The men’s Triple Jump was meant to be a two-horse race between USA’s pair of Christian Taylor and Will Claye, but Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo upset the apple cart by claiming his first Diamond League victory in two years at the Athlessima meeting in Lausanne on Thursday.
The Cuban endured a rocky 2016 and even had to pull out of the Olympic Games in Rio after being sidelined by injury, and only returned to action less than a month ago.
He made his Diamond League debut in 2017 in Paris less than a week ago where he placed 4th with a Season’s Best (SB) of 17.05m. That result must have served as a morale booster for the Beijing 2015 Silver medallist who looks set to put up a fight ahead of next month’s World Championships in London.
Pichardo opened his campaign in Lausanne with a leap and SB of 17.44m, bettering it to 17.54s at his second attempt, before taking the title with his final attempt, which landed at 17.60m. Taylor’s best attempt of the evening was a mark of 17.49m, while Claye settled for 3rd place with 17.12m.
This is Taylor’s first Diamond League defeat in more than two years, and the reigning World and Olympic Champion will be wondering where he went wrong.
Mariya Lasitskene was the most outstanding athlete in the Field events at the Lausanne Diamond League! The reigning World Champion certainly looks favoured to retain her title, following her unbeaten streak in the women’s High Jump.
The 24-year old extended her WL by leaping to a Meeting Record (MR) and Diamond League Record (DLR) of 2.06m to dominate the event. Following her was Kamila Licwinko with a mark of 1.93m, while Sofie Skoog placed 3rd with the same distance.
Going by Ryan Crouser’s incredible form since winning the Olympic title in Rio last year, the Lausanne Diamond League MR of 22.20s set by David Storl in 2015, didn’t stand a chance. It will be recalled that Crouser recently won the US title with the world’s best mark in 14 years, a World Lead (WL) of 22.65m.
Even though he didn’t better his WL, the 24-year old set a new MR of 22.39m to take the day. He was followed by Tomas Walsh and Tomáš Stanek who recorded distances of 21.97m (SB) and 21.36m respectively. Storl was 5th with 21.17m.
Olympic Champion in the women’s Javelin throw Sara Kolak put up an impeccable show at the Lausanne Diamond League. The 22-year old upstaged her older counterparts to take the win with a WL, MR and National Record (NR) of 68.43m.
She finished ahead World Record (WR) holder and two-time Olympic Champion Barbora Špotakova who set an SB of 67.40m, while Kathryn Mitchell was 3rd with a Personal Best (PB) of 66.12m.
Sam Kendricks maintained his unbeaten run in the Diamond League series by extending his MR by 1cm, winning the men’s Pole vault with a new MR of 5.93m on the evening, the same mark recorded by former World Champion Paweł Wojciechowski in 2nd place.
Despite not winning the event, WR holder Renaud Lavillenie will be pleased with his SB of 5.87m which put him in 3rd position, while Kurtis Marschall was 4th with a PB of 5.73m. Reigning World Champion Shawn Barber finished a distant 8th with 5.63m.
European Champion Ivana Spanovic won the women’s Long Jump with a mark of 6.79m, denying reigning World and Olympic Champion Tianna Bartoletta the win. The American settled for 3rd place with a mark of 6.65m, while teammate Shakeelah Saunders finished 2nd with 6.68m.