For the tenth round of the Diamond League, the Paris meeting offers a high-end range, Saturday, with more than twenty Olympic medalists in all the events on the program.
Rhinestones and sequins, just that. This is what awaits the Parisian public in the spans of the Charléty stadium, Saturday August 28, in order to complete a summer filled with records that some believed they could no longer bring down. A rebirth on the track which will therefore continue for the tenth round of the Diamond League, three weeks after the end of the Tokyo Olympics.
The continuation of the party with more than twenty medalist athletes in Tokyo for the Paris meeting. Only 48 hours after that of Lausanne, the meeting promises to be explosive with the French (Renaud Lavillenie, Pascal Martinot-Lagarde …) and international stars of athletics (Elaine Thompson-Herah, Allyson Felix, Armand Duplantis …) from all sides. Overview of the highlights of the day not to be missed.
While her duel with her compatriot Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson-Herah (29) was mouth watering, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce (34) – double Olympic champion in 2008 and 2012 – preferred withdraw, Friday August 27. However, “SAFP” achieved the third world performance of all time in 10.60, Thursday in Lausanne, just that.
In less than a month, the two stars with opposing personalities set two of the three best times in all history over the distance. Because twenty days after her Olympic coronation in Tokyo, Elaine Thompson-Herah achieved an extraordinary 10.54, on August 21, on the side of Eugene in Oregon. The time as mythical as it is controversial of the American Florence Griffith-Joyner , 10”49 established in 1988, is more than ever in its sights.
Missing out on her race in Lausanne, Elaine Thompson-Herah has now set a date at 4:39 p.m. on Saturday, with the aim of breaking an (un) attainable record for more than 31 years. Alongside her, Jamaican and Tokyo bronze medalist Shericka Jackson and 2019 British 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith will try to shine as well.
One of the most beautiful strides in world athletics will also be featured on the Charléty tartan. At 35, the Californian is experiencing an end to her career as shattering as her debut. In bronze over 400m and covered in gold with the American relay over 4x400m, Allyson Felix became in Tokyo the most medal-winning female athlete in history (11 in total). An accomplishment for the one who experienced difficulties with her sponsor Nike after her pregnancy in 2018. She has also made it her fight to recognize gender equality in high-level sport.
Guess who arrived in the capital yesterday? @Allysonfelix will meet you on Saturday at the MEETING DE PARIS! https://t.co/cDegCC3oPQ#MeetingParis pic.twitter.com/lRqUZqwOvb
“Chicken Legs”, now iconic, still has a bright future ahead with a 49”46 this season, two tenths off her personal best. The shadow of the seven-time Olympic champion and thirteen-time world champion should still hover a few more years on world athletics. A distance where the Dutch Femke Bol, winner in Lausanne, and the Dominican Marileidy Paulino, silver in Tokyo, will also be present.
The shock was expected for Tokyo. It will finally take place in Paris, but under what conditions? While the Swede Armand Duplantis, Olympic champion in Tokyo with a jump to 6.02 m, flies over the bars at the moment, the French Renaud Lavillenie, victim of a sprained left ankle in early July and injured his right foot during the warm-up of the Olympic final, does not arrive in an optimum state. The 34-year-old ex-world record holder made it clear in Lausanne: “I’m not cured but I don’t have a big problem”. Tenth and last of the Swiss meeting, Thursday, the Clermontois will try to go up the slope to offer a duel worthy of the name on the track of Charléty.
Behind the two mastodons of the pole, the two Habs Ethan Cormont and Valentin Lavillenie will also be in the game. Three Americans will also take part in the competition with the two-time world champion (2017 and 2019) Sam Kendricks, deprived of the Olympic Games after his positive coronavirus test and the two rising stars of the discipline, KC Lightfoot and Christopher Nielsen, medalist of ‘ money in Tokyo.
From the Olympic champion to the square meter, there will still be some in the other events on the program for this round of the Diamond League. Over 110m hurdles, Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, fifth in the Olympic final in Tokyo, and his compatriot Aurel Manga, will face the last Olympic gold medalist with Jamaican Hansle Parchment.
Another expected competition, that of women’s height where the Olympic podium will be represented with the Russian Mariya Lasitkene, the Australian Nicola McDermott and the Ukrainian Yaroslava Mahuchikh. Over 200 m, American Kenneth Bednarek, silver in Tokyo, will lead the debates, as will Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto, Olympic champion in Rio over 3,000 m steeplechase. A competition at its maximum on the women’s disc where the first six of the Olympic competition will be in the circle, without counting the captain of the France team Mélina Robert-Michon.
With less than three years before the Paris Olympic Games, this first full-scale rehearsal in the City of Light will make it possible to take stock of the Paris 2024 spirit. Even if the Charléty stadium in no way rivals the Stade de France at full capacity, the atmosphere should already give a slight glimpse of it.
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