The setting is changing, but the tone remains. When the Meeting de Paris returns to the Charléty Stadium on 1 July, the French leg of the IAAF Diamond League will boast one of its best line-ups in recent years.
Ruth Jebet provided the highlight of last year’s meeting when she smashed the world record in the steeplechase. The Bahraini runner will return to the French capital this year to face world leader Celliphine Chespol, who won at the recent IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene with the second-fastest time in history, smashing the world U20 record with her time of 8:58.78.
Jebet is one of seven Olympic champions set to compete in Paris, along with the likes of Elaine Thompson, Christian Taylor and Omar McLeod.
Thompson, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion, will be competing in the shorter sprint event at the Charléty Stadium. The Jamaican, who sped to a world-leading 10.78 in Shanghai last month, will face Ivorian duo Murielle Ahouré and Marie-Josée Ta Lou.
Taylor, the world and Olympic triple jump champion, has already jumped 18.11m this year. Since then, his desire to break Jonathan Edwards’ world record of 18.29m has only grown. And with long-time rival Will Claye also set to compete in Paris, it could be just the motivation Taylor needs to reach new ground.
Olympic 110m hurdles champion McLeod is also at the top of his game. The Jamaican is undefeated this year and currently owns the top three fastest times in the world. But his race in Paris could be the toughest one of the year so far as he will be up against world champion Sergey Shubenkov, rising Jamaican hurdler Ronald Levy, USA’s Devon Allen and African record-holder Antonio Alkana of South Africa. Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri Bascou and two-time European silver medallist Garfield Darien represent the French contingent.
All three Olympic medallists will reunite in the high jump as world and Olympic champion Derek Drouin takes on Olympic silver medallist and world leader Mutaz Barshim and 2013 world champion Bogdan Bondarenko. One year on from his freak injury, European champion Gianmarco Tamberi will return to IAAF Diamond League action.
Last year the women’s 1500m in Paris produced the fastest time of 2016 and it could once again be one of the top events of the night as three global champions clash. Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, world champion Genzebe Dibaba and world indoor champion Sifan Hassan will line up against one another for the first time this year.
Pole vault world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie will be targeting a season’s best at the Meeting de Paris. His main rivals will be USA’s Olympic bronze medallist Sam Kendricks and Canada’s world champion Shawn Barber.
Elsewhere, Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre will face Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev in the 200m, while Olympic decathlon silver medallist Kevin Mayer will line up for a three-discipline combined events contest.
Organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar:
5 May – Doha, QAT
13 May – Shanghai, CHN
27 May – Eugene, USA
8 Jun – Rome, ITA
15 Jun – Oslo, NOR
18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
1 Jul – Paris, FRA
6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
9 Jul – London, GBR
16 Jul – Rabat, MAR
21 Jul – Monaco, MON
20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
24 Aug – Zurich, SUI
1 Sep – Brussels, BEL