Four days after the end of the World Championships, the Diamond League resumes its rights with the Meeting of Zurich where the biggest stars are expected like Armand Duplantis, Noah Lyles, Sha’Carri Richardson but also Karsten Warholm. In addition to this five-star cast, eight French athletes will attempt of surf on their excellent form at the moment, starting with Thibaut Collet, Sasha Zhoya, Alice Finot, Azeddine Habz and Yann Schrub in front of the 25,000 spectators at the Letzigrund stadium.
Barely enough time to digest the Budapest Worlds that the biggest stars of athletics are already back on the track. And when we think big star, the name ofArmand Duplantis immediately comes to mind. The Swede shone in the pole vault competition in Hungary, winning his second world championship title after that won in Eugene last year. Only negative point: “Mondo” remained stuck at 6.10 m, his three world record attempts at 6.23 m having failed. There is no doubt that during this gala evening at the Zurich Meeting, the holder of the world record (6.22 m) will not try his luck again when he had reached “only” 6.07 m in 2022.
In this competition, we will also find the Habs Thibaut Collet who made us vibrate a few days ago in the Hungarian capital by beating twice his personal best (5.85 m then 5.90 m). The Grenoblois wants to pass the mythical bar of 6 meters and will find the Filipino silver medalist Ernest Obiena (6.00 m) and those who won bronze: the Australian Kurtis Marshall (5.95 m) and the American Chris Nilsen (5.95m). Absent from Budapest after experiencing the harsh law of the “Trials” (American championships), KC Lightfoot (6.07 m this year) and Sam Kendricks (5.91 m) will be there.
The high point of an evening that promises to be completely crazy, the men’s 200m will see the presence of a triple world champion: Noah Lyles. The American sprinter is coming out of a historic world championship and will have to compete with his compatriot and runner-up on the half-lap Erriyon Knighton. At the foot of the podium of this 200 m, Zharnel Hughes (in bronze on 100 m) will have weapons to put forward. Also note the presence of the Olympic champion André De Grasse. In women, the reigning double world champion Shericka Jackson will host the race alongside five Americans (Kayla White, Tamara Clark, Brittany Brown, Twanisha Terry And Jenna Prandini). In the women’s 100m, the queen of the straight line of Budapest Sha’Carri Richardson and the Jamaican Elaine Thompson-Herah should be shoulder to shoulder.
Karsten Warholm masterfully dominated the 400m hurdles at the Worlds. The Norwegian will settle in Zurich just like the 2022 world champion Alison Dos Santos, Rai Benjamin (bronze in Budapest) but also the surprising silver medalist Kyron McMaster. French Wilfried Happio, eliminated in the semi-finals of the Worlds, will also try to interfere between the favorites of the race. On the side of the high jump, the Italian Gianmarco Tamberi and the Qatari Mutaz Barshim should fight a good battle while Yulimar Rojas could try to break his triple jump record (15.67m) again after winning his cleaver gold medal a few days ago.
The Blues in force
Last Sunday, Alice Finot rewarded us with a magnificent fifth place (9’06”15) in the final of the 3,000 m steeplechase at the world championships. La Montbéliarde can even boast of having broken the French record in a race won by Bahrain Winfred Yavi (8’54″29) whom she will find in Switzerland just like the Kenyans Beatrice Chepkoech And Faith Cherotichas well as the Ethiopian Zerfe Wondemagegn who overtook her in Budapest. Another Blues expected during this evening, Sasha Zhoya will participate in the 110m hurdles (excluding Diamond League) with a very European flavor where the local Jason Joseph (13″10) will also be closely monitored. But the European champion hopes of Espoo this summer remains on a sixth place at the Worlds and a personal best in half (13″15) which will make the young 21-year-old hurdler one of the contenders for the final victory.
The 5000m at the Zurich Meeting will also have a strong French accent with three tricolors entered, including Yann Schrub And Etienne Daguinos. The first named was at the start of the 10,000m at the Worlds and climbed to a very nice ninth place in 28’07″42. The Munich Europe bronze medalist in the 10,000m last summer will have a good part to play if he wants to improve his personal best (13’11″44) on the twelve and a half turns. Etienne Daguinos, selected for the Road Race World Championships on October 1 in Riga (Latvia), could show up in a race where the Ethiopians Yomif Kejelcha (12’41″73) and the world record holder in the 3000 m steeplechase Lamecha Girmawill leave great favorites.
A few minutes before, the 1500m will start with Azeddine Habz (3’29″26) at the start. The Moroccan-born French half-back will face tough opponents including the freshly surprised world champion, the Briton Josh Kerr (3’29″38) but also the Spaniard Mohammad Katir (3’28″89), eliminated early in the semi-finals at the Worlds. Note the absence of the Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen, silver medalist in the 1500m then gold in the 5000m. Very disappointed with her elimination in the 800m semi-final, Renelle Lamote starts again and there is no doubt that the Montpellier will use this invitation to dry her tears.
The women’s pole vault event of the Zurich Meeting took place this Wednesday from 5.30 p.m. in the city’s station, where Margot Chevrier experienced three failures at 4.36 m, his re-entry bar. Australian Nina Kennedy, who shared world gold in the pole vault with American Katie Moon (2nd in Zurich with 4.81m), achieved the best world performance of the year with 4.91m .
Find the program and the results of the Meeting of Zurich, in click here.
Text : Dorian Vuillet
Photo credit : Solene Decosta / STADIUM