“It feels wonderful, the Swedish audience supported me very well,” 22-year-old Aregawi said after winning the women’s 1,500m, according to the event’s website.
Aregawi, a native of Ethiopia who is married to a Swede and took Swedish citizenship in 2009, took an early lead in the race and never looked back, crossing the finish line at the Scandinavium arena nearly ten seconds ahead of the next runner.
Aregawi’s gold on Saturday was Sweden’s only top finish in a weekend that nevertheless saw the Swedish athletics team capture a surprising six medals after coming up empty last summer at the Olympic games in London.
Also on Saturday, long jumper Erica Jarder’s leap of 6.71m was both a personal best and enough to qualify for a bronze medal.
On Sunday, sprinter Moa Hjelmer finished strong in the 400m sprint, managing to capture a bronze medal with a time of 52.04s and setting a new Swedish record in the process.
More medals were to come when long jumper Michel Tornéus’s jump of 8.29m gave him a silver medal as well as a new Swedish record.
Tornéus didn’t let the fact that he was a mere two centimetres from the gold, won by Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov, detract from his excitement.
“I’m more happy about it being silver than being disappointed that it wasn’t gold,” he told the Aftonbladet newspaper.
“I’ve never won a silver at a championship before, so this is going to be the best medal I have at home in my trophy case.”
The weekend concluded with a Swedish double in the women’s high jump, with Ebba Jungmark and Emma Green Tregaro both clearing 1.96m, resulting in a silver for Jungmark and bronze for Green Tregaro.
“I really dreamt of winning a gold medal here at home, but it wasn’t today. But I’m still really happy,” Jungmark told TV4 after the competition.