Between the Continental Tour Gold and the Diamond League – whose next meet will be in Rome next September 17th – the ISTAF prepares itself to host one of the most important athletics reunions of the year. The 99th edition of the German meet will be celebrated next Sunday, September 13th at the Olympiastadion of Berlin. Doors are open, not only to athletes and the eleven events but also to 3,500 people.
As the ISTAF organization has announced this Friday on Instagram, the event “will be the record-breaking summit meeting of world-class athletes”. Ten of the current world’s best athletes will compete in seven disciplines.
The ISTAF reunion will start at 15.10h. The first event will be Men Discus Throw with Daniel Stahl as the star athlete. The current world champion arrives at the Olympiastadion with a season-best of 71.37, set in a meet in his home country, Sweden, a month ago. It is a mark so close of his PB, 71.86.
Ten minutes later, at 15:20h, the sandpit will be opened for Men Triple Jump. The four-time world champion and double Olympic winner Christian Taylor will compete at the ISTAF. His season-best is 17.46, a mark he set last September, 8th in a Continental Tour Gold meet in Ostrava. Will he improve it and come close to his PB (18.21) this Sunday? We’ll see it.
At 16:00h, the event of the season will start in Berlin: Men Pole Vault. It is undeniable that the pole vault discipline is having its good days in athletics. We just have to take a look at Lausanne’s meeting more than a week ago. The double world champion Sam Kendricks and the world record holder Mondo Duplantis gave to the audience one of the most incredible shows of the season (or even the pole vault history). Both jumped over 6 meters, becoming the first time in pole vault history two athletes accomplish this feat in the same reunion. Also, at that meet, Duplantis set a new SB, PB, and Diamond League meeting passing 6.07 at the first attempt.
The ISTAF meet is not only special because is going to be attended by Kendricks, Piotr Lisek, and Olympic champion Thiago Braz; but also for how special will be the evening if Armand Duplantis achieves the goal he is been trying to get at the pass meetings.
The prodigy young athlete has been trying to fulfill the whole world record. He broke it twice last February, setting the bar at 6.18. But it was at two indoor meetings. A world record is a world record, no matter where it is set. But, the Swede wants to break the Sergey Bubka’s outdoor record. The Ukrainian athlete set this mark 26 years ago jumping 6.14, and the Swede has tried at Stockholm, Lausanne, and Brussels to jump 6.15. It is a mark he can achieve, considering he jumped 6.18 last February, but the goal is becoming as precious as time and attempts are passing.
In addition to this story, Berlin is also the perfect place for the Swede to achieve this dream. Mondo Duplantis come forward to the world and press media two years ago at the Olympiastadion when he won the European championship jumping 6.05. Not only had the mark blown everybody's minds at that time, but also his age: he was only 18 years old. Two years later, Duplantis comes back to Berlin with a valuable goal and a chance to be part of a beautiful story for athletics history. He just has to jump 6.15 this Sunday.
Men Javelin Throw competition is also in the spotlight. Last September 6th, German athlete Johannes Vetter did in a Continental Tour Gold meet in Poland his best performance of his career. The former world champion set a PB and season-best of 97.76, less than 75 cm far away from the world record in this discipline. Maybe is the perfect time to set a new world record.
Another German star of this reunion is the world champion Malaika Mihambo. The long jumper will compete at the Olympiastadion. Mambo has a PB at 7.30m, and her best performance this season has been a jump of 7.03m last month in Germany.
At 17:15, the track will be open to women runners. They will run the 1500m race, and British Laura Muir arrives to the event with the best marks. Muir won the same race at the same stadium two years ago at the European championship, and this year, her season-best is set at 3:57.86. She owns the national British record (3:55.22), and her performance at Stockholm Diamond League meeting last month was close to this mark. We will see how the British athlete will run in Berlin this Sunday.
Last-minute addition to the competition has been Karsten Warholm. The European Road Runner wants to break the Kevin Young’s world record this season. At Stockholm meet, Warholm was so close to the achievement, but, he failed when he tore down the last barrier. He tried again at the last Continental meet, but he could not set a mark under 47 seconds. The double world champion and European winner will try again this Sunday at the Olympiastadion.
The last two races will be 100 meters. Dutch athlete Dafne Schippers is the main star of the women’s race. The Olympic and World medalist arrives at the Berlin Stadium with a season-best set at 11.29. Her PB was her performance in Beijing 2015 (10.81).
ISTAF Berlin is back again with audience at the stands. Next Sunday, September 13th at 15.00h some athletics stars will try to set new world records. This is a new chance for glory.