Sunday 15 September, 2019

Elaine Thompson, Omar McLeod among stars set to compete in Lausanne

Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod.

Elaine Thompson and Omar McLeod.

Elaine Thompson and her Jamaican teammate Omar McLeod are among 21 world and Olympic champions who is scheduled to compete at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on July 5.

The double Olympic champion is down to run the 100m, where she will face two-time world 200m champion Dafne Schippers, double world silver medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and world indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure.

Both men’s hurdles events will also have mouth-watering battles as Olympic champion McLeod takes on 2015 world champion Sergey Shubenkov in the 110m hurdles and world leader Abderrahman Samba faces world champion Karsten Warholm in the 400m hurdles.

The women’s 400m hurdles will feature  Commonwealth champion Janieve Russell of Jamaica against the American pair of Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad and Shamier Little, all of whom have bettered 54 seconds this season.

Jamaica's Shericka Jackson and Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain will be the respective favourites in the women’s 200m and 400m. The women’s 800m, meanwhile, is more open but should be between Ajee Wilson, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui.

World indoor 60m champion Christian Coleman will step up in distance to the longer sprint, while Noah Lyles will look to maintain his unbeaten record in IAAF Diamond League 200m races.

Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and world champion Tom Walsh will fight it out in the shot put. Crouser’s meeting record of 22.39m from 2017 may only last a year.

The men’s 5000m will be a rematch of last year’s memorable race between world champion Muktar Edris and current world leader Selemon Barega. World and Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya moves up in distance to the 1500m, where she’ll take on Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay and world indoor silver medallist Laura Muir.

IAAF Athlete of the Year Mutaz Essa Barshim will be aiming to break Bogdan Bondarenko’s stadium record of 2.41m in the high jump.

The men’s pole vault will be held at the Place de la Navigation in Ouchy on the eve of the main event. This spectacular lakeside competition will reunite the best of the best in the discipline, including world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie, world champion Sam Kendricks, Olympic champion Thiago Braz and world U20 record-holder Armand Duplantis.

A lot of focus will also be on Michael Norman although he is not part of that group of global medallists.

Norman has been one of the revelations of 2018. The world U20 200m champion broke the world indoor 400m record at the NCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year. His winning streak continued outdoors and earlier this month he clocked a lifetime best of 43.61 to win the NCAA 400m title.

The 20-year-old turned professional just days after his NCAA Championships heroics and he will contest the 200m in Lausanne, where he will face two other rising sprint stars from the USA.

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