• The Swedish athletes who painted their nails in rainbow colours in support of gay rights at the World Athletics Championships in Russia became world news at the end of last week, not least with Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and the country's sports minister defending their new law, which bans "gay propaganda" directed at children.

    Swedish athletes Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer said they painted their nails to support love, no matter what the gender.

  • A Swedish athlete who is openly critical of Russia’s anti-gay legislation will not be allowed to hold a press conference at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow on Sunday, reports Expressen newspaper.

    Kajsa Bergqvist, a former high jumper, is at the championships as an ambassador for the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF). She spoke out last week against the recently introduced Russian ban on homosexual “propaganda” and had scheduled a press conference for Sunday which has been cancelled by the IAFF, according to Expressen.

  • Update 17:30

    The International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) instructed Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro not to paint her nails in rainbow colours when she competed today in the finals of the World Athletics Championships in Moscow.

    Instead Green Tregaro competed sporting red nail varnish, reports Swedish Radio’s sports department.

    “There was no talk about disqualifying her or anything. They just said that she should not have rainbow coloured nails,” said Anders Albertsson, general secretary of the Swedish Athletic Association.

  • "everyone should have the same rights"

    Swedish athletes had mixed fortunes in this morning's qualification rounds in the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, but most of the attention was on their fingernails, not their athletic performances.

    Emma Green Tregaro and Moa Hjelmer made world headlines after painting their nails in "rainbow colours" in protest against Russia's new laws against "gay propaganda" directed towards minors.

  • World Athletics Championships

    Sweden's Moa Hjelmer has failed to make it to the semifinal in the World Athletics Championships in Moscow after ending fifth in a tough 400-metre trial heat, while Charlotta Fougberg ended second last in the 300-metre hurdle.

  • World Athletics Championships

    The World Athletics Championships finally get underway in Moscow Saturday after a build-up which has been dominated by failed drug tests and demonstrations against Russia's anti-gay propaganda law.

    For Sweden, perhaps the only realistic hope of a gold medal comes from a middle distance runner who only received Swedish citizenship late last year.

  • Eritrean-born track runner Meraf Bahta may become a Swedish citizen on Friday, which means she could compete for Sweden in the athletics world championships that kick off in Moscow in August.

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