2022 World Championships in Athletics – against the World Championships Organiser:

2022 World Championships in Athletics - against the World Championships Organiser:

Eugene (Dagbladet): Hayward Field is the pride of Eugene, USA. Recently, the stadium was completely renovated, paid for by the founder of Nike, Phil Knight.

Unlike many popular running tracks in Europe, Hayward Field is only used for athletics.

It should have provided absolutely perfect conditions for the athletes, but at the end of the week the Norwegian pole vaulters revealed that the organizer could have thought about it again during the restroom.

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– A little scary

They tried to qualify for the World Cup final at the same time as the women’s javelin final, and some javelins flew dangerously close to the athletes and officials.

It was meters from the outer right side of the spear area to the pole vault entry point.

Sondry Guttormsen, who reached the final on Sunday, says he faced the javelin too soon:

– There was an attempt before the little brother jumped, and then the spear almost flew out of the sector. I think it’s like that if they throw 60m plus and freak it’ll be in prep.

Is this potentially dangerous?

– I haven’t seen exactly where the track is, but it will probably be very close. There weren’t many people watching where the spear went or things like that. It’s a little scary.

Brothers: Simen Guttormsen (left) and Sondre Guttormsen during the pole vault qualification for the 2022 World Championships in Athletics at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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It had to change

The 23-year-old Norwegian pole vaulter believes the regulator should have taken action.

Maybe it’s not ideal to have a javelin at the same time as a team when it’s a stadium like this. They certainly couldn’t have had the men’s javelin throw, but when there are ten days of competition during the tournament, they probably couldn’t have done the drills on the same day.

Little brother Simen Guttormsen did not reach the pole vault final, but he completed a good qualification and gained useful experience in the water cycle. And while he didn’t notice any spears getting dangerously close during qualifying, he says it wasn’t the perfect choice:

– I have seen in the past that spears have landed near the pole area. It’s something that can be a bit problematic, perhaps most of all for the officials who are standing by and watching us. If the javelin exits the strip, Guttormsen explains, it won’t be several meters before it’s on the construction track, and notes that Hayward Field is more compact than other classic athletics tracks.

– Should the stick and spear be arranged at the same time?

– No, the official should certainly have known that this was not a good idea. They should have changed that. Fortunately, we got through it without any major issues, the 21-year-old tells Dagbladet.

not dangerous

Dagbladet was in contact with the regulator after the Norwegian criticism. Ms. journalist Nicole Jeffrey explains that they made a careful assessment beforehand, but concluded there was no problem:

We have discussed the matter with the stadium management and the international coaches. The javelin and pole also overlapped during the American Championships earlier this year without any problems, and so we concluded they were perfectly safe, as she explained in an email to Dagbladet.

Dagbladet has emailed the organizer about the Norwegian wish, but has yet to receive a response. The men’s javelin final takes place on Monday night at 03.00 Norwegian time.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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