Just one week will separate the conclusion of the athletics events at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the French meeting. This time frame should give the leaders of the French team the chance to recover from both their jet-lag and the fervour of the Olympics to face a home crowd at their peak. Indeed, the initial post-Olympic competitions often have a favourable effect on performance and the Meeting de Paris will likely bear witness to this.
Heading the bill in the 2016 edition is Renaud Lavillenie. The reigning Olympic pole vault champion has made the French leg of the Diamond League his event. He has won no fewer than six consecutive times.
Kévin Ménaldo will also be after a piece of the action. Last year, the Frenchman made the most of a very supportive crowd to improve on his personal best with a jump of 5.81m. A less familiar figure to the general public, Stanley Joseph (a personal best of 5.75m this season) will be discovering the Stade de France’s atmosphere for the very first time.
Frenchman Mekhissi-Benabbad, who was absent due to injury last year, has come back fighting with a new European title in the 3,000m steeplechase, earlier this month in Amsterdam. Like Renaud Lavillenie, this Paris meet is an event he particularly cherishes. He’ll be accompanied on Saturday 27 August by Yoann Kowal, European bronze medallist this season. They’ll be competing in the 3,000m.
Pierre-Ambroise Bosse has the same hopes for the 800m, after securing his first win of the season in a leg of the Diamond League on 22 May 2016 in Rabat, Morocco. Victory is something Benjamin Compaoré tasted here back in 2014, winning the triple jump by clearing 17.12m, just one centimetre ahead of American, Christian Taylor. This year he’ll be accompanied by Harold Correa, French number two in 2016, who beat his personal best with a jump of 16.76m in 2012 on his debut performance at the Paris meet.
Among the female contingent, Floria Guei in the 400m and Sandra Gomis and Cindy Billaud in the 100m hurdles, will really have their work cut out against strong competition from overseas and from the United States in particular. For Mélina Robert-Michon, the 2016 edition will be an opportunity for her to make a comeback after a year’s absence; the women’s discus not forming part of the programme for the MEETING de PARIS 2015. Like their male counterparts, France’s four female stars are already calling on the support of the public, their home crowd, for what could well be a predominantly blue-themed evening of athletics.
Date : Saturday 27 August 2016
Edition : 18th edition – 1st in 1999
Venue : STADE DE FRANCE
Baseline : « Athletics at its best »
200 athletes – including athletes from the French team just back from the Rio Olympics.
50 000 spectators on average.
The biggest crowd comprised 70 253 spectators en 2005
Seat Prices : from €19 with the Family Pack offer
Timing : from 17:00 to 22:00pm
3rd best meeting in the world according to the 2015 Ranking.