The first big track meet of the summer is Oslo’s Impossible Games on June 11—an event which replaced the Oslo Diamond League, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The meet will have a limited lineup of events (just 13 in all) and very few athletes competing (not even 50), but there will be many exciting races and competitions, including solo runs, shots at European records and world record attempts. This is not an event that track fans will want to miss, but if you can’t watch it all, here are some highlights you might want to try to catch.
300m hurdles world record
At 8:35 p.m. local time (2:35 p.m. ET), Norway’s Karsten Warholm will run a solo race as he shoots for the 300mH world record. Warholm is the two-time defending world champion in the 400mH, and he has a PB of 34.26 in the 300mH, which is actually faster than the current world record, although he ran it indoors. On June 11, he’ll run outdoors in Oslo’s Bislett Stadium to try and break the current record of 34.48.
European and world 2,000m records
Henrik, Filip, and Jakob Ingebrigtsen will run in a 2,000m team event at 8:50 Oslo time (2:50 ET) along with fellow Norwegians Narve Gilje Nordås and Per Svela. The all-Norwegian team will run in Oslo and face-off against a team of Kenyans who will run in Nairobi. The Kenyan team (dubbed Team Cheruiyot) will include 2017 and 2019 1,500m world champions Timothy Cheruiyot and Elijah Manangoi. All 10 runners will go at once (the race will be broadcast live on a split screen), and three athletes must finish from each team. The team with the fastest cumulative time from their top-three runners wins.
This will be a fun event to watch as it is, but there will also be a couple of record attempts in this race as well to add to the excitement. Team Ingebrigtsen will be chasing the European 2,000m record of 4:51.39, and Team Cheruiyot will look to capture the 2,000m world record of 4:44.79.
Later on in the evening at 9:30 p.m. (3:30 ET), Norwegian cross-country skiing star Therese Johaug will run a solo 10,000m race. As a skier, Johaug has three Olympic medals and multiple world championship golds to her name, but in 2019 she surprised the world by adding a track and field win to her resume when she won the Norwegian 10,000m national championships in 32:20.86. This was the fifth-fastest time ever run by a Norwegian woman, and to make it more impressive, she won the race in regular running shoes rather than spikes. Hopefully she’ll wear some faster footwear at the Impossible Games so we can see just how fast she’s capable of running.
The full Impossible Games program can be found here.