Cool and wet conditions are expected for tomorrow’s Bislett Games in Oslo – the fifth of this season’s International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League meetings – but home athletes such as Karsten Warholm and the Ingebrigtsen brothers will be guaranteed to raise the temperature.
Warholm, the world 400 metres hurdles champion, had been due to have another crack at Abderrahman Samba, who finished last season unbeaten, but the naturalised Qatar athlete has had to pull out with bursitis.
That still leaves the 23-year-old Norwegian, who opened his season in his main event on May 30 with a time of 47.85sec at a cold and rainy Stockholm Diamond League meeting, facing the British Virgin Islander who has beaten him to the Diamond League title for the past two years, Kyron McMaster.
Samba’s meeting record of 47.60, set in beating Warholm on his home ground last year, may be a significant target in front of an expected sell-out crowd of 14,200.
Oslo’s signature event, the Dream Mile, this year features two of Norway’s most famous athletics family in the shape of 18-year-old Jakob Ingebrigtsen, who won European 1,500 and 5,000m gold last summer and added European indoor gold and silver at 3,000 and 1,500m, respectively, in March, along with elder brother Filip, 2016 European champion and world bronze medallist at 1,500m.
Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibouti, the winner of this race in 2014, returns for another go after finishing second in the Stockholm 1,500m, one place ahead of Jakob, with both being given the same time.
In the 3,000m, the focus will be on Ethiopia’s 19-year-old Diamond League champion Selemon Barega, who moves down in distance in search of his first win of the season after runner-up finishes in the Shanghai and Rome 5,000m races.
Barega’s compatriot Muktar Edris, the world 5,000m champion, makes his first international start of the season.
Asian champion Birhanu Balew of Bahrain will also be a factor, given his 5,000m personal best of 12min 56.26sec in Rome last week.
The field features the eldest Ingebrigtsen, Henrik, European 1,500m champion in 2012, who will have the Norwegian record of 7:40.77 in mind.
One of the strongest fields will assemble in the women's 3,000m steeplechase, with world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech facing world champion Emma Coburn of the United States and fellow Kenyans Norah Jeruto and Celliphine Chespol, both of whom have joined her in sub-nine minute territory.
The men's pole vault features Sweden’s 19-year-old European champion Armand Duplantis, whose 2019 best of 6.00m leads the world lists, taking on the world champion, Sam Kendricks of the United States, who has won in Doha, Stockholm and Hengelo this season.
The men’s 100m features world silver medallist and world indoor champion Christian Coleman, the defending Diamond League champion, who opened his season with 9.86sec clocking in Shanghai as he finished just 0.006 behind fellow American Noah Lyles.
His most likely rivals will be Britain’s Reece Prescod, who has run 9.97 this season, and Arthur Cisse of Ivory Coast.
The women’s 400m hurdles will bring together four sub-53 second runners in the same contest for only the second time this year.
With three wins in as many races this season, Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad has won all three of her races this season and arrives top of this season’s world lists with 53.61.
She will be taking on fellow Americans Shamier Little, world champion Kori Carter, and rising talent Sydney McLaughlin, who is making her Diamond League debut in her main event.