The anticipated Kalevaspel duel between the fresh Finnish record holders ended in Samuli Samuelsson’s favour. Samuelsson won the 100-meter final ahead of Samuel Purola in a time of 10.24.
Samuelsson ran a new Finnish record, 10.16, a couple of weeks ago. He admits that the record time put all the pressure on him before the final.
– It feels good that I was able to prove to myself that I can handle the pressure of being a favorite. This was only my second FM gold in 100 meters so it feels good.
Samuelsson is also competing in the 200 meters in the Kaleva Games, but the biggest goal is the EC in Munich.
– This was good for the EC. It was important to do a tough competition before the trip to Germany.
Small chewy Purola happy with silver
Samuel Purola, who set a new Finnish record for 200 meters, 20.45, in Malmö in July, crossed the finish line as second in 10.33. The time and the race gave him mixed feelings.
– I didn’t run at the top of my ability. I have not fully recovered from the training sessions I did with a view to the EC. With that in mind, I can be satisfied.
Is it possible that you stand over 200 meters when you feel tired?
– Absolutely not. That competition is the reason why I came to the Kaleva Games. I have time to rest next week.
Excellent breadth in Finnish sprint running
Finnish sprint running is doing well on the men’s side. In addition to Samuelsson and Purola, Santeri Örn and Oskari Lehtonen have also run under 10.45 this summer. Nine runners have been clocked at 10.54 or better.
– The development requires talented athletes who are ready to do the work. The results do not come by themselves. We are in the fortunate position that there is an excellent width of 100, 200 and 400 meters, says Purola and continues:
– It is no longer the case that only a couple of athletes deliver great results. The competition has become increasingly tougher, which spurs everyone to work even harder.
Samuli Samuelsson highlights his rival Purola as the most exciting future name.
– I have praised him countless times – he is Finland’s most talented sprinter of all time. But it’s nice to see that so many talents have found the sprint race.
Final place possible in Munich
In the EC, Samuelsson and Purola first participate in 100 and 200 meters respectively. However, both mean that the short relay also has a high priority.
– We have a fantastic team. We have excellent chances of doing well. You could say we have four 10.3 runners. With successful exchanges, we are in the final. I think we all have great expectations, says Samuelsson.
So the Finnish record is within reach?
The current Finnish record for 4 x 100 meters is 38.92 and was run by the quartet of Eetu Rantala, Otto Ahlfors, Oskari Lehtonen and Samuel Purola at the European Championships in Berlin 2018.