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News03 Sep 2020

Duplantis and Thompson-Herah among first big names confirmed for Rome


Swedish pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis (© AFP / Getty Images)

Organisers of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea have announced that pole vault world record-holder Mondo Duplantis and double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah will compete at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rome on 17 September.

European 1500m champion Laura Muir, 2016 world indoor high jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi and Italian shot putter Leonardo Fabbri will also be in action in the Italian capital.

Duplantis stunned athletics fans during the indoor season, setting world records of 6.17m and 6.18m in Torun and Glasgow respectively. He has maintained his winning streak throughout the outdoor season, including victories in Oslo, Monaco, Stockholm and Lausanne – the latter with a world-leading height of 6.07m.

After his winning clearance in Lausanne – the highest outdoor vault since 1994 – Duplantis went on to attempt 6.15m, what would have been the best ever outdoor clearance in history, but the lack of light made vaulting too difficult, so he wound up his competition after just one attempt at that bar.

Given the ease with which Duplantis cleared the big heights in Lausanne, Rodion Gataullin’s stadium record of 6.00m and Sergey Bubka’s meeting record of 5.94m both appear to be living on borrowed time.

Thompson-Herah will be seeking a third 100m victory in Rome, following her triumphs in 2016 (10.87) and 2019 (10.89). So far this year the Jamaican sprinter has competed exclusively in Kingston, boasting season’s bests of 10.88 and 22.19.

Like Thompson-Herah, Muir has competed in Rome twice before, both times over 1500m, but the British middle-distance runner will be making her first appearance over 800m in the Olympic Stadium. She currently leads the 1500m world list with 3:57.86, while her best 800m run of the year is 1:59.54.

A handful of leading Italian athletes have also been confirmed for the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea. 2016 world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi will compete in the high jump, national indoor record-holder Leonardo Fabbri will contest the shot put, while sprinters Filippo Tortu and Lamont Marcell Jacobs will clash over 100m.

This year’s Golden Gala Pietro Mennea will be held in Rome’s Olympic Stadium, as originally planned. A few months ago, organisers announced that the neighbouring Stadio dei Marmi – usually used as the warm-up track for the meeting – would host the Golden Gala, but the event has since been able to move back to its usual home.