A total of 19 Tokyo Olympic medallists and 13 Swiss athletes will be in the spotlight at the Athletissima meeting at the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise in Lausanne for the ninth leg of the Wanda Diamond League in front of 12000 fans, who are expected to attend the meeting. Four events (women’s 100m, men’s shot put, women’s high jump and men’s 800 metres) will reunite the entire Olympic Games podium.
Women’s 100 metres:
The highlight of the Athletissima meeting is the women’s 100 metres which features the top six sprinters and the seven of the eight finalists of the Tokyo Olympic final.
Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson Herah will clash against her compatriots Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce and Sherika Jackson in the clash of the Jamaican sprint titans. Thompson Herah completed the “double-double” winning the 100m and 200m Olympic gold medals for the second consecutive edition. The Jamaican star broke Florence Griffith Joyner’s Olympic record with a winning time of 10.61 in the Olympic final beating two-time Olimpic 100m champion Shelly Ann Fraser and Shericka Jackson. She went on to set the fastest time ever in the 100 metres at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last Saturday with 10”54 missing Griffith Joyner’s long-standing world record by 0.05. The world record held by Griffith Joyner since the US Olympic Trials was considered unbeatable but it could be under threat in Lausanne, which has already produced a world record set by Leroy Burrell (9.85) and a European record set by Irina Privalova (10.77) in the same edition in 1994.
Thompson Herah won on the Lausanne track in 10.78 in 2016 a few weeks after winning the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro. The two-time Diamond League champion has not won the Diamond League Trophy since 2017.
Shelly Ann Fraser won the silver in the 100m and the the gold medal in the 4x100m in Tokyo and set the third fastest time in history with 10.63 last June. The Jamaican “Pocket Rocket” won the Lausanne 100m race in 2019 in 10.74.
Shericka Jackson won two bronze medals in the 100m in Tokyo in her lifetime best of 10.76 and in the 4x400 relay and the gold medal in the 4x100.
Marie Josée Ta Lou equalled the 100m African record clocking 10.78 in the Olympic Games heats before finishing fifth in the final in 10.91.
The Swiss crowd will cheer on Swiss sprint stars Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji, who finished fifth and sixth in the Olympic final. Del Ponte broke Kambundji’s national record by clocking 10.91 in the Olympic heats and improved this time again to 10.90 in La Chaux de Fonds in mid-August. Kambundji equalled her PB with 10.95 in the Olympic heats and won her first Diamond League race in Eugene in a wind-assisted 22.06 in the 200 metres last Saturday.
Men’s 400 metres:
Karsten Warholm will target the goal to break the European 400m record set by Thomas Schoenlebe with 44.33 at the 1987 World Championships in Rome. Warholm will run his first race since his sensational 400m hurdles world record of 45.94 set in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Warholm clocked a Norwegian record of 44.87 in the 400m and won the 400m European Indoor gold medal in Glasgow in 45.05, equalling Schoenlebe’s 31-year-old continental inddor record.
Warholm will face Isaac Makwala, who clocked a lifetime best of 43.72 in the 400m in La Chaux de Fonds in 2015 and won the Olympic 4x400 bronze medal in Tokyo, and European Indoor bronze medallist Liemarvin Bonevacia, who improved his lifetime best to 44.48 at the Berne CITIUS meeting last Saturday, and Ricky Petrucciani, who won the European Under 23 title in 45.02 in Tallin.
Men’s pole vault:
World record holder Armand Duplantis and Sam Kendricks put on a big show in the men’s pole vault in the “City Event” in the centre of Lausanne last year. Duplantis won the competition with 6.07m beating Kendricks cleared 6.02m. This year the pole vault will return to the Pontaise Stadium. Duplantis will compete for the first time since his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 6.02m. In the Japanese capital the 21-year-old Swedish star had two close attempts at the world record height of 6.19m. Lausanne has a special place in Duplantis’ career as he made his international debut in the European circuit in the Swiss meeting in 2017 when he was 17. His father Greg competed more times in Lausanne in the 90s against Sergey Bubka and finished fourth with 5.60m in 1992.
Kendricks will be back in action and will try to bounce back after being forced to miss the Olympic Games because of a positive Covid test. The double world outdoor champion won the 2016 edition of Athletissima with 5.92m.
Christopher Nilsen won won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo improving his PB to 5.97m. Earlier thus year Nilsen won the US Trials in Eugene with 5.90m and the Continental Tour meeting in Bydgoszcz with 5.92m.
Former world record holder Renaud Lavillenie won five times in Lausanne and has always received a great support from the French speaking crowd.
Three-time world medallist Piotr Lisek returns to the Pontaise Stadium where won one of the three Diamond League competitions of his career in 2019 improving the Polish record to 6.02m.
The line-up also features 2018 European silver medallist Timur Morgunov and Ernest John Obiena from the Philippines, who set the national record with 5.87m in Bydgoszcz.
Men’s 200 metres:
The fast Lausanne track has always produced very fast times in the 200 metres. Kenny Bednarek won the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo improving his PB to 19.68. Bednarek won finished second to Noah Lyles in 19.80 in Eugene last week.
Fred Kerley won the silver medal in the Olympic silver medal in the 100 metres in Tokyo in his PB of 9.84 and improved his PB to 19.90 in the 200m at the Olympic Trials in Eugene.
Steven Gardiner won his first Olympic gold medal in the 400m in 43.85 two years after claiming the world title in Doha in his PB of 43.48. He set his 200m PB of 19.75 in Coral Gables in 2018.
The line-up features Canada’s Aaron Brown, who finished sixth in the 200m final and won the bronze medal in the 4x100 relay at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Eseosa Desalu from Italy, who won the Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 relay with the national record of 37.50, Isiah Young, who finished fifth at the US Trials in the 200m in 20.03 and this year’s European Under 23 champion William Reais from Switzerland.
Men’s 1500 metres:
This year’s Olympic champion Jakob Inbebrigtsen set two European records in the 1500m with 3:28.32 in Tokyo and in the 5000m with 12.48..45 at the Golden Gala in Florence. The Norwegian star is aiming to break the 3000m European record held by Moahmed Mouhrit since with 7:26.62. Ingebrigtsen set his 3000m PB of 7:27.05 at the 2020 Golden Gala in Rome.
Ingebrigtsen won the Bowerman Mile in Eugene with 3:47.24 last Saturday becoming the second fastest ever runner over this distance in Europe.
Ingebribtsen will take on Stewart McSweyn, who set the 3000m Oceanian record clocking 7:28 last year n Rome and finished second in the Eugene Bowerman Mile with 3:48.40.
The field also features two-time world 5000 champion Muktar Edris from Ethiopia, and five Tokyo Olympic medallists: Selemon Barega and Jacob Kiplimo, who finished first and third in the 10000m, Mo Ahmed from Canada and Paul Chelimo, olympic silver and bronze medallists in the 5000m, and Ethiopia’s Lemecha Girma, Olympic silver medalist in the 3000 metres steeplechase
Men’s shot put:
Double Olympic champion Ryan Crouser will take on the other two Tokyo medalists Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh. Crouser set the three best performances in history this year: 23.37m at the US Olympic Trials in Eugene, 23.30m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and 23.15m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and is unbeaten in 21 competitions since finishing second in the World Championships in Doha.
Kovacs won a memorable world final in Doha with 22.91m beating Crouser and Walsh by 1 cm in 2019 and the olympic silvermedal with 22.65m beating Walsh (22.47m). Walsh won two Diamond League competitions this year in Doha (21.63m) and Florence (21.47m).
The other man to watch is Brazil’s Darlan Romani, who finished fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Doha with 22.53m and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The South American record holder took runner-up in the Eugene Prefontaine Classic with 21.69m.
The other top names are Zane Weir from italy, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with his PB of 21.41m, Armin Sinancevic from Serbia, who finished third in Doha with 21.88m and second in Florence with 21.69m, Filip Mihaljevic, who won the bronze medal at the European Indoor Championships in Torun 2021, US shot putters Payton Otterdahl and Darrell Hill, who finished third and fourth at the US Trials in Eugene.
Women’s triple jump:
Olympic champion and wold record holder Yulimar Rojas leads an impressive line-up which features six of the top eight finishers of the Olympic final. Rojas broke Inessa Kravetz’s world record with 15.67m in Tokyo. The Venezuelan jumper set the top six performances this year in Andujar (15.43m), Madrid (15.19m), Doha (15.15m) and Ibiza (15.12m) and Monaco (15.12m).
Rojas will take on Patricia Mamona, who won the Olympic silver medal improving her Portuguese record to 15.01m, 2019 world silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts from Jamaica, Cuba’s Liadagmis Povea and Israel’s Hanna Minenko,, who finished fifth and sixth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Women’s 400 metres hurdles:
World champion Dalilah Muhammad won in Lausanne in 53.78 in 2016 a few weeks after claiming the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro and is aiming to take her second win at the Pontaise. Muhammad finished second in the 400m hurdles final in Tokyo in 51.58 behind her compatriot Sydney McLaughlin, who set the world record with 51.46.
Muhammad is in good shape and won her first post-Olympic race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in 52.77 beating Shamier Little (53.79)
Little missed the Olympic Games in Tokyo after finishing fourth at the US Trials in Eugene. She bounced back by clocking the fourth fastest time in history with 52.39 in Stockolm and dipped under the 53 seconds again a few days later in Szekesfehrvar with 52.85.
Femke Bol won the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo setting the European record with 52.03. The 21-year-old Dutch hurdler won four Diamond League races this year in Florence (53”44), Oslo (53”33), Stockolm (52”37) and Gateshead (53”24).
The other Tokyo Olympic finalists in the line-up are Janieve Russell from Jamaica (fourth in 53.08), Anna Rhyzikova (fifth in 53”48) and Viktoriya Tkachuk (sixth) in 53”79).
European champion Lea Sprunger will be bidding farewell in front of her Lausanne fans before taking part in the final two races of her career in Zurich and Bellinzona. The Lausanne-based athlete ran the fourth fastest time in her career with 54.41 in Bern last Saturday.
Women’s high jump:
The three medallists of the Olympic Games Mariya Lasitskene, Nicola McDermott and Yaroslava Mahuchik will headline the women’s high jump. Lasitskene claimed her first Olympic gold medal setting the world seasonal best with 2.04m. The Russian high jumper completed her collection of medals which also includes three world outdoor titles, two world indoor titles, two Euopean gold medals. Lasitskene has already won twice in her career in Lausanne in 2017 with 2.06m and 2019 with 2.02m.
Mahuchik won the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Stockolm with 2.03m setting the second best performance of the year and claimed the European Indoor and Under 23 titles in 2021.
McDermott improved the Oceanian record to 2.01m in Stockolm and 2.03m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she won the silver medal. The other Australian jumper in the field is Eleanor Petterson, who finished fifth in Tokyo with 1.96m.
Iryna Gerashchenko took fourth place with 1.98m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and beat Vashti Cunningham in the Eugene Wanda Diamond League competion after a very long jump-off.
Men’s javelin thouw:
Johannes Vetter set the world seasonal best with 96.29m at the European Team Championships in Chorzow last May and dominated the first half of the season over the 91 metres barrier seven times. However, the German thrower had to settle with ninth place in the Olympic Final. He bounced back with a 86.47m in his home meeting in Offenburg.
Vetter will face Chech throwers Jakub Vadlejch and Viteszlav Vesely, who finished second and third at the Olympic Games.
Olympic champion Neraj Chopra pulled out of the meeting due to illness.
Women’s long jump:
European Indoor champion Maryna Beck Romanchuk will take on 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Ivana Spanovic, Europeann Indoor bronze medallist Khaddi Sagnia from Sweden, Nastassia Ivanova Mironchik from Belarus, European indoor silver medallist in Glasgow 2019, and Jazmin Sawyers from Great Britain, eighth at the 2021 Olympic Games.
Women’s 400 metres:
Marileidy Paulino from Domiincan Republic won the Olympic silver medal with a national record with 49.20. Paulino will clash against US Olympic champion Quanera Hayes, Candice McLead from Jamaica, and Jodie Williams from Great Britain, who finished fifth and sixth in the Olympic final.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Freweny Hailu Gebreezibeher from Ethiopia starts as the fastest entrant with her PB of 3:56.28 set in Monaco last July. The Ethiopian runner, who finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, will face Jemma Reekie, fourth at the Olympic Games in the 800 metres with the Scottish record of 1:56.90, and Gaia Sabbatini, who set the second fastest Italian time in history with 4:02.25.
The Swiss team featuring Riccarda Dietche, Ajla Del Ponte, Mujinga Kambundji and Salome Kora will celebrate their fourth place with 42.08 at the Tokyo Olympic Games in front of theirhome fans. Switzerland won two editions of Lausanne 4x100 relay in 2017 in 42.53 and 2018 in 42.29.