Johan Wissman in Karlskrona (Hasse Sjogren) © Copyright
General News Karlskrona, Sweden

Klüft, Arvidsson, Jeng, and Wissman keep home crowd happy in Karlskrona

Although local heroes Magnus Arvidsson and Carolina Klüft took expected decisive wins in the men's Javelin Throw and the women's Long Jump respectively, they did not provide their hometown crowd in Karlskrona with any spectacular marks on a windy and somewhat chilly evening at the second leg of the Swedish "Folksam Grand Prix" series (16).

Arvidsson still had the top-3 marks in the Javelin competition winning by three metres at 79.02m. Klüft's three legal attempts all would have the won the Long Jump and in the end her 6.61 provided a sizeable 29 cm margin so 2nd placed Russian Olga Balayeva. It should also be noted that Klüft had one 6.80ish narrow foul.

The middle distance revelation of 2008 Abubaker Kaki of Sudan  who has set up his European base this summer in Sweden was content to "walk" another 1500m. In the evening cold Kaki did not really apply any force until the finishing straight where a daring challenge from Brasilian Leandro Oliveira was met with a response that instantaneously created a 10m gap. Kaki's winning time was 3:40.24.

Osaka 400m finalist Johan Wissman returned to his former speciality the 200m and despite lack of any real opposition (won by almost eight tenths) and into a stiff headwind (-2.1 mps) he stopped the clock at 20.77. This indicates that Wissman is capable of lowering his 20.30 PB (and NR) in a more favourable setting competition and weather wise.

In the winter of 2006 Pole Vaulter Alhaji Jeng came very close to claiming the World Indoor title. But after sustaining a major hamstring pull that summer he has struggled for almost two years to reclaim his old form. Clearing 5.72m in Karlskrona by a wide margin hopefully signals that this trying period finally has come to and end.

And Jeng really needed those 5.72 as it was not him but the 2007 European U23 silver medallist Jesper Fritz that was in the lead after 5.62. Fritz has also had more than his share of hamstring problems in recent years.

With the 2008 World Junior Championships in Bydgoszcz being less than three weeks away the crowd was happy to see 18-years-olds Petra Olsen (2007 World Youth bronze medallist) and Sofia Öberg (2007 World Youth 5th placer) winning their events over senior opposition. Pole Vaulter Olsen added 15cm to her just two days old National Junior record by clearing 4.25m and 800m-runner Öberg simply controlled her race winning by over a second in 2:07sec.

Lennart Julin for the IAAF

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