Exactly one month before the 38th edition of Athletissima, an IAAF Diamond League meeting, 12 London 2012 Olympic Games champions and more than 25 medallists from last summer have already confirmed their attendance in Lausanne on 4 July.
It does not take more than a look at the list of participants to be convinced of the level of Athletissima 2013.
Five events will feature the whole podium of the last Olympic Games.
In the 400m Hurdles there is Felix Sanchez, Michael Tinsley and Javier Culson, the Pole Vault has Renaud Lavillenie, Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe, the Shot Put has Tomasz Majewski, David Storl and Reese Hoffa, the Javelin features Keshorn Walcott, Oleksandr Pyatnytsya and Antti Ruuskanen while the women’s Long Jump can boast of Brittney Reese, Yelena Sokolova and Janay DeLoach Soukup.
Once more, the men’s 100m should hold its promises and be one of the highlights of the evening of 4 July.
After finishing second in 9.83 last year, Tyson Gay will come back in Lausanne.
"I am looking forward to returning to the Lausanne Diamond League in 2013. Sprinters know when they compete at the Olympic Stadium there they can expect great track fans and fast times. I want to improve both my time and my finishing place from 2012," said Gay.
He will battle with his American compatriot Justin Gatlin, the bronze medallist in London and already a double winner in IAAF Diamond League meetings this year, in Doha and Eugene, as well as Jamaica’s Asafa Powell, whose best result on the Pontaise track is a phenomenal 9.72.
Yohan Blake should be join this prestigious group. The Jamaican set the Pontaise Stadium on fire in 2012 by not only by setting a new meeting record, but by becoming the equal second fastest 100m performer ever with a run of 9.69, with Gay and only behind Usain Bolt.
“Ever since I ran in Lausanne, and I ran the meeting record and my PB of 9.69, I fell in love with the fans, the atmosphere and that fast track. I have not stopped thinking about that night, and returning to Lausanne on July 4th, will give me the opportunity to do, what I do best, and to once again unleash,” said The Beast, who is still recovering from a slight injury sustained earlier this summer.
Curves capture the imagination
In 2012, the men’s High Jump provided a great show to the spectators on the first curve.
Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim delighted the fans by equalling the then Asian record of 2.39m. “My ultimate goal is the world record”, he was quoted at the time.
Last Saturday in Eugene, he got closer to his target by clearing 2.40m, a performance no athlete had achieved outdoors in the last 13 years. His progress may well continue in Lausanne, where he will be pushed by the London medallists, Great Britain’s Robert Grabarz and USA’s Erik Kynard.
On the other curve, a fantastic 200m women is expected between the USA’s 2012 Olympic champion and triple World champion Allyson Felix and her fellow American Carmelita Jeter, who won three medals in London including a bronze over 200m.
Last, but certainly not at least, in the 110m hurdles, the USA’s current World champion Jason Richardson and Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, the London silver and bronze medallists, will face the USA’s David Oliver and the young Cuban talent Orlando Ortega, who finished sixth in London.
Organisers for the IAAF
2013 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep