The Kaleva Games tonight: Rarely seen width paves the way for highly interesting finals in the 400 meters, but the weather gods can put sticks in the wheels

The rescue service is at full capacity. Today’s competitions in the Kaleva Games are threatened by extreme weather. There is even talk of a tornado warning. On the competition front, the 400 meter finals are the highlights of the day.

It is above all the late events of the competition day that are in the danger zone.

Here are three of the final session’s most interesting competitions:

At 19.35 Women’s 400 meters – Baas is challenged by Lehikoinen and EC places in the relay are at stake

Expectations were raised after yesterday’s heat. A time of 55.07 was required to reach the final. Viivi Lehikoinen and Aino Pulkkinen even ran under 54 seconds.

The organizing association Joensuun Katajas Mette Baas has not lost against domestic opposition this summer. She has been in strong form all season and ran a personal best of 52.51 in Malmö in July. But Baas has to watch out for Viivi Lehikoinen, who set a Finnish record in the 400 meter hurdles at the WC in Eugene.

Third straight FM gold in 400 meters for Mette Baas?

Image: Vesa Pöppönen / AOP

Behind the expected tight duo, there is an even battle for both the bronze and the last places in the Finnish relay team. Aino Pulkkinen and Milja Thureson have been part of the relay team this summer, but also Ida Ravaska and IF Drotts Jeanine Nygård can be considered for the EC relay. Also, don’t forget the 800-meter specialist Eveliina Määttänen, who was third fastest in the trial heats.

The relay equation is further complicated by the fact that Finland’s team in the Junior World Championships ran extremely fast yesterday. Veera Mattila, Katriina Wright, Aada Aho and Ronja Koskela clocked in the trial heats for 3.34.10, which is a new Finnish junior record. Koskela ran the first stage in 53.75 and is at least included in the EC relay discussion.

At 19.45 Men’s 400 meters – Kaasalainen’s favorite but the fight for medals is a wasp’s nest

There were personal records for Viljami Kaasalainen (46.54), Samuel Purola (46.80) and Sibbo Vargarnas’ Eljas Aalto (46.92) in connection with the GP competition in Jyväskylä. The last time three Finnish men ran 400 meters under 47 seconds in one and the same competition was 1988.

Purola only runs 100 and 200 meters in the Kaleva Games and in his absence Kaasalainen is the clear favourite, while Aalto is the main contender.

Viljami Kaasalainen and Samuel Purola juoksemasa.
Viljami Kaasalainen won over Samuel Purola in the high-class race in Jyväskylä.

Image: Lehtikuva

The fight for the bronze feels uncertain. Half of the runners in the starting field represent SFI associations. In addition to Aalto, Borgå Akille’s Benjamin Stendahl and Max Tallqvist and Gamlakarleby IF’s Filiph Johansson also qualified for the final.

At 20.05 Men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase – does Raitanen give a welcome message of form?

If Sara Kuivisto crushed all opposition in the 1,500 meters yesterday, Topi Raitanen can take an even more superior victory today in the men’s steeplechase.

Raitanen was the best European in the Olympic final in Tokyo, but the WC in Eugene did not go according to his plans at all. A strong solo race tonight would likely boost his confidence ahead of the EC competitions.

Also note that 46-year-old Teppo Syrjälä is standing up. Syrjälä participated in the Kaleva Games for the first time back in 1996. Tonight he is participating for the 23rd time. Hat off!

The program is not yet available

The Kaleva games today:

Arena: 16.45–20.50
TV2: 17.40–20.50

Commentators: Janne Isaksson and Mikael Ylöstalo

9.30 Decathlon 100m
9.45 Women’s hammer, qualifier
10.15 Decathlon, distance
11.00 Women’s 400 meter hurdles, heat
11.30 Men’s 400 meter hurdles, heat
11.30 Men’s discus, qualifier
11.45 Decathlon, shot put
11.50 Heptathlon, distance
12.25 Women’s height, qualifier
13.15 Sick fight, javelin
13.25 Women’s distance, qualifier
14.05 Decathlon, height
16.50 Women’s pole vault, final
17.00 Decathlon, 400 meters
17.10 Men’s triple jump, qualifier
17.20 Women’s discus, final
17.25 Women’s 3,000 meters hurdles, final
17.50 Women’s 800 meters, heat
18.10 Men’s 800 meters, heat
18.35 Heptathlon, 800 meters
18.45 Men’s hammer, final
19.10 Women’s 100 meter hurdles, heat
19.15 Men’s height, final
19.30 Women’s three-step, final
19.35 Women’s 400 meters, final
19.45 Men’s 400 meters, final
20.05 Men’s 3,000 meter hurdles, final
20.30 Women’s 100 meter hurdles, final

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