If it’s Sunday, it was Stanford; if it’s Friday, it must be Lausanne, as the eighth of 14 IAAF Diamond League meets gets ready in the Olympic capital.
The fields are quite good, with many of the stars from the Stanford meet making the trek to Switzerland. The headline events:
● Men/100 m: This is not a Diamond League event, but is noteworthy for the presence of Justin Gatlin, who ran 9.87 behind Christian Coleman last week and is getting into shape for the World Championships in Doha. He’s the only entry with a season best under 10 seconds.
● Men/200 m: We’ve seen Noah Lyles twice in the Diamond League this season: 9.86 to the 100 m at Shanghai over Coleman, and a 19.72 loss to Michael Norman (19.70) in a sensational 200 m in Rome. What now? Canada’s Andre De Grasse (19.91) and reigning World Champion Ramil Guliyev (TUR: 19.99) are both in; can either challenge, or should we get ready for another Lyles dance?
● Men/800 m: Last year’s world leader, Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir (1:42.05) has finished second in two his Diamond League races and for him, a 1:44.50 season best is not what he’s looking for. There’s a good field in Lausanne, with countryman Ferguson Rotich (1:44.11 this year), American Clayton Murphy (1:44.59) and Polish stars Adam Kszczot (1:44.74) and Marcin Lewandowski (1:45.32). Time for someone to break out …
● Men/1,500 m: A too-large field of 17 runners includes Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot and the familar cast trying to beat him: Kenyans Bethwell Birgen (3:33.12 this season), Vincent Kibet (3:33.21) and Ronald Kwemoi (3:33.99) plus Ethiopia’s Samuel Tefera (3:31.04 indoors) and both Filip (3:37.04) and Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR: 3:36.81). At Stanford, Cheruiyot won the mile from Aylaneh Souleman (DJI), 3:50.49-3:51.22, with Jakob Ingebrigtsen third in 3:51.30.
● Men/5,000 m: A ridiculous field of 24 runners is entered for this race, including six sub-13 racers in 2019: Telahun Haile Bekele (ETH: 12:52.98), Selemon Barega (ETH: 12:53.04), Birhanu Balew (BRN: 12:56.26), Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH: 12:54.92), Abadi Hadis (ETH: 12:56.48) and Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli (12:57.90). Add in American Paul Chelimo (13:13.94), who always seems to find his way to the front in important races and this should be pretty interesting …. if we don’t have multiple crashes.
● Men/110 m hurdles: The professional debut of the world no. 2 Daniel Roberts (13.00) is planned, with a lot of competition from 2016 Olympic silver winner Orlando Ortega (ESP), 2018 European champ Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA), Jamaican champ Ronald Levy, China’s Wenjun Xie (13.17) and American Devon Allen.
● Men/Pole Vault: This event has the feel of a traveling circus. The same folks we saw at Stanford are ready to go in Switzerland: world leader Mondo Duplantis (SWE), 2017 World Champion Sam Kendricks (USA), Poland’s 2017 European champ Piotr Lisek, plus France’s 2012 Olympic gold winner Renaud Lavillenie and 2016 Olympic champ Thiago Braz. Kendricks suffered his first outdoor loss of the season at Stanford, as Duplantis cleared 5.93 m (19-5 1/2).
● Men/Long Jump: Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria is always the attraction when he jumps and he’s no. 3 in the world for 2019 at 8.34 m (27-4 1/2). But American Will Claye, who had one of the greatest one-day doubles ever last weekend at 8.21 m (26-11 1/4) and 18.14 m (59-6 1/4 – no. 3 ever) is here, as is 2017 World Champion Luvo Manyonga (2019 no. 2: 8.35 m/27-4 3/4). Is Claye the catalyst to see someone pass 28 feet (8.53 m) in 2019?
● Women/100 m: Double Olympic champ Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ran a co-world-leading 10.73 at the Jamaican champs two weeks ago, but could only manage 11.39 at Stanford, then had to fly a long way to Lausanne. Waiting her for are Stanford winner Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV: 11.02 in 2019), Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith (GBR: 10.94), 200 m World Champion Dafne Schippers (11.06) and American Kayla White (10.95).
● Women/400 m: The nos. 2-3-4-5 women on the world list are here, led by Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson (49.78), followed by Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser (50.13) and Amina Seyni (NIG: 50.24). Naser won the Diamond League meet in Rabat; it may be time for her to explode.
● Women/400 m hurdles: Americans Dalilah Muhammad (53.61) and Sydney McLaughlin (53.72 on Tuesday in Marseille) have been the only ones under 54 seconds this season, but here’s a chance for Americans Shamier Little (54.40 in 2019). Ashley Spencer (54.49) and 2017 World Champion Kori Carter (55.09) and 2013-15 World Champion Zuzana Hejnova (CZE: 54.82).
● Women/High Jump: Russia’s Mariya Lasitskene continues as the dominant force in this event, having won 66 of her last 68 competitions, and has seven of the top eight jumps on the world this season, topped at 2.06 m (6-9). No one else in the field has cleared 2.00 m (6-6 3/4) in 2019.
● Women/Triple Jump: Anytime 2016 Olympic champ Caterine Ibarguen (COL) and Venezuela’s 2017 World Champion Yulimar Rojas meet up, it’s worth following. They’re 1-2 on the 2019 world list, with Rojas at 15.06 m (49-5) and Ibarguen at 14.79 m (48-6 1/4). Does 34-year-old Olga Rypakova (KAZ), the 2012 Olympic champ, have a surprise in store in her seasonal debut?
● Women/Shot Put: The nos. 2-7 on the 2019 world list are here, with the leading contenders considered to be American Chase Easley (no. 2: 19.67 m/64-6 1/2) and Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd (no. 3: 19.48 n/63-11). The two have already met five times this season, with Ealey holding a 3-2 edge. Is this the time for German Christina Schwanitz, the 2015 World Champion, to make a move toward a Worlds medal?
There are more events, including a women’s vault on Thursday on the Esplanade du Flon in central Lausanne with Rio2016 champion Katerina Stefanidi (GRE), European indoor champion Anzhelika Sidorova (RUS), U.S. indoor champ Kate Nageotte, 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva (CUB) and British record-holder Holly Bradshaw.
NBC’s Olympic Channel has coverage of the meet at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Friday. Look for results here.
There were a couple of world leaders in smaller meets, including 77.43 m (254-0) for DeAnne Price of the U.S. in the women’s hammer at the Bloomington High Performance meet on 22 June, and Poland’s Wojciech Nowicki, with his hammer throw of 81.74 m (268-2) in Poznan on Tuesday.
As noted above, American star Sydney McLaughlin posted the no. 2 time in 2019 in the 400 m hurdles, winning in 53.72.