The women's long jump season hasn't really started yet. The first Diamond League competition is on the 2nd of June in Florence with, among others, Khaddi Sagnia. But already now the world's best have accepted the BAUHAUS gala and we can reveal that there has been great interest in coming and competing at the Stadion on 2nd of July.
The following athletes will attend to BAUHAUS-galan:
Malaika Mihambo, Germany. Reigning Olympic champion (2021) and reigning world champion (2019 and 2022). (World ranking 1a)
Ese Brume, Nigeria. Olympic bronze medalist (2021) and WC silver (2022). (World ranking 2)
Ivana Vuleta, Serbia. Reigning World Indoor Champion (2022). (World Rank 3)
Khaddi Sagnia, Sweden. EC bronze indoor 2021. (World ranking 5)
Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, Ukraine. WC silver in long 2019, EC gold in triple jump 2022. (World ranking 6)
Jazmin Sawyers, UK. Gold at the last championship, indoor EC 2023. (World ranking 9)
Stadium record in the making?
This summer marks 111 years since Solskensolympiaden were staged in Stockholm and thus exactly as long ago as the stadium was inaugurated with pomp and show. So it's no wonder that the world's most beautiful arena also has an impressive list of stadium records. But maybe it's time for one of the oldest to be beaten at this year's BAUHAUS-gala?
On the 3rd of July, 1989, almost to the day 34 years before this year's gala was arranged, the then DN Gala was held at Stockholms Stadion. It was a gala that even today brings a tear to a certain Lennart Julin's eye from happiness, something he proved in a column that is as excellent as it is solid and full of numbers this year:
Thus, it was at that gala that the current stadium record in the women's long jump was noted when the Soviet world record holder Galina Chistiakova landed in the sand 7.05 meters beyond the plank. A record that has stood for almost a third of the Stadium's lifetime - but which can be broken on its 34th anniversary with just one day to spare on the 2nd of July this year.
The starting field in the women's long jump at this year's BAUHAUS-galan undeniably looks very interesting. But before we get there, can we take a look together at how close it was that that record has actually already been erased from the history books?
The closest, and you can't get any closer, are two jumpers on three different occasions. German Heike Drechsler jumped 7.04 (and also had a jump of 7.03) already the year after Chistiakova's record was set, and just to be safe, she repeated her 7.04 jump four years later. A further fourteen years after that, in 2008, the Portuguese Naide Gomes scored exactly the same result, plus a jump of 7.00 – moreover, both of these jumps into a slight headwind.
Russian Tatyana Kotova jumped two centimeters shorter, at 7.02, in 2002, while Ukrainian Inessa Kravets (perhaps best remembered for the amazing triple world record at the World Championships in Ullevi in 1995) and USA's Dawn Burrell both jumped 6.98 in the stadium. Kravets in 1992 and Burrell eight years later.
Just two years ago, the German Malaika Mihambo also cut in with 7.02 at BAUHAUS-galan, although in a slightly too strong tailwind (+2.6).
So far the story. I'm not sure if it's the case that Chistiakova eats cake on the 3rd of July every year to celebrate that she still holds the stadium record in Stockholm, but if we're going to pretend she does, that cake must have tasted a little extra good than once in the years that have passed.
Mihambo will be on the approach track this year as well and she will come to Stockholm as reigning world and Olympic champion, ranked world number one and with a fantastic 7.30 as a personal record. To be sure, the perset is three years old, but last year it was 7.12 as the longest. Perhaps the hunger for Hungary and a third straight World Cup gold should be a carrot to jump far in the Diamond League.
The second in the world ranking, the Nigerian Esa Brume, was also second at the WC last year. That time she jumped 7.02, but the personal best measures fifteen centimeters longer than that. Although Brume may not be the most famous of jumpers, she actually snagged Olympic bronze in Tokyo and has a handful of seven-meter jumps under her belt.
Ivana Vuleta doesn't really need any further introduction other than that she previously lusted after the name Spanovic. The list of achievements is so medal-heavy that you would get tired if I rambled on here, so I will content myself with stating that she has been a world jumper for more than ten years - personal best 7.24 stems from a magical afternoon in connection with the Indoor European Championships in Belgrade 2017. But last year it was 7.06 when she beat Mihambo at the EC title in Munich.
Someone else is also coming to Stockholm with this winter's sensational, dare I say it, European indoor champion: Jasmine Sawyers. The very first seven-meter jump of her career came when it was most needed and after silver and bronze at the European Championships outdoors, the British finally secured her first major title.
Then we have the blue-yellow duo chasing that dream border: Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk and Khaddi Sagnia.
The Ukrainian has 6.96 as the longest in her career and no less than ten competitions within nine centimeters of her personal best. Although she "cheated" a bit with the triple step and even won both the EC and crossed the dream limit of 15.00 there, she is probably still seen mostly as a long jumper.
Khaddi, in turn, once made a breakthrough as a triple jumper, winning the Youth Olympics as a 16-year-old, but had to shelve that career due to injury concerns. But Khaddi has also lined up competitions just under 7.00: 6.95 as the longest and another four over 6.92. So both she and the Swedish athletics public are waiting for that real hit, which would also push the Swedish record over to the right side of the dream limit. Maybe it's finally time for it in Stockholm? And who knows, maybe we'll also see a new stadium record just from speed.
/ Stefan Holm