Elaine Thompson-Herah eyes 100m WR at star-studded Lausanne Diamond League

The Jamaican is getting closer to Florence Griffith-Joyner's 23-year-old mark, with Mondo Duplantis, Yulimar Rojas and Karsten Warholm also in action on Wednesday and Thursday in Switzerland.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

No fewer than 19 Olympic champions from Tokyo 2020 will be competing in this week’s Athletissima, the Lausanne stop of the 2021 Diamond League athletics series.

The men’s high jump will be held in the city centre on Wednesday (25 August) with Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi originally scheduled to meet for the first time since they shared the gold medal in Japan.

However, only Tamberi will now be in attendance with Barshim - according to World Athletics - requested to be the Emir of Qatar's guest of honour at a celebratory function back home.

On Thursday, attention switches to La Pontaise with Elaine Thompson-Herah, Mondo Duplantis, Yulimar Rojas, and Ryan Crouser among the stars in action, plus world record breaker Karsten Warholm – running the flat 400m in a non-Diamond League event,

Lausanne Diamond League 2021: stars to watch

Here are some of the athletes to watch at the Lausanne Diamond League in Switzerland, which takes place on 25-26 August.

1: Elaine Thompson-Herah targets 100m world record

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah just keeps getting quicker.

After retaining her Olympic 100m and 200m titles in Tokyo, the Jamaican clocked 10.54 in Eugene on Saturday for the second fastest time in history.

That was just five-hundredths outside Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 10.49 set at the 1988 U.S. Olympic Trials, and Thompson-Herah believes she can break it.

Speaking after her latest effort, the 29-year-old said, "I think the records are in reach, because I ran 10.5 and I have so much more in me. I don't want to get carried away - the celebrations will start in October and November - but for now I have a mission to complete!"

Thompson-Herah again lines up alongside compatriots Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson who completed a Jamaica podium sweep in Tokyo.

Thompson-Herah Fraser-Pryce Jackson 100m
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

2: Mondo Duplantis bids for Lausanne repeat

A year ago, pole vault world record holder Mondo Duplantis prevailed in an epic duel with world champion Sam Kendricks as darkness descended over a special Lausanne city centre venue.

The Swede will be competing inside the stadium on Thursday, with Kendricks returning to action after a positive Covid test stopped him competing in Tokyo.

Duplantis will no doubt have Piotr Lisek’s stadium record of 6.01m in his thoughts before aiming higher.

Lisek, Tokyo silver medallist Chris Nilsen, and London 2012 champ Renaud Lavillenie are also in the line-up.

Mondo Duplantis Tokyo
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

3: Yulimar Rojas hopes for better luck in "ridiculous" Final Three

Fresh from breaking the world record in Tokyo, triple jump queen Yulimar Rojas returns to the Diamond League where she suffered a rare defeat in Monaco last month.

Despite jumping 15.12m in round two, almost half a metre further than anyone else in the competition, Rojas had to settle for second. She and Portugal’s Patricia Mamona – who subsequently took silver in Tokyo – both no-jumped in the Final Three, while Shanieka Ricketts took the win with 14.29m to end the Venezuelan's unbeaten record stretching back nearly two years.

Afterwards, Rojas went on social media to call the format – introduced last season for the long jump but extended to other field events this term – "very absurd and ridiculous".

The 25-year-old world and Olympic champion again meets Mamona and Ricketts, who finished fourth in Tokyo, with no fewer than eight Tokyo 2020 finalists in the nine-strong field.

4: One-lap king Gardiner switches to 200m, Warholm to flat 400m

The 200m is the only men’s sprint with Diamond League status in Lausanne, leading to some interesting line-ups.

Olympic 400m gold medallist Steven Gardiner drops down to the half-lap event and is not to be underestimated.

The Bahamian clocked a personal best 19.75 three years ago and ran 20.24 in his only outing over the distance this season.

Up against him is Tokyo 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley of USA, who took bronze behind Gardiner over 400m at the 2019 World Championships.

The pre-race favourite is probably Kenny Bednarek, who won 200m silver behind Andre De Grasse in Tokyo and chased home Noah Lyles in Eugene on Saturday.

Also lining up is Eseosa 'Fausto' Desalu, part of Italy’s gold medal-winning 4x100m relay team in Tokyo.

This is Gardiner's first race since Tokyo, and he might not be in tip-top condition judging by his tweet before flying over to Switzerland.

The 400m, although not a Diamond League event in Switzerland, is also an intriguing affair with Karsten Warholm the star attraction after smashing his own 400m hurdles world record to take Olympic gold.

The Norwegian faces a stiff test with two flat 400m finalists and relay medallists from Tokyo, Botswana’s Isaac Makwala and Liemarvin Bonevacia of the Netherlands, in the field along with useful Americans Vernon Norwood and Wilbert London.

5: Olympic champions Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Selemon Barega meet over intermediate distance

Warholm's compatriot Jakob Ingebrigtsen is in sparking form having won 1500m gold in Tokyo before defeating world champion Timothy Cheruiyot again in the Bowerman Mile at Eugene last weekend.

He runs in a star-studded 3000m in Lausanne, with Ethiopia's 10,000m Olympic champion Selemon Barega heading the opposition.

Four other medallists from Tokyo also line up: 5000m silver and bronze, Mohammed Ahmed and Paul Chelimo, 3000m steeplechase runner-up Lamecha Girma and 10,000m bronze medallist Jacob Kiplimo.

Also look out for another Ethiopian in two-time reigning 5000m world champion Muktar Edris who has something to prove after only finishing fifth in the trials and missing out on Tokyo.

Ingebrigtsen is aiming for Mohammed Mourhit's European record of 7:26.62 and will have brother Filip and Wavelight pace-setting technology to assist him.

Lausanne Diamond League 2021 schedule

All times are CEST local (UTC+2)

Wednesday 25 August

6.00pm Men’s High Jump (CITY EVENT)

Thursday 26 August

7.25pm Men’s Shot Put, Women’s Long Jump

7.35pm Men’s Pole Vault

7.36pm Women’s 200m (non-Diamond League)

7.42pm Women’s 800m (non-DL)

7.54pm Men’s 400m (non-DL)

7.55pm Women’s High Jump

8.03pm Women’s 400m

8.15pm Men’s 800m

8.25pm Men’s Javelin

8.30pm Women’s 1500m

8.40pm Men’s 110m hurdles

8.45pm Women’s Triple Jump

8.50pm Men’s 3000m

9.07pm Women’s 100m

9.18pm Women’s 400m hurdles

9.35pm Men’s 200m

9.52pm Women’s 4x100m (non-DL)

How to watch the Lausanne Diamond League

The Lausanne Diamond League will be streamed live in a number of countries on the Diamond League YouTube page.

In other territories, local rights-holding broadcasters will show either live coverage or highlights of the action.

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