21 MAY 2013 General News Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne to feature nine current Olympic champions – IAAF Diamond League

Renaud Lavillenie, winner of the Pole Vault at the 2012 Lausanne Diamond League (Gladys Chai)Renaud Lavillenie, winner of the Pole Vault at the 2012 Lausanne Diamond League (Gladys Chai) © Copyright

Nine gold medallists from the 2012 London Olympic Games will compete at Athletissima – the eighth leg of the IAAF Diamond League – in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 4 July.

Several other Olympic medallists will also be on show at the Pontaise Stadium as many events will look like a remake of the London 2012 Games.

The men’s Pole Vault will feature the three London medallists – Renaud Lavillenie of France, Bjorn Otto and his German team-mate Raphael Holzdeppe. The trio, who also swept the medals at the 2012 European Championships, have all opened their 2013 summer campaigns with Otto having defeated Lavillenie twice so far. But Lavillenie will be out for his fourth consecutive victory in Lausanne, having won there for the past three years.

The men’s Shot Put also boasts a full set of Olympic medallists as Tomasz Majewski renews his rivalry with David Storl and Reese Hoffa. They will need to be at the top of their game, however, as World indoor champion Ryan Whiting – who earlier this month set a world-leading 22.28m in Doha – will also be there.

The three men who stood on the podium for the Javelin at last year’s Olympics – Keshorn Walcott, Oleksandr Pyatnytsya and Antti Ruuskanen – will also be in Lausanne.

Richards-Ross v Montsho rematch

The last time Sanya Richards-Ross competed in Lausanne, she was beaten by Amantle Montsho of Botswana. Two months later, Montsho won the World 400m title in Daegu, while Richards-Ross struck gold at last year’s Olympic Games. The pair will clash once again in Lausanne this year, and Montsho’s confidence will have been boosted after her 49.88 world-leading run in Doha earlier this month.

Allyson Felix, who was beaten by Montsho in Doha, will step back down to the 200m in Lausanne. It will be the first time the three-time World champion has contested her specialist event in the Swiss city.

Meanwhile, in the Triple Jump, Olympic champion Christian Taylor will take on France’s Teddy Tamgho, who set the meeting record of 17.91m two years ago.

Expected return from Pearson

World and Olympic 100m Hurdles champion Sally Pearson has been temporarily sidelined by injury after picking up a minor hamstring tear. But the Australian is hopeful of making a return at Lausanne, where she will face 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper.

Other Olympic champions present in Lausanne are 400m hurdler Felix Sanchez, twice a former winner at Athletissima, and discus thrower Sandra Perkovic of Croatia.

Demand for the sprinting events is very high – which is understandable for a meeting that last year witnessed meeting records of 9.69 in the 100m by Yohan Blake and 19.58 in the 200m by Usain Bolt. This is why meeting director Jacky Delapierre will wait until nearer the time of the meeting to see which athletes are in the best shape before confirming the start-lists in the sprints.

“The wait-and-see approach proved successful for us last year,” he said. “All the line-ups should be confirmed after the Eugene meeting, but I can already guarantee that we will see outstanding sprint events on 4 July.”

Organisers and Jon Mulkeen 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