In the home stadium of World bronze medallist Linus Thörnblad, 1800 inhabitants of Lund, the University town in the south of Sweden, got an opportunity to see three Swedish high jump medallists from major championships compete in what were quite windy conditions.
Thörnblad was up against the top Swedish high jumpers including the Olympic champion Stefan Holm in a high jumping gala held in Sweden’s oldest sports ground still in use, built in 1892 originally as a bicycle velodrome.
Thörnblad takes 2.30m victory
The previous weekend Thörnblad took the place in the Swedish European cup team which have been occupied by Holm since 1998. So Holm was looking for a victory to maintain his position as Sweden’s best high jumper. But already at 2.22m Thörnblad took the led when Holm could only clear on his second attempt. Then Holm needed all three attempts before making 2.25, while Thörnblad again made it directly in the first jump.
Although the Olympic champion got the chance to take over the lead at 2.28 but while Thörnblad, who jumped first, failed in his first two attempts, so did Holm. And it was Thörnblad who made it on his third attempt, while Holm didn’t.
Thörnblad continued at 2.30m and again he made it on his third attempt. Then he ordered the bar up to 2.33m, a ‘would be’ world best for 2006, and his first attempt was really good but the height was too good for him in the end.
Season’s best of Emma Green
In the women’s competition the World outdoor bronze medallist, Emma Green, dominated from the start. The victory was secured on her second jump when she cleared 1.86m. Then she continued with first time clearances at season’s bests of 1.89 and 1.92. The first failure came at 1.95 and though she also failed the other attempts, her shape seams to be developing positively.
Despite her good performance she’s not selected in the High Jump spot in Sweden’s European Cup team as the World champion Kajsa Bergqvist still keeps her position as number one in Sweden. Still the multi-talented Green is included in the team to run the 200 metres and in the 4x100 metres relay team.
The background of Lundahoppet
After the bronze medal for Linus Thörnblad at the World Indoors in Moscow, this winter, the idea of a high jumping meeting - Lundahoppet - in Lund was born. Stefan Holm accepted the invitation almost immediately and a date for the meeting to fit in with everyone’s schedules was found quite soon, and with the hard work of the club in league with the local authority and local companies, yesterday’s competition was born.
Göran Lenz for the IAAF
RESULTS – High Jump
1.Linus Thörnblad 2.30
2.Stefan Holm 2.25
3.Joel Spolén 2.10
1.Emma Green 1.92
2.Ebba Jungmark 1.83