The Bellinzona meeting will offer the Swiss elite a last big meeting in a season undermined by the coronavirus, but intense on Tuesday, live on RTS 2 at 7.25 p.m. Good performances should be legion in Ticino.
Shifted from late May to mid-September due to the pandemic, the “Gala dei Castelli” meeting can present a dense program thanks to the work of the organizers. Alongside more than a dozen of the best Swiss athletes, there are some foreign headliners such as the Dutch Dafne Schippers – who will run the 100m – or the 400m world record holder Wayde van Niekerk.
But in Bellinzona, all eyes will be on Ajla Del Ponte. The Ticino sprinter has exploded this year and wants to shine in front of her audience. She hit hard in mid-July with a personal best of 11”08 over 100m, becoming the 2nd fastest Swiss woman behind Mujinga Kambundji. She will give everything on Tuesday, even if she will also be in contention Thursday in Rome in the Diamond League.
Lea Sprunger wants to go under 55 “
Handicapped by an Achilles tendon problem at the start of the summer, the European 400m hurdles champion Lea Sprunger will also be closely followed on Tuesday, she who has regained all her means. She proved it on Saturday in Basel by conquering the title of Swiss champion over 200m with a time close to 23 ” (23”08).
The 30-year-old Vaudoise will finish her season on Tuesday, in her favorite discipline. The 4th of the Doha 2019 Worlds – with the key to the Swiss record in 54.06 – hopes to finish in style on the Ticinese tartan, passing for the first time of the year under 55 ”.
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Hopes Ditaji Kambundji and Simon Ehammer
Not yet so close to the Swiss record (12”62), Ditaji Kambundji has also made a dazzling progress this year over 100 m hurdles. At 18, Mujinga’s younger sister cut 0”85 from her personal best to take it to 13”07. She hopes to do better on Tuesday. Another hope, the decathlete Simon Ehammer (20) could meanwhile titillate Julien Fivaz’s Swiss record in length (8m27): he has already achieved 8m15 in 2020.
New record for Joseph?
Although the 2020 financial year was cut off from the Olympics and the Europeans to turn into a transition season, it still allowed young Swiss athletes to emerge at the international level. Starting with Jason Joseph. The 21-year-old Bâlois, a specialist in the 110m hurdles, further improved his Swiss record on Saturday in Basel (13”29). If he manages to run a clean race, he could go even faster on Tuesday.
Mujinga Kambundji recovers a medal
Mujinga Kambundji will recover the bronze medal in the 60m of the Europeans indoor in Belgrade 2017, where she took 4th place. She took advantage of the disqualification of the Ukrainian Olesya Povh, who had finished 2nd. The Bernese will receive this charm on Tuesday evening at the Bellinzona meeting. Olesya Povh had been suspended for 4 years for doping in August 2017. The CAS having rejected the appeal filed by the Ukrainian, her results obtained from June 15, 2016 were definitively annulled.