Athletissima’s 400m hurdles race is set to be one of the highlights of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on 6 July.
Last weekend Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad got within 0.3 of the world record to win the US title in 52.64. The 400m hurdles field for Athletissima includes four of the top five finishers from that historic race, including world silver medallist Shamier Little, who finished a close second to Muhammad last weekend in 52.75.
The top five finishers from the Olympic Games are also set to compete as Olympic silver medallist Sara Slott Petersen, Olympic bronze medallist Ashley Spencer, two-time world champion Zuzana Hejnova and Jamaica's Ristananna Tracey take on Switzerland’s European bronze medallist Lea Sprunger.
“They all have run faster than me this year except for Hejnova, so it will be a very fast race from start to finish,” said Sprunger. “That does not scare me. On the contrary, I think I’ll benefit from this race. I need to get used to such races if I want to qualify for the final this summer at the World Championships. I will have to be ready both mentally and physically.”
Other US athletes previously announced in the Athletissima line-up also appear to be in great shape. Olympic pole vault bronze medallist Sam Kendricks cleared a world-leading 6.00m last weekend in Sacramento, becoming the 21st vaulter to clear six metres and the first US athlete to do so since 2008.
“If I can replicate this kind of jump, everything is possible,” said the world indoor silver medallist, who last year set a stadium record of 5.92m in Lausanne. “Going for gold in London is my goal.”
In the men’s shot put, Ryan Crouser also showed remarkable form by taking the world lead with 22.65m, the longest throw in the world since 2003, while Will Claye jumped a solid 17.91m in the triple jump.
In the 100m hurdles, Olympic silver medallist and double world indoor champion Nia Ali will face world leader Jasmin Stowers. Britain’s double European indoor champion Laura Muir will step down in distance to the 800m and will face fellow two-time European indoor champion Selina Buchel of Switzerland.
Organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar:
5 May – Doha, QAT
13 May – Shanghai, CHN
27 May – Eugene, USA
8 Jun – Rome, ITA
15 Jun – Oslo, NOR
18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
1 Jul – Paris, FRA
6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
9 Jul – London, GBR
16 Jul – Rabat, MAR
21 Jul – Monaco, MON
20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
24 Aug – Zurich, SUI
1 Sep – Brussels, BEL