Christian Taylor, Usain Bolt and Sara Kolak in action at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne () © Copyright
General News Lausanne, Switzerland

Lausanne's top three moments – IAAF Diamond League

Later this week, the IAAF Diamond League heads to Lausanne for the eighth meeting in the 2018 series. Here we look back at three of the more memorable moments from the Swiss city.


Taylor and Pichardo play it again, 2015

Two months after their historic performances in Doha, Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo provided a packed crowd with another stupendous night of triple jumping.

This time the US jumper reversed fortunes against his Cuban rival in winning with 18.06m – a meeting record and equal to the IAAF Diamond League record Pichardo set in Qatar.

On that occasion, Taylor almost eclipsed the Cuban with his own final effort, only to fall two centimetres short.

Here Taylor’s late flourish proved to be a winning one.

Pichardo sprinted off excitedly into the infield after an opening effort of 17.85m. The 25-year-old Olympic champion closed in the second round with 17.76m, but one round later the 22-year-old from Santiago de Cuba was completing the same crazy circuit with even greater zeal after reaching 17.99m.

When Taylor fouled his fourth attempt, it looked as if, once again, he was going to have to accept honourable defeat by an inspired opponent.

But the 2011 world champion, his normally pleasant face set in deep concentration, found energy from somewhere to reach 18.02m – his second time ever in 18-metre-plus territory.

Pichardo, in emerald green, responded with a huge effort that was ruled as a foul. The stare he gave the judges was positively scary.

And then Taylor’s final effort added another four centimetres to the lead.

Bolt and Blake have a blast, 2012

Exactly a fortnight after retaining his Olympic 200m title in London, Usain Bolt bettered his own meeting record as he clocked 19.58.

Hercules laboured out of his blocks on this occasion, but after running an apparently effortless bend on the forgiving, wide curves of the Stade de la Pontaise, he opened up with all his peerless power on the home straight to trim one hundredth of a second off the time he had set three years earlier, assisted by a following wind of 1.4m/s.

European champion Churandy Martina was rewarded for his efforts at trying to keep in touch with the big man by coming home second in a Dutch record of 19.85 – 0.09 faster than the previous mark.

Twenty minutes earlier, Bolt’s young training partner and compatriot Yohan Blake, who had followed him home in both the 100m and 200m in London’s Olympic stadium, had taken 0.06 off his 100m personal best in setting a meeting record of 9.69 that put him equal second on the all-time list with Tyson Gay – behind Bolt.

“This season has not always been great but I am thrilled with the way it is finishing,” said Bolt.

It was a stupendous post-Games statement of Jamaican sprinting power.

Kolak and Spotakova – battle of the champions, 2017

A 400m victory in 43.62 by South Africa’s world and Olympic champion Wayde van Niekerk, lowering Michael Johnson’s 21-year-old stadium record of 43.66, and an IAAF Diamond League record of 2.06m from Russia’s Maria Lasitkene, competing as an authorised neutral athlete were stand-out markers for the 40th anniversary running of this Athletissima meeting.

But the main drama of the night occurred in the women’s javelin, where a huge contest between past and present Olympic champions ended with victory for Croatia’s young Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Sara Kolak.

The 22-year-old threw 66.65m to better the national record of 66.18m that had earned her Olympic gold the previous year. But that still left her in second place following the effort of 67.40m, the best of the year, produced by the 2008 and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Barbora Spotakova.

It was another testament to the enduring competitiveness of the 36-year-old Czech thrower – but the picture changed again in the final round as Kolak won the competition with a huge effort of 68.43m. An Olympian contest indeed.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF