Paris Diamond League 2021 preview: All eyes on Elaine Thompson-Herah in women's 100m

On Saturday 28 August at Stade Charléty in the French capital, the Jamaican Olympic champion will once again attempt to break Florence Griffith Joyner's longstanding world record.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Elaine Thompson-Herah headlines the Meeting de Paris Diamond League athletics meet on Saturday (28 August) in the French capital.

The Olympic champion will continue her quest to break Florence Griffith Joyner's world record, but will have to do so without Jamaican counterpart Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pushing her.

Thompson-Herah defeated Fraser-Pryce in both the Olympic Games final at Tokyo 2020, when the former set a new Olympic record, and at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League in Eugene, when she came inches away from breaking the world record.

Then on Thursday (26 August) at the Athletissima meet in Lausanne, Fraser-Pryce claimed a victory of her own when she ran the third-fastest time in history.

However, that head-to-head will not continue in Paris after Fraser-Pryce withdrew. It will still be a high-quality race though, with the inclusion of the 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith in the mix.

Here are some other stars to keep an eye on in France this Saturday.

Men's pole vault: Lavillenie in front of home crowd as Duplantis aims for Diamond League rebound

Of the Diamond League disciplines on show at the Stade Charléty on Saturday, French interest will be strongest in the men's pole vault as London 2012 Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie takes to the stadium in front of a home crowd.

Lavillenie has struggled massively with injuries in recent years and could only clear 5.32m to finish 10th in Lausanne on Thursday. His brother Valentin and Ethan Cormont complete the French contingent looking to take down Olympic champion Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis and silver medallist Chris Nilsen.

Nilsen won the competition in Switzerland, with Duplantis finishing a surprising fourth (5.62m) in windy conditions. The Swede – who broke Renaud Lavillenie's world record early last year – is looking for redemption following his first non-top-three result in a final in two years.

USA's Nilsen will be keen to continue a solid run of form, while his teammate Sam Kendricks is also in the mix.

Women's 400m, men's 200m: American stars Felix and Bednarek set to shine

Allyson Felix, the most successful female track and field Olympian who is also the most-medalled U.S. Olympian in her sport with 11 medals, will take to the track in the women's 400m.

The American legend comes up against Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic again after their meeting in the Tokyo 2020 final, when Paulino beat out Felix to win silver, leaving the U.S. star with bronze.

Paulino won in Lausanne on Thursday, and the duo are also joined by European indoor champion Femke Bol, the 400m hurdles bronze medallist who is switching to the flat in Paris.

Felix's compatriot Kenny Bednarek, fresh off a comfortable win in the men's 200m in Lausanne and Olympic Games silver, is again in action in Paris where he will be the favourite.

Olympic 100m silver medallist Fred Kerley, sprint relay champion Eseosa Desalu of Italy, and Botswana's 400m specialist Isaac Makwala are all also on a start list that brings the best of the three sprint distances together.

Men's 3000m steeplechase, women's high jump, women's discus: Olympic podium finishers return

Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali returns to competition for the first time since his men's 3000m steeplechase victory in the Tokyo Olympic Stadium at the start of the month.

He will be pushed by Olympic and world silver medallist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, while Kenyan Benjamin Kigen, the Tokyo bronze medallist, joins a strong field to challenge El Bakkali.

Rio 2016 champion Conseslus Kipruto, who missed out on the Tokyo Games, is also set to take to the start.

The women's high jump also promises to be a cracker as Olympic champion Mariya Lasitskene (Authorised Neutral Athlete), silver medallist Nicola McDermott, and bronze medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh all return for another showdown.

Lasitskene led Ukraine's Mahuchikh and the Australian McDermott in that order in Lausanne, and all three will once again look to lock out the top positions in Paris.

And the women's discus returns to the Diamond League with not one, not two, not three, but all four top-four finishers from Tokyo 2020 taking part.

Olympic champion Valarie Allman, silver medallist Kristin Pudenz, bronze medallist Yaime Pérez, and Sandra Perkovic – herself a double Olympic champ – are all in a quality competition that also includes Rio 2016 silver medallist and home hope Melina Robert-Michon.

Other events on the schedule include the women's 400m hurdles, men's triple jump, women's 3000m, men's javelin, men's 800m, women's 100m hurdles, and men's 110m hurdles.

Meeting de Paris 2021 Diamond League schedule

All times are Central European Summer Time (2 hours ahead of UTC).

Saturday, 28 August 2021

14:30 Women's high jump
15:14 Women's discus
15:24 Men's pole vault
15:45 Men's 100m (non-Diamond League event)
16:03 Women's 400m hurdles
16:14 Men's 200m
16:18 Men's triple jump
16:21 Women's 3000m
16:39 Women's 100m
16:43 Men's javelin
16:55 Men's 800m
17:05 Women's 400m
17:22 Women's 100m hurdles
17:34 Men's 3000m steeplechase
17:53 Men's 110m hurdles

How to watch Meeting de Paris Diamond League 2021?

The Meeting de Paris Diamond League will be streamed live in a number of countries on the Diamond League YouTube page from 4 pm local time.

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

Find out more on World Athletics.

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