This is the second piece by Stuart Weir, on the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea 2020…
Netherlands, Britain and Ukraine to the fore
Femke Bol breaks 54 seconds. Again.
“Competing at senior level is still crazy for me,” she said after her 53.90 win.
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) September 17, 2020
It was a good evening at the golden gala in Rome for Netherlands, Britain and Ukraine. There were three Dutch winners – all women – Lieke Klaver in the 400m, Femke Bol in the 400m hurdles and Nadine Visser in the100m hurdles. Amdy Pozzi won the 110m hurdles and Jemma Reekie the 800m while Ukraine won both the high jumps through Yuliya Levchenko (1.98) and Andriy Protsenko (2:30).
— Wanda Diamond League (@Diamond_League) September 18, 2020
It has been an amazing season for Klaver who won in 50.98 commenting: “The race was amazing, I won the race and achieved a new PR. Plus, I did it on the last race of the season. That is soo cool. At one point I thought after the race: Did I do it? But on the other hand, I am very proud of myself. It is like a puzzle that came together today. This season I guess I turned from a girl to a young women because I am more serious now and I found a balance between my studies and the sport. This year with Covid 19 is weird, but it made me also relaxed. Everyone has to show the best version of themselves and so did I. As for next year, I have no idea, I have to see because I also run the 200.”
There would have been a few things for the home crowd to cheer about except that there was no crowd allowed. Edoardo Scotti won the 400m in 45.21. Gianmarco Tamberi led the high jump until his failure at 2.30 meant than he had to settle for second. Yemaneberhan Crippa was fourth in the 3000m but this set an Italian national record.
Tamberi commented: “It was a complicated competition. The first jumps were obscene, it seemed like I would stop at 2.15m. Then I managed to get something out it and arrived at 2.27m in a decent competition. It is the merrit of the Golden Gala. I am only sorry for a season in which I was obviously looking for other goals and other results. However, I am fine and this is important for the future”.
It was great that the Golden Gala was able to take place in Rome. Originally scheduled for may in Naples as the Olympic Stadium in Rome was being renovated, it was cancelled because of Covid. Then it was re-arranged for September back in Rome.
Sadly I was unable to travel this year having not missed the event previously since 2012.