Jonas Hedman, founder of friidrottaren.com, provides RunBlogRun with columns on the performances and athletes of Scandinavia. Here is a column that Jonas did for us last week on the Swedish Championships.
Swedish championships summary
Daniel Ståhl's World Lead in Discus Top Performance at the Swedish Championships
The Swedish championships took place in Sollentuna, just north of Stockholm, on 26-28 August and the number one performance of the weekend was Daniel Ståhl's 68.72 in discus. It was a World lead and he also broke the legendary Ricky Bruch's 44-year-old championship record. Overall, it was a good weekend with five new championship records in four events and 13 of the 14 Swedes who competed in Rio was back on track after the Olympic adventure.
Daniel Ståhl has had a good season, although he missed the Olympic final with just 42 centimeters. Back on Swedish soil he showed that his shape is great by throwing 68.72 in his last throw and surpassed Christoph Harting's Olympic winning result of 68.37 as the World lead. After the throw, Ståhl lifted his arms, waited for the result and then screamed of happiness and ran out on the infield. He did a somersault (!) and continued sprinting a bit and almost set the whole arena on fire! He's a wonderful showman and really good for the sport!
"I thought that I should really go for it 100 percent today and it worked out pretty well. But, I wish I could have thrown like this in the Olympics. But I am proud of myself", said Ståhl, who was born and raised just 20km from the arena and had a lot of friends cheering for him.
He broke the oldest record in the book
Ståhl started with a 67 meter throw which unfortunately was just outside the sector area, and then 65.09 in the second round. That was a historical result since he beat the oldest championship record in the book - the 44-year-old 64.40 set by Ricky Bruch (1946-2011) back in 1972 (the same year as he took the Olympic bronze in Munich). Ståhl then had a foul at 65 in the third round, 63.83 in the fourth and another foul in the fifth and finally the record throw in the last round. The whole podium included Olympic throwers since Axel Härstedt (tenth in the Olympic final) was second in 63.49 and Benn Harraddine third in 62.20 (he represents Australia but has a Swedish girlfriend and lives in Sweden part time). 68.74 moved Ståh from third to second place on the Swedish all-time-list behind Swedish record holder Ricky Bruch who threw 71.26 in 1984. Ståhl is now 43rd on the World all-time-list.
Great birthday present
The day before Ståhl celebrated his 24th birthday by setting a personal best of 19.38 in the shot. That was good enough to defend his title from 2015 and Ståhl was also happy that his club Spårvägens FK filled the whole podium since Niklas Arrhenius was second in 19.15 and his brother Leif Arrhenius third in 18.61.
In total five championship records were broken. Except Daniel Ståhl in discus (twice) Sarah Lahti won 5000m in 15:32.46, Anna Wessman threw 57.76 in javelin and Marinda Petersson 69.22 in hammer. Petersson. Her younger brother is Wictor Petersson who took bronze in discus at the World junior championships a month ago and now she won her first national title. She had the four longest throws in the meet and beat Swedish record holder (70.99 this year) and seven-time winner Tracey Andersson who finished third in 64.50.
Sarah Lahti, 20, was 12th at 10 000m in Rio in a new national record of 31:28.43 and won 5000m in Sollentuna with a 47 seconds lead (!). She left the rest of the field behind her immediately and broke marathoner Isabellah Andersson's championship record by 13 seconds.
Lindh won 800m from the front
One of the Swede's who really had a good Olympics was 800m runner Lovisa Lindh who set personal bests in the heat (2:00.04) as well as the semifinal (1:59.41) and missed the final with just 0.36 and the Swedish record by 0.21.
At the Swedish championships she ran in front during the last lap and won in 2:01.25 - just 0.5 seconds behind Malin Ewerlöfs 21-year-old championship record set at the same arena. Anna Silvander was second in 2:02.57, just 0.04 from PB, and Hanna Hermansson third in 2:04.28. The latter one is a 27-year-old former soccer player who picked up running as late as in January 2015. She lives in Los Angeles and it will be interesting to follow her progression.
Sagnia beat Kallur in wrong event
Among the four who won two titles in Sollentuna long jumper Khaddi Sagnia (seventh at the World championships in 2015) was one. She did not have any success at the Olympics and was never close to reach the final. In Rio she had hurdler Susanna Kallur as roommate and Kallur persuaded her to also run 100m flat at the national champs. They both did and Sagnia won in 11.48 and was almost in shock! She moved to equal six on the Swedish all-time-list together with Carolina Klüft and improved her personal best by 1.17 seconds. It was the first time since 2009 she ran the event in legal conditions and it was great to see her reaction when she understood that she had won! Sagnia then won long jump at 6.69 in a 2.2 m/s tail wind.
Susanna Kallur, 35, finished second in 11.53 - 0.23 from her ten year old personal best and was happy.
"I have had a great comeback season and I don't feel any pain in my leg. It's enough with one event this weekend but I might run both 100 flat and 100 hurdles at the national match against Finland next weekend", said Kallur who probably will finish her season in Brussels on 9 September.
Michel Tornéus for the record books
Long jumper Michel Tornéus set a Swedish record of 8.44 in the beginning of July but had no luck in the Olympic qualification and missed the final with 20 centimeters. The national championships was his first meet after the Rio trip and he won with 16 centimeters at 7.74. That was his tenth outdoor long jump title (he also has eight indoors) which made him historic since he passed Mattias Sunneborn who has nine.
On Sunday, Tornéus also won the triple jump (16.10) and repeated his double from 2012. Since the event was introduced at the Swedish championships in 1900 only four men have done that on five occasions (1900, 1933, 1962 and Tornéus 2012 and 2016).
Sofie Skoog tried 1.95
Olympic seven-placer Sofie Skoog had no problem winning her second straight title at 1.90. She then tried the PB height 1.95 but wasn't successful this time. Second at 1.79 was two-time Olympian Emma Green, 31, who have had a lot of injuries and did not qualify for Rio. She said she will probably retire after the indoor season in 2017.
Pole vaulter Angelica Bengtsson won her fourth title by clearing 4.35 which was too much for Olympian Michaela Meijer. Bengtsson then tried the Scandinavian record 4.72 and had one quite good attempt.
For most of the best Swedish and Finnish athletes the season will end after next weekends national match which will be held in the little town of Tampere since the Helsinki Olympic stadium is renovated.
Jonas Hedman, friidrottaren.com