June 8, 2023

Paris Diamond League: Four things to watch

Paris Diamond League: Four things to watch

Sprinters Marcell Jacobs and Noah Lyles, along with 400m hurdles sensation Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, headline the fourth leg of the Diamond League circuit which takes place in Paris on Friday.

AFP Sport looks at four events to watch.

Jacobs v Lyles

Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs has had a difficult start to the season, twice pulling out of 100m showdowns with world champion Fred Kerley with a back problem. There is no Kerley at Stade Charlety, but there is his American teammate Noah Lyles, the world 200m champion who ran a scorching 19.67sec over the distance in Kingston last week. While Jacobs and Lyles are the key participants, the field also boasts 2011 world champion Yohan Blake and African champion Ferdinand Omanyala of Kenya.

Gidey v Kipyegon

Kenyan Faith Kipyegon steps up from her favoured 1500m to go head-to-head in the 5,000m with Ethiopia’s world record holder Letesenbet Gidey, the world 10,000m champion. Kipyegon is fresh from her own world record, smashing the previous 1500m best in Florence last week. There will be high hopes of a sub-14min time, with the field aided by three pacesetters, including Kenyan Beatrice Chepkoech, another world record holder, albeit in the 3,000m steeplechase.

McLaughlin-Levrone v Eid Naser

American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who set a remarkable one-lap hurdles record of 50.68sec at last year’s world championships in Eugene, makes her season debut in the French capital. Having last competed in a Diamond League event in Europe in 2019, the 23-year-old Olympic champion will race in the 400m flat, but will have her work cut out against Dominican Marileidy Paulino as well as Bahraini Salwa Eid Naser, the 2019 world champion returning from a doping ban.

Ingebrigtsen targets 2-mile world record

Norway’s Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, also world 5,000m champion a year later, is targeting the world record over 2 miles of 7min 58.61sec set by Kenyan Daniel Komen back in July 1997 in Hechtel, Belgium). To this day, Komen is the only person to have covered 3,218m in under eight minutes, despite the best effortrs of the likes of running legends Haile Gebrselassie, Mo Farah and Eliud Kipchoge in the rarely-run event. Ingebrigtsen will be aided not only by pacesetters, but also by Wavelight technology, lighting posted on the inside of the track that enables athletes to better adapt their pace.