High expectations as Lausanne Diamond League takes centre stageThursday, August 26, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
THERE will be high expectations for another fast race today when the eight women, led by superstar Elaine Thompson-Herah, line up in the 100m race at the Lausanne Diamond League in the Swiss city.
After her blazing 10.54 seconds five days ago to win at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, Thompson-Herah will be in the spotlight on a track that has produced fast times in the past.
A full house is expected for the Athletissima Meeting at Stade Olympique de la Pontaise as six of the eight finalists from the recent Tokyo Olympic Games, including Jamaica's silver and bronze medallists Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson, will add to the quality of the field.
Eleven Jamaicans, including 110m hurdles gold medallist Hansle Parchment and five other Olympic Games finalists, will be on show at the meet that is the 10th stop in the 14-meet series.
While Thompson-Herah's incredible form since early July, with times of 10.61 seconds in the Olympic final and 10.54 seconds last weekend, makes her the second-fastest woman ever (trailing only the late American Florence Griffiths-Joyner) and sparks talks that the world record of 10.49 seconds is within reach, the expected cool conditions of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit could be a mitigating factor.
There will also be no shortage of competition, as along with Fraser-Pryce who ran 10.63 seconds in mid-June, and Jackson who ran 10.76 seconds twice recently, Olympic fourth-place finisher Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast, Swiss national record holder Mujinga Kambundji and Great Britain's Daryll Neita will all be hoping to spring a surprise.
Three Jamaicans who are in the top six in the world will line up in the 110m hurdles where Parchment, who upset American favourite Grant Holloway in the Olympic final, will start favourite and will be seeking his first sub 13 seconds time since 2014 at the Paris Diamond League meeting.
Parchment has a season's best 13.04 seconds which he ran in the Olympic final, his fastest time since his silver medal performance at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, China.
Ronald Levy, the national champion and Tokyo bronze medallist, will be seeking his fifth Diamond League win while Rasheed Broadbell, who was among the world leaders when he ran his personal best 13.10 seconds in late May, will be running at this level for the first time since he missed his shot at the Olympic Games after picking up an injury a week before the Jamaican trials.
The USA's Devon Allen and France's Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who was fourth in Tokyo, as well as American Daniel Roberts and Great Britain's Andrew Pozzi will ensure the level of competition will be world-class.
After her disappointment at the Olympics when she failed to medal, Shanieka Ricketts will make her first appearance since Tokyo when she lines up in a deep women's triple jump that will see six of the top eight from Tokyo taking part.
Venezuela's double world record holder Yulimar Rojas, who set the outdoor world record while winning gold at the Olympics, and silver medallist Patricia Mamona of Portugal will headline the field.
Ricketts and Kimberly Williams who were fourth and eighth, respectively, will be seeking redemption in the hop, step and jump event.
Candice McLeod, who had a breakout year in the 400m, placed fifth in the Olympic Games final and was a part of the silver medal-winning 4x400m relay team, makes her Diamond League debut.
She will face a strong field that will include Olympic silver medallist Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic as well as American Quanera Hayes and Jodie Williams of Great Britain, who were also part of the final.
Janieve Russell, who set a personal best of 53.08 seconds in the 400m hurdles final at the Olympic Games, will accompany Leah Nugent in the event that will see Americans Dalilah Muhammad and Shamier Little facing off against Holland's Femke Bol, Lea Sprunger of Switzerland and Anna Ryzhykova of Ukraine.