09 July, 2018

Paris & Lausanne: Five Talking Points

  • © Gladys Chai von der Laage

  • © Gladys Chai von der Laage

  • © Kirby Lee

Shubenkov's redemption, Mihambo's magic and sublime Samba. It was a thrilling week of IAAF Diamond League action which saw a change of fortune for several athletes on the Road To The Final. Here are five talking points from Meeting de Paris and Athletissima.

1. Samba still sublime - 400m Hurdles

Abderrahman Samba has been the star of the show at almost every IAAF Diamond League meeting he has appeared at this season, and that didn't change in Paris and Lausanne. In fact, Samba got even better, breaking the Diamond League record for the fourth time this season with a blistering 46.98. He followed up that triumph with another win in Lausanne, further cementing his already unassailable place at the top of the standings. 

2. Stefanidi bites back - Pole Vault

It had been a tough year for Diamond Trophy holder Katerina Stefanidi, after she struggled to find the dominant form she has enjoyed for two years earlier in the summer. The Greek Olympic Champion bounced back in style in Lausanne, though, taking eight points with a season's best of 4.82m. The win sees he clamber up the standings to 15 points, putting her within comfortable touching distance of a place in the Final. 

3. Shubenkov shrugs off Paris false start - 110m Hurdles

There was agony for Sergey Shubenkov in Paris as he entered the decider in the 110m hurdles the clear favourite to take eight points, only to be disqualified for a false start and head home empty-handed. He more than made up for it in Lausanne, however, soaring to victory in 12.95 to pick up eight points and re-establish himself at the top of the standings. 

4. Lasitskene and Perkovic continue dominance - Discus/High Jump

Two athletes who look well set to defend their Diamond Trophies this year are Sandra Perkovic and Mariya Lasitskene. Both have already nailed down their place in the Final, but both reasserted their dominance with meeting records in Paris. For Perkovic, winning the Diamond Trophy again would make her Diamond League Champion for the seventh time, equalling Renaud Lavillenie's record. Lasitskene, meanwhile, remains tantalisingly close to the world record as she extended her winning streak to 45 in Paris. 

5. Mihambo makes waves - Long Jump

Malaika Mihambo came very close to victory in Stockholm last month, and the German long jumper went one better in Lausanne, leaping 6.90m to pick up eight points and take top spot in the standings. Beating Diamond Trophy holder Ivana Spanovic was certainly a fine way to lay down the gauntlet, and Mihambo now looks like the woman to beat in the long jump.