© Copyright – 2022 – Athletics Illustrated
According to World Athletics, the first-time Diamond League meet taking place in Silesia, Poland offers a star-studded line-up.
“A stellar field, including 49 medallists and 12 individual champions from the recent World Athletics Championships Oregon22, marks the first Diamond League meeting ever hosted in the country. For such a historic occasion, it’s only appropriate that several history-making athletes will take centre stage at the iconic Slaski Stadium – none more so than record-breaking pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis and sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.”
Silesia is the ninth meet in the 13-meet league for 2023. Missing this year are Shanghai and Shenzen and are on hiatus due to the pandemic.
The 2023 season is busy for athletics. First, there were all the meets during the spring and early summer for athletes to qualify for global championships. Then within an eight-week span the World Athletics Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships are scheduled. TheDiamond League continues into September with Zurch on the 7th and 8th.
After winning gold with a world record of 6.21m in Eugene, Sweden’s Duplantis has more than enough in hand to attack another six-metre vault. World and Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen of the USA and world bronze medallist Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines lead the opposition.
Speaking at the pre-event press conference, Duplantis said he remains highly motivated for the rest of the season. “The beautiful thing about athletics and especially what I do – pole vaulting – is there’s always a little bit more that you can do,” he explained. “There’s more that you can push to get those few extra centimetres out of yourself.
“I’m enjoying everything right now – the process of travelling, of training, of coming to competitions. I love being out here competing. If I wasn’t having such a good time with the process and striving to push the boundaries and see what I am capable of, then maybe it would be a different situation. But as far as now, I am really enjoying it, motivation is the least of my concerns.”
Although it’s not a Diamond League event, plenty of interest will also rest on the women’s 100m, where Jamaican icon Fraser-Pryce will be looking to re-assert her authority on the event after winning her fifth world 100m title in Eugene. World finalist Aleia Hobbs, US champion Melissa Jefferson and compatriot Twanisha Terry – all of whom won 4x100m gold in Oregon – are also in the line-up. Local star and 2019 European indoor 60m gold medallist Ewa Svoboda will also present some colourful opposition.
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