Best of Tokyo in 2 Hours
close to a record in participating athletes on the 26th of August in Lausanne. The full podium from the Tokyo Olympics will be represented in five events, providing a mouthwatering line-up.
The list of stars present for the 9th stage of the Wanda Diamond League (WDL) is long. Among the stars entered at the last minute, organisers announced on Tuesday the arrival of Mariya Lasitskene, Nicola McDermott and Yaroslava Mahuchikh - gold, silver, and bronze medallists respectively in the high jump in Tokyo.
Among the last confirmed athletes are also the three medallists of the 800m from Tokyo: Kenyans Emmanuel Korir (gold) and Ferguson Rotich (silver), and the Pole, Patryk Dobek (bronze). All the strong men in the shot put will also make the trip, namely Olympic champion, and world record holder Ryan Crouser (USA), his compatriot Joe Kovacs and New Zealander Tom Walsh. Will Crouser pass 23m again, and possibly attack his own world record (23m37)?
The highlight of the evening will be the women’s 100m, led by the second fastest woman in history, five-time Jamaican Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah. Facing her, her compatriot and rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce might want to take over the leadership. Seven of the eight Olympic finalists will take the start, including the Swiss Ajla Del Ponte and Mujinga Kambundji, who are in the form of their lives.
The success of the ticket sales looks like there could be a close to full stadium, even if there are still some tickets left. La Pontaise (the stadium) can accommodate 12’200 people. Athletes can expect to finally perform in the atmosphere they deserve.
Records under threat
The Scandinavian champions could break records. The Norwegian Karsten Warholm, after his supersonic world record in the 400m hurdles in Tokyo, will be tested on the 400m flat with his sights firmly on the "old" European record held by Thomas Schönlebe (44''33 set in 1987). Jakob Ingebrigtsen will take on Belgium’s Mohammed Mourhit’s 3’000m European record
(7’26’62). But it will be tight for the Norwegian who will be up against the Ethiopian Selemon Barega, crowned over 10’000m in Japan.
The Swede Armand Duplantis will be looking to pass the 6m mark for the 27th time in his young career and will have his sights on even higher. His world record is 6.18m. The competition will also feature Tokyo runner-up, American Chris Nilsen, Renaud Lavillenie, and two times (2017, 2019) World Champion Sam Kendricks (USA). Kendricks returns after missing the Games due to Covid.
Other highlights: the women's 400m hurdles, will be the farewell for the European Champion, Lea Sprunger. She will race in front of her home crowd against rising star Femke Bol (NED), her training partner, but also against American Dalilah Muhammad, the second fastest woman in the world.
Johannes Vetter's return to the javelin is also promising. The German, slightly injured (ankle) in Tokyo, struggled to really compete for the Olympic title. He will be keen to show the new Olympic champion, the Indian Neeraj Chopra, what he is capable of. Chopra will also be competing.
The day before the meeting, the men's high jump organised in the form of a “City Event” in the city centre promises a great dual between Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi. The Qatari and the Italian shared gold in Tokyo after a memorable and moving contest. Tokyo bronze medallist Belarusian Maksim Nedasekau looks formidable again.
Among the 13 Swiss athletes competing, which is the most in the history of the meeting, Jason Joseph could achieve a podium in 110m hurdles if he runs as well as he did on Saturday in La Chaux-de-Fonds (13''12, fastest European time in 2021). At the end of the meeting, the Swiss 4x100m relay runners, 4th in Tokyo, will aim for victory and perhaps, for the first time, dip under