Oslo (NW): Susanna Kallur and Tore Fredriksen of ÅF Norway took part in the ÅF Golden League press meeting at Oslo’s Bislett stadium on 24 April.
One of the headline attractions during the Bislett Games on 6 June will be the duel between Sweden’s Susanna Kallur and her Norwegian training partner Christina Vukicevic in the 100 m hurdles.
The Swedish world star and Norwegian prospect trained together before the start of the new season.
“It meant a great deal to me to be able to train with a top-class Scandinavian. Especially, as my twin sister and usual training partner, has suffered a long term injury,” explained Kallur, who has been working in the ÅF Group Marketing Office for the past year.
She offered the following advice to her young Norwegian rival.
“Christina needs to be patient. She must not put herself under too much stress as it takes time to reach the top. But Christina has fantastic potential,” says Kallur.
Vukicevic is delighted with her training partner.
“It is great to train with someone who is one of the best athletes in the world, and yet as down to earth as Susanna,” she says.
While Kallur is one of the favourites for Olympic Gold in Beijing, Vukicevic has yet to achieve the qualifying time to make the Olympics.
“I am only a metre short of 12.96, and with the right conditions I ought to achieve this by the summer,” says Vukicevic, whose boyfriend Andreas Thorkildsen has his sights on the javelin gold medal in Beijing.
Kallur didn’t qualify for any medals in the 100m hurdles in the finals of last year’s World Championships, but broke the world indoor record for the 60m hurdles this past winter.
“It was a big shock. The old record had stood for 18 years,” said Kallur, who was interviewed by all the major Norwegian papers and national TV stations.
The ÅF Golden League will get under way at the earliest date yet this year in Berlin on Sunday 1 June, followed by the Bislett Games on Friday 6 June. Oslo is then followed by Paris, Rome, Zurich and Brussels.
Kallur has additional motivation this year as the 100m hurdles is in the Golden League Jackpot. In other words, if she wins every meet, she will collect a one million dollar jackpot.
She does not think the Beijing Olympics will distract her from the ÅF Golden League.
“The Golden League gives me the opportunity to do some world class training up to the Olympic Games. I am going to do my utmost in all six meetings,” says Kallur, who pleased Norwegian journalists by saying that the Bislett Games were the most popular of the Golden League events back home in Sweden.
Susanna Kallur (right) and Christina Vukicevic with the head of ÅF Norway, Tore Fredriksen, at Bislett Stadium in Oslo after the ÅF Golden League press meeting for the Norwegian press.
Norwegian media queue to interview Susanna Kallur and Christina Vukicevic at Bislett.