Renaud Lavillenie, winner of the pole vault at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris (© Jiro Mochizuki)
Strong fields in the men's pole vault and women's high jump and triple jump have been announced for the Meeting de Paris, the seventh meeting of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League, set for 30 June.
Among the men, the pole vault competition will gather together the top three performers in the world this season, plus the reigning world champion and the Olympic gold medallist at the 2016 Rio Games, a delicious mix of confirmed stars and new hopefuls of the discipline. The most loyal athlete of them all to the French leg of the IAAF Diamond League, Renaud Lavillenie will hit the track at the Charléty Stadium as favourite. The Frenchman has bagged three of the six best jumps of the season, topped with a performance of 5.95m achieved back in April in Austin, Texas.
One of the night’s star attractions will be the Swedish prodigy Armand Duplantis. The 18-year-old pole vaulter is currently second in the world with a jump of 5.93m set on 5 May at Baton Rouge. He will be up against Sam Kendricks, last year’s winner in Paris, who has posted 5.84m this season. Among the other athletes competing are the Canadian Shawn Barber (5.92m in 2018), Polish athletes Piotr Lisek and Pawel Wojciechowski, and the Brazilian Thiago Braz.
Three women have reached or exceeded 2.00m in the high jump this season and all will be competing in the French capital. Mariya Lasitskene has not suffered a defeat in 43 consecutive competitions. It’s a streak which the two-time defending world champion fully intends to continue at Charléty while aiming to improve on her best performance of the season, 2.03m. However, she’ll have to keep an eye on Belgian Nafissatou Thiam, the Olympic and World heptathlon champion, who's topped 2.01m this year, and Bulgarian Mirela Demireva, who improved to 2.00m in Stockholm.
In the triple jump, the competition is shaping up to be a unique face-off between the queen of the discipline, Colombian Caterine Ibarguen, 34, the gold medallist at the Rio Games in 2016, and 2013 and 2015 world champion, and Tori Franklin, the discipline’s latest sensation. Franklin, 25, created a stir on 12 May when she sailed a 14.84m national record and 2018 world lead. It’s also worth noting the presence of the reigning world champion, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, and Olga Rypakova, the 2017 world bronze medallist.
Organisers for the IAAF