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Meeting de Paris 2019 Duels on every front

Monday 22 July 2019. Source: Agence Blanco Negro. (IKKOSPORTS) - The line-up for the MEETING de PARIS 2019 is taking shape. With one month to go till the big day on Saturday 24 August at Charléty Stadium, things are looking good. The French leg of the IAAF Diamond League will once again offer the public audience the very best of world athletics. Headlining the event will be a series of what promise to be explosive duels, in both track and field, men and women’s competitions.

The men’s 200m, positioned at the end of the programme, is set to be a trial of strength between the American Noah Lyles and the Turk Ramil Guliyev, refereed by Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre. The first of the trio really packed a punch on 5 July in Lausanne, crossing the line in 19’’50, the 4th best performer in history. Reigning world champion, Ramil Guliyev is very familiar with the track at the Charléty Stadium, where he won the event in 2017 (20’’15). The Turk ranks among 14 athletes who have secured a sub-20-second time this year (19’’99 on 3 May in Doha). Up against him, Christophe Lemaitre will be seeking to bag another personal best for the season (20’’46 on 16 July in Sotteville).

In the field competitions, the pole vault event will offer up a top-flight duel between the American Sam Kendricks and Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie. The former, credited with 5.92m this season, has a victorious performance in last year’s Charléty event to fall back on. The second, has made the MEETING de PARIS his own for many years, bagging a haul of six successes in Diamond League. With one month to go till the Worlds in Doha, the Paris meeting should enable him to continue its rise in power (5.82m on 12 July in Monaco).

There will also be duelling for gold in the high jump too with a face-off between Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi, two of the most successful jumpers of all time. Reigning world champion, the Qatari (2.43m in 2014) is gradually getting back into shape after a long spell of forced time-out due to an ankle operation (2.27m in Sopot in late June). The Italian, world indoor champion in 2016, boasts a personal best of 2.39m. Credited with 2.28m this year, he is keen to get close to his best just weeks away from the Worlds in Doha.

In the triple jump, the MEETING de PARIS is delighted to announce the presence of the two highest performers this season, Americans Christian Taylor and Will Claye. The two men clashed on the same jumping pit in 2017, the former gaining the upper hand (17.29m compared with 17.18m). However, Will Claye posted a blinder on 29 June in Long Beach with a jump of 18.14m. In so doing, he has earned a place as the 3rd best triple jumper in history, behind Christian Taylor (18.21m in 2015), who jumped 17.82m this season when he took the win in Monaco on 12 July.

Reigning world champion of the 800m, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse won’t have to worry about nailing the required level of performance for the Worlds in Doha. Indeed, the Frenchman has confirmed his presence at the MEETING de PARIS, where he’ll be looking to make the most of a quick race to close on the elite runners (this season he’s run 1’45’’43), after having had his preparation hampered by fibrosis of the upper hamstrings.

Among the female athletes, the pole vault competition is set to be an absolute classic with a duel between Greek athlete Katerina Stefanidi and the American Sandi Morris. The two young women know each other well having shared the podium at the Rio Games in 2016 and then the Worlds in London in 2017. In both cases, Katerina Stefanidi finished ahead of Sandi Morris. However, the American has previously gone higher (personal best of 5m, compared with 4.91m for the Greek), and has the edge this season (4.82m compared with 4.75m).

In the discus event, the competition will be dominated by the presence of two familiar faces at the MEETING de PARIS. Sandra Perkovic won the event in 2016 and 2018. However, the double Olympic and world champion has had a mixed start to the season (8th in the world ranking 2019 with 64.77m). She’s expecting the Paris meeting to serve up the best possible conditions to boost her rankings with one month to go to the Worlds. Meantime, Mélina Robert-Michon is hoping to honor her Olympic and world medal status (she’s thrown 62.41m this season), after giving birth to her second child in 2018.

In the triple jump, albeit in the women’s contingent, two athletes dominating the scene are Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas and Colombian Caterine Ibarguen, who are expected to compete at Charléty stadium. It’s already game on this summer with respective personal bests of 15.06m and 14.89m. The former is the reigning world champion, but the second has an unrivalled track record with two gold medals at the Worlds and an Olympic victory. There are high hopes for their clash at the Worlds in Doha and, to the great delight of the Parisian audience, the two South Americans aren’t the type to avoid one another at meetings. Last year at Charléty, Ibarguen took the win with 14.83m. However, Rojas, who skipped that season, was not competing. Here they are reunited.

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