The curtain fell on the indoor season on Sunday, March 4 on the evening of the Worlds in Birmingham. Already though, all eyes are on the 14-episode IAAF Diamond League serial. And there’s good news for the French leg, scheduled for Saturday, June 30 at the Charléty Stadium: four of the heroes from the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, last weekend, have confirmed their presence at the MEETING de PARIS. American Christian Coleman, Russian Mariya Lasitskene and French athletes Renaud Lavillenie and Kevin Mayer, all gold medallists in the UK, will be competing in the Parisian meeting.
Christian Coleman, the new sprint machine
Usain Bolt may have pawned his spikes, but world sprinting hasn’t wasted any time in appointing his successor. American Christian Coleman, 22, a native of Atlanta who studied at the University of Tennessee, is being very careful not to lay claim to following in the footsteps of the Jamaican lightning bolt, but his times speak for themselves. With a personal best of 9’’82 over 100m last year, and world number two in London in 2017, he has been flattening the competition since the start of the indoor season. Indeed, he treated himself to the world record in the 60m (6’’34), on 18 February in New York, before scooping the world title over the same distance in Birmingham. For his debut appearance at the MEETING de PARIS, on Saturday 30 June, Christian Coleman will be lining up as race favourite in the 100m, as well as one of the evening’s star attractions.
Mariya Lasitskene, a cut above the rest
She may be just 25 years of age, but the Russian high jumper already has a startling track record: world outdoor champion twice over, both outdoors (2015 and 2017) and indoors (2014 and 2018), as well as gold medallist at the Youth Olympic Games (2010). Above all though, Mariya Lasitskene remains undefeated in official competition since 2016. She now boasts a series of 38 consecutive victories following her success in Birmingham last week. This is a first in the discipline. Mariya Lasitskene is familiar with the MEETING de PARIS. She discovered the atmosphere of the event back in 2014, securing second place in the competition with a jump of 2m, only falling short of the Croatian Blanka Vlasic. At the time, she went by her maiden name of Kuchina. On Saturday 30 June 2018, as is the case every time she competes, she’ll have her sights on victory and the world record (2.09m). Her personal best, a jump of 2.06m achieved last year in Lausanne, gives her a world ranking of number 5.
Renaud Lavillenie and Kevin Mayer, the Blues to perform on home soil
The public won’t be taking their eyes off this pair in the Charléty Stadium. Renaud Lavillenie and Kevin Mayer both won a world title last weekend in Birmingham. This was the third indoor title for the pole vaulter, the first in the heptathlon for the new master of the combined events. At the MEETING de PARIS, they’ll both be performing on home soil. Renaud Lavillenie has made the French leg of the IAAF Diamond League his exclusive preserve for a long time now, racking up the victories at the Stade de France. Last year, he let first place go to the American Sam Kendricks. Back at the top of his game now, he intends to get back on his winning streak. For Kevin Mayer, the Parisian meeting will be an opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd, which is a rare moment in the season of a decathlete, and one where he’ll be able to come face to face with the competition in one or other of his ten disciplines. He too is now a familiar face at the MEETING de PARIS. In 2016, just back from the Rio Games, where he won a silver medal, he participated in the javelin competition. Last year, he took victory in the triathlon, an event that doesn’t form part of the IAAF Diamond League programme, with two new PBs (13”73 in the 110m hurdles and 70m54 in javelin throw).
The MEETING de PARIS events:
Men: 100m, 1,500m, 110m hurdles, 400m hurdles, pole vault, discus, triathlon (not a DL event)