French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie in action at the Charlety Stadium in Paris
The curtain fell on the indoor season last Sunday 4 March as the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 concluded. Already though, all eyes are on the 14 meeting IAAF Diamond League series.
And there’s good news for the Meeting de Paris, scheduled for Saturday 30 June 2018 in the French capital's Charléty Stadium: four of the champions from those championships in Birmingham have confirmed their presence at the French leg: Christian Coleman, Mariya Lasitskene and the French duo of Renaud Lavillenie and Kevin Mayer.
Coleman, the new sprint machine
Usain Bolt may have pawned his spikes, but world sprinting hasn’t wasted any time in appointing his successor. Coleman of the US, 22, a native of Atlanta who studied at the University of Tennessee, is being very careful not to lay claim to following in the footsteps of the Jamaican lightning bolt, but his times speak for themselves.
With a personal best of 9.82 in the 100m last year, and world number two in London in 2017, he has been flattening the competition since the start of the indoor season. Indeed, he treated himself to the 60m world record in Albuquerque on 18 February clocking 6.34 before scooping the world title over the same distance in Birmingham. In his debut appearance at the Meeting de Paris, Coleman will be lining up as race favourite in the 100m, as well as one of the evening’s star attractions.
Lasitskene, a cut above the rest
She may be just 25 years old, but the high jumper already has a startling track record: twice a world champion, both outdoors (2015 and 2017) and indoors (2014 and 2018), as well as gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games in 2010. Above all though, Lasitskene remains undefeated since mid 2016. She now boasts a series of 38 consecutive victories following her success in Birmingham last week.
Lasitskene is familiar with the Meeting de Paris. She discovered the atmosphere of the event back in 2014, securing second place in the competition with a jump of 2.00m, finishing just behind Croatian Blanka Vlasic. In Paris, as is the case every time she competes, she’ll have her sights on victory and the 2.09m world record. Her personal best of 2.06m achieved last year in Lausanne currently ranks her at No. 5 on the all-time world list.
Lavillenie and Mayer to perform on home soil
The public won’t be taking their eyes off this pair in Charléty. In Birmingham, Lavillenie captured his third world indoor title while Mayer, the new master of the combined events, won his first in the heptathlon. In Paris, they'll both be performing on home soil.
Lavillenie has made the French leg of the IAAF Diamond League his exclusive preserve for a long time now, racking up the victories at the Stade de France. Last year, he let first place go to Sam Kendricks of the US. Back at the top of his game now, he intends to get back on his winning streak.
For Mayer, the Paris meeting will be an opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd, which is a rare moment in the season of a decathlete, and one where he’ll be able to come face to face with the competition in one or another of his ten disciplines. He too is now a familiar face at the Meeting de Paris. In 2016, just back from the Rio Olympic Games where he won a silver medal, he participated in the javelin. Last year, he took victory in a triathlon, notching a pair of PBs --13.73 in the 110m hurdles and 70.54m in the javelin-- in the process.
Organisers for the IAAF
2018 IAAF Diamond League calendar
4 May – Doha, QAT
12 May – Shanghai, CHN
26 May – Eugene, USA
31 May – Rome, ITA
7 Jun – Oslo, NOR
10 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
30 Jun – Paris, FRA
5 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
13 Jul – Rabat, MAR
20 Jul – Monaco, MON
21-22 Jul – London, GBR
18 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
30 Aug – Zurich, SUI
31 Aug – Brussels, BEL