● 100 METERS
European Indoor Champion at 60m Jan Volko has not won at PTS yet (2016 – 5th at 100m / 10,39, 2017 – 3rd at 200m / 20,58w, 2018 – 2nd at 100m / 10,13) but there is always a change that he might succeed. However, the competition will be extremely challenging, there are four sprinters with personal bests under 10s – South Africans Roto (9,95), Bruintjies (9,97), American Belcher (9,93) and Hyman from exotic Cayman Islands (9,95) who’s the best time is 10.10s this year. There will be also the World Champion (2014) and double European Champion (2015, 2017) at 60m Briton Richard Kilty (10.32 this year). Last year winner from P-T-S, Sydney Siame from Zambia will be also present on the start, but he is still looking for last year’s form (so far 10.41 on Odlozil’s memorial in Prague). In addition to Volko, other Slovaks – Simon Bujna, Mate Kiss, Lukas Puchovsky and Oliver Murcko – will perform in the heat races.
● 1000 METERS
The oldest meeting record of 2: 19.6 min, which belongs to Stanislav Jungwirth from the opening year of the September 1st, 1957, will try to overcome the world indoor recorder on this track Ayanleh Souleiman. Souleiman is the World Champion at 1500 meters, bronze at the World Championship 2013 at 800 meters and fourth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Suleiman’s rivals will be: the European Indoor Champion 2015 at 1500 m Jakub Holuša from Czech Republic, who is also the World Indoor Vice-Champion at 800 (2012) and 1500 m (2016). Kyle Langford from Great Britain, fourth from 2017 World Championships in London at 800 m and Kenyan Collins Kipruto, who on last Sunday triumphed at 800m in Rehlingen, Germany, with time of 1: 45.17. At 1000m run in Samorin, there is a real chance of world performance of the year (2: 20,62), which belongs to Spanish Jesús Gómez.
● 3000m STEEPLECHASE
Junior World Champion of 2014 versus Junior European Champion of 2015 and Bronze medalist form 2018 World Championships in Berlin, or Barnabas Kipyego versus Yohanes Chiapinelli. Kenyan with a personal best of 8: 09,13 run already excellent time of 8: 12,93 this year and was also the ninth in the Diamond League in Rome, where the Italian (origin is from Ethiopia) improved his personal best to 8: 24,26. But there is also a trio of Ethiopian fighters deeply under 8:20 m – Tafese Soboku (8: 13,22), Tesfaye Giro (8: 16,14) and Amare Hailemaryama (8: 13,39).
● 400 M HURDLES
The best Slovak in this discipline, the winner of the World Universiade 2013 and the finalist of the 2016 European Championship, Martin Kucera is improving from the race to the race. In Samorin he will try to significantly improve his season’s best of 51.07 from the winning race in Prague at Dukla meeting. He will have rivals with a good quality: for example, the former World Junior vice-champion, Johnny Dutch of the United States (personal best 47.63), triple South African champion, Lindsay Hanek (48.81), South African Zazini Sokwakhana (49.32) who is the World Junior Champion 2018 and World U18 Champion 2017. There will be also French Mamadou Kasse Hann (48,40), seventh from the 2013 World Championships.
● HIGH JUMP
Bronze medalist from the 2017 World Championships in London and the Asian Champion 2019, Majd Eddin Ghazal (personal best of 236 cm). Thirty-two-years-old Syrian is also the co-owner of the world’s 231-season best. In the traditional discipline of the Samorin PTS meeting, the World Champion of 2012, Dimitrios Chondrokoukis from Cyprus will be presented. (233 cm, till 2012 he represented Greece), bronze medalist from WCH 2011 Trevor Barry from Bahamas (232 cm), Edgar Rivera, the Mexican recorder (230 cm) and Slovak Lukas Beer.
Double Olympic champion, triple World Champion and the second man of the world class Christian Taylor of the USA (18.21 m!) together with other great triple jumpers, Cuban Andy Diaz (17.40m, this year 17.22m) is the seventh of the 2017 World Championships in London, American Donald Scott at the Diamond League in Rome coronated the 3rd place with his personal best of 17.43m, British veteran Nathan Douglas (17, 64m) is the European Champion of 2006 and finalist of many top events, and Georgi Tson of Bulgaria (17.03) is European U23 Vice-Champion 2015 and a finalist of European Champion (2016) and European Indoor Championships (2015, 2017). For Slovak Tomas Veszelka (8th at European Championships 2018 and 6th at European Indoor Championships 2019), the P-T-S will have a “sharp” start to the summer season, where he would like to qualify for the Doha World Championship (16.95m limit). Another Slovak, Jan Suba is also jumping
Unfortunately, because of the injury, the bronze medalist from the 2017 World Championship, Petr Frydrych won`t come. But the winner of the contest under 23 years at the European Samorin Cup, Alexei Kotkavec will not be missed. The twenty-one-year-old Belarus, second at European Junior Championship 2017, improved twice the world best of the year at that time (82.40, 82.45) and achieved significantly better performance than the winner of the men’s competition. The second place at x-bionic® sphere went to Polish Cyprian Mrzyglod, European Junior Champion 2017, who is also returning to Samorin. However, the Latvian Rolands Strobinders has the personal best of 85.07m, but this year he has thrown 83.15m. Slovak colors are represented by promising Patrik Michalec, who has already completed the European Junior Championship in Boras, and Ondrej Barton.
● 3000 METER WALKING
South African, Lebogang Shange triumphed in 2017 at P-T-S with excellent 10: 47,08 personal best and Polish Dawid Tomala (10: 56,98), who is also a Samorin stadium recorder, is the first to come to defend Lanna’s lead. Under certain circumstances, this pair could attack a meeting record (10: 56,34 by Roman Mrazek in 1989) and the world performance of German Christopher Link (10: 57,45). In the absence of Olympic champion Matej Toth, there are Slovak champions at 20 km Miroslav Uradnik (2018) and Dominik Cerny (2019), both with hope to improve 11: 26,22 personal bests, respectively. 11: 35.49.
● 400 METERS
Last year’s winner Anita Horvat from Slovenia (record 51.22), who is also a stadium recorder in x-bionic® sphere, with the Greek Maria Belimpasaki, unexpected European vice-champion from Berlin 2018 (personal record of 50,45) are the biggest favorites to win at PTS 2019. Slovene has 52,70 this year, the Greek girl 52,04 from last Sunday, and she is seventh in the European tables of the year. But even faster in the current season is Madeline Price from Canada (51.56).
There will be also Polina Miller, an excellent Russian junior female, starting as an authorized neutral female athlete (record of 51.65). Eighteen years old Polina finished fourth at 200 meters in Tampere Junior World Championships last year, and she is also the semifinalist from 2018 European Championships in Berlin and from 2019 European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
● 800 METERSGabriela Gajanová started greatly her first senior season, finished second behind Moroccan Akkaoui in Odložil’s Memorial in Prague (EA Classic status) and met the limit at the Doha World Championships. Last year, she improved her personal record at PTS (then 6th in 2:03.52), and if that were to be repeated now, she would have already hit the two-minute limit, as she achieved excellent 2:00.58 min at the Prague meeting. However, there will be very strong rivalry for Gabriela: Joanna Józwik, a double bronze medalist from the European Championship at 800m (Zürich 2014, Prague 2015/Indoor) and 5th from the Rio Olympics where she created personal maximum 1: 57.37 min. Other opponents are Adelle Tracey from Great Britain ( fourth in European Championship 2018 in Berlin in 1:59.86), Elgay Nalyany from Kenya (finalist of Commonwealth Games 2018 in 2: 00.28) and three Ethiopians Firdis Dinke, Korea Tolu and Freweyni Hailu. There will be also two Slovaks Alexandra Štuková and Iveta Putalová competing.
● 100 M HURDLESStanislava Lajčáková has already indicated that she may be a dignified successor to the Slovak recorder (13.04) Miriam Bobková Cupáková. She moved her personal record to 13.16 s and is an adept at a place at the Doha World Championships. With her coach Michal Škvarka they could come with another improvement at P-T-S, where she will have the rivalry she hasn’t competed this year. The biggest star is European champion from Berlin 2018 Belarus Elvira Herman with personal record of 12.64. There will be also Briton Cindy Ofili, the fourth of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio (12,60), Anne Zagré from Belgium, the European Junior Ex-Champion (2009) and the three-time European Finalist (2012 – 4th, 2014 – 4th, 2016 – 5th) and Evonne Britton (12.81), US Vice-Champion 2019, who has been running 400m hurdles in the past and won silver at the 2010 World Championships. Other Slovaks, Monika Baňovičová and Simona Takácsová, will also take part in the opening.
● 400 M HURDLESDaniela Ledecká was inspired by her last year’s start at the European Championship in Berlin and since the indoor season, she improves personal records on all possible tracks. In the current summer season, it has already been improved to 100m (12.00), 200m (24.13) and 400m (53.29), but not yet in her main 400m hurdle discipline. However, in each of the three starts so far, she has got better (58.77 – 58.12 – 57.93), so she could bring her a move on this track, where she has achieved her best time last year at European Championships – 57.81 s. The favorite is the former North American 23-year-old Kiah Seymour from the United States, who has the best seasonal maximum of 55.41 s – a personal record. There will be also Verra Rudakovová (54.48) Yusuf Aminat (55.54) competing.
● 3000 METERS WALKINGMária Czaková (12: 34,29 – personal record, P-T-S record and stadium record) is a 50 km specialist, but she is still fast enough to defend the first place in the world also in this discipline. However, three strong rivals stand in her way – Anežka Drahotová from the Czech Republic, Agnieszka Jarochowa from Poland and Viktória Madarasz from Hungary. In addition to Czaková, other Slovaks Monika Hornáková, Hana Burzalová and Alžbeta Ragasová will start.
Prepared by GABRIEL BOGDANYI