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Athletics Returns With The Impossible Games



Athletics Returns with the Impossible Games

Like most sports, athletics came to a stand still at the behest of the COVID-19 crisis.

All events were cancelled and athletes turned to competing in their gardens.

Now, with sports tentatively restarting, Oslo will today host the Impossible Games as stars of the track and field return in an unfamiliar guise.


What are the Impossible Games?

An exhibition event held in Oslo in place of the regular Diamond League meeting that was supposed to happen today. 

The event will see athletes compete over a range of unfamiliar events.

In a revised format, and in adherence with Norway’s infection control measures, not all athletes will compete within the Bislett Stadium. 

Whilst pole vault world record holder Armand Duplantis will compete in the stadium, rival Renaud Lavillenie competed from his garden earlier in the week, with his jumps to be revealed during the live event.

Other events will see athletes compete against each other from different continents.


Who is competing?

Norwegian athletics is flourishing at present and their two major stars will both be on show.

Karsten Warholm, current 400m hurdle world champion, will run solo in the 300m hurdles as he attempts to break an 18-year-old world record. The young Norwegian has become dominant in the discipline and needs to run under 34.59 seconds to beat the current record set by Chris Rawlinson.

In a cross-continent race, ‘Team Ingebrigtsen’- made up of brothers Jakob, Henrik and Filip- will compete against ‘Team Cheruiyot’ in the 2000m. Jakob Ingebrigtsen has become a star of European athletics whilst still only a teenager, and will run with his brothers in the Oslo stadium. ‘Team Cheruiyot’ will compete in Kenya with the event broadcast in a split-screen format, leading to an innovative if not unusual race.

Elsewhere, innovation emerges in the form of technology as Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal will attempt to take the Norwegian women’s 3000m record with the aid of wavelight technology. With this, the inside of the track will light up in accordance with the necessary pace to beat the record.

In the field, the aforementioned Duplantis will attempt to continue his incredible form from earlier in the season, when he set two world records within a week. His main contender is former record holder Lavillenie.

Due to restrictions, no athletes will be flown in for the games so the nine other events are all-Scandinavian affairs, a unique men’s 25000m and women’s 200m hurdles the other events of note.

A full list of events and participants can be found here.


Will we see a world record?

Nothing makes watching athletics more exciting than the prospect of a world record, and in Karsten Warholm there is a good chance we will witness one today.

The 24-year-old’s best time in the 400m hurdles is just over one-tenth away from the long-standing world record. With the 300m hurdles less run and the world record arguably much more achievable, it will be surprising if Warholm does not achieve the fete on home soil.

But he may not be the only one on the hunt for a record performance.

Pole Vault rarely garners much attention beyond hardcore athletics fans but will today become a centrepiece event. With the spotlight all to himself, don’t be surprised if Duplantis goes chasing his own world record which he set earlier this year.

Whilst the team 2000m may not have any records on the line, it will also be a hugely entertaining race, featuring some of the world’s leading athletes in the middle distances.


When is it and how can I watch it?

The event will begin today at 18.25 BST or 19.25 CET, with the last event at 20.48 BST.

You can stream the full event live in the UK via the BBC red button or internationally on the Diamond League website.


We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Athletics Returns with the Impossible Games.’ Will you be tuning into the Impossible Games? Let us know!


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