Two of the biggest names in Triple Jump history, Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba and USA’s Christian Taylor, are set for a rematch at the Lausanne Diamond League taking place at the Stade Olympique de la Pontaise in Switzerland this Thursday.
The pair will be the centre of attention at the 40th Anniversary of the Athletissima meeting after their record breaking performance at the Doha Diamond League in May. The duo recreated one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the sport by becoming the first men to legally go over 18m at the same competition.
Pichardo, the 2013 World Championships Silver medallist, set a Personal Best (PB), National Record (NR), Meeting Record (MR) and Diamond League Record (DLR) of 18.06m, making him the 3rd best triple jumper in history. He follows World Record (WR) holder, Jonathan Edwards (18.29m) and Kenny Harrison (18.09m).
Spurred by this performance, Olympic Champion Taylor, also jumped to a new PB of 18.04m to become the 5th best jumper in the event. Two weeks later, the Cuban improved his PB/NR by 2cm, raising his mark to an enviable distance of 18.08m at the Copa Cuba-Memorial Barrientos meet in Havana.
Both men have since gone on to win the Diamond meets they’ve competed in in the absence of the other: Taylor in Birmingham, and Pichardo in Rome and New York. The Swiss city of Lasaunne might just create the right atmosphere for Taylor to avenge his Doha loss.
Two WR holders are also set to compete in the meeting. Renaud Lavillenie will be hoping to overcome the disappointment of not finishing among the Top 3 at the Paris Diamond League. New sensation in the men’s Pole Vault, Brazil’s Thiago Braz and Konstantinos Filippidis of Greece would be his biggest competitors.
The second WR holder, David Rudisha, will be the star to watch out for in the 800m. The Kenyan returned to winning ways at the Adidas Grand Prix, completing his race with a Season’s Best (SB) of 1:43.58s.
This time around, the Olympic Champion will be competing against a tougher field that includes reigning Commonwealth Champion, Botswana’S Nigel Amos, current world No.1 Mohammed Aman, Frenchman Ambroise-Pierre Bosse and Marcin Lewandowski of Poland.
Fresh from winning the 400m Hurdles at the US trials, Bershawn Jackson would aim to continue his winning streak when he goes against teammates Micheal Tinsley and Quincy Downing. World Champion Jehue Gordon, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson and homeboy Kariem Hussein are also expected to be stiff competitors.
The men’s 200m race is expected to be an explosive one as Jamaica’s national champion Nickel Ashmeade, USA’s Isaiah Young, Alonso Edward of Panama and Great Britain’s new champion, Zharnel Hughes square up against each other.
In the women’s events, Olympic Champion in the 200m, Allyson Felix will be up against a tough field comprising of African sprint stars, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor and Murielle Ahouré, and European double sprints champion, Dafne Schippers. USA’s Jeneba Tarmoh and Dezerea Bryant are also included in the line-up.
Another Nigerian focus for the night is two-time national 400m champion, Regina George. She will be coming as the underdog against a stacked field that includes Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross, Shaunae Miller, Jamaica’s Novlene Williams-Mills and USA’s duo of Natasha Hastings and Phyllis Francis.
Sprint hurdler Jasmin Stowers will look to put behind her the disappointment of not making the US team to the World Championships. She goes against her fierce rivals and countrywomen, Sharika Nelvis, Queen Harrison and national champion, Dawn Harper-Nelson. Tiffany Porter who comes fresh from defending her national title is also a possible threat.