by the Norwegian National Athletics Association and World Athletics.

On top of Warholm's world record attempt, there'll be a three-way discus competition involving reigning world champion Daniel Stahl of Sweden, along with his compatriot Simon Pettersson and Norway's Ola Stunes.

Pole vault world record-holder Mondo Duplantis will face competition in the stadium from Sondre Guttormsen, and former world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie who will be jumping in his back garden in France.

With the help of a guiding on-track light, Karoline Bjerkli Grøvdal will attempt to break Norway's national 3000m record.

While Para World Cup champion Salum Kashafali will attempt a new 100m record.

Organisers stress that the card is subject to change.

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe welcomed the initiative, "This is really positive news for athletes and fans and promises, even in this early stage, to be another great night of athletics from the Bislett stadium," he said.

"Congratulations to the Oslo Bislett Games for dreaming this up and following it through, working within the pandemic guidelines set out in Norway.

“We are delighted to support the event by releasing the funds World Athletics makes to each Diamond League event but with one caveat, which is that the entire amount we are contributing goes to prize money for the athletes competing.”

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Athletics Bislett Games Carsten Warholm Diamond League Oslo Sebastian Coe World Athletics

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