Two big new names have been announced to join Jamaica’s Usain Bolt at the Meeting AREVA in Paris on 6 July, an IAAF Diamond League meeting: the two current superheroes of French athletics Renaud Lavillenie and Christophe Lemaitre.
The two Frenchmen have become familiar faces at the Meeting AREVA in recent years.
Lavillenie has won the Pole Vault competition at the Parisian meeting for the last four years: in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
By contrast, Lemaitre hasn’t yet been the first man across the finish line on the Stade de France track. However, this has been because he’s always had an adversary from the very highest level after facing Usain Bolt in 2010 and 2011, and then Tyson Gay last year. This time around, the Savoyard sprinter will face Bolt over 200m. With a little over two months to go until the Meeting AREVA 2013, both Lavillenie and Lemaitre are returning to competition after their indoor exploits on 27 April.
By a complete coincidence, they’ll be doing it on the same day, in the same country.
The London 2012 Olympic Games Pole Vault champion is just back from Magny-Cours, where he was competing in his first Bol d’Or Motorcycle race, and is now heading for the USA where he will be starting his outdoor campaign at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on Saturday. “Although, it’s a little too early to go really high,” said Lavillenie.
This is a similar thought to that echoed by Christophe Lemaitre. After training in Florida, he is due to pull on his spikes at the Penn Relays, one of the early-season highlights of the American season, in Philadelphia on Saturday.
On Lemaitre’s programme at the Penn Relays is a 100m outing followed by a run in the 4x100m, when he will wear the colours of the French team.
The two ‘superheroes’ from French athletics will then continue on a similar route, by competing in the domestic inter-clubs competition, with the first round on 5 May and then the final on 19 May.
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