This year’s Athletissima meeting in Lausanne on 2 September will combine traditional athletics with originality as two top-level pole vault competitions will take place simultaneously on Place de l'Europe in the heart of the city.
Like other adapted competitions, such as last week's Impossible Games in Oslo, and Zurich's Inspiration Games due to take place later this year, Athletissima will not be a scoring Wanda Diamond League meeting. Nevertheless, it will be one of the highest-quality gatherings of field event athletes in 2020.
World record-holder Mondo Duplantis, 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie, two-time world champion Sam Kendricks, 2017 world silver medallist Piotr Lisek and 2011 world champion Pawel Wojciechowski are among the names confirmed so far for the men’s competition.
Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi, world indoor champion Sandi Morris, Commonwealth champion Alysha Newman and Swedish record-holder Angelica Bengtsson are set to contest the women’s event.
The athletes will jump alternately, a man followed by a woman, on two separate and parallel tracks. In order for the performances to be officially recognised, two specially designed tracks will be installed, which will make it possible to fully compensate for the slightly negative slope of the venue. All the equipment will be chartered from Paris and by a local Swiss company.
In line with the measures taken by Swiss authorities, the event is preparing to welcome 1000 spectators, but the capacity could be increased to 5000 if federal measures were to be alleviated by then. Either way, Athletissima will respect the Swiss government’s security regulations on the day of the competition.
“The athletes are eager to come and compete; they keep knocking at our door,” said meeting director Jacky Delapierre. “All of our usual sponsors, with the exception of one, are ready to support us, despite the exceptional situation we're in. This is a strong positive signal for us.”
The event will take place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm CEST and will be broadcast live by the three national TV channels.
Organisers for World Athletics