29 June, 2017

Paris: 5 Things To Look Out For

  • © Jiro Mochizuki

More key points are up for grabs on the Road To The Final as the IAAF Diamond League heads to Paris this weekend. Can the likes of Renaud Lavillenie, Elaine Thompson and others secure their place in the Final?

1. Belarusians target qualification (Shot Put W)

With four athletes already qualified for the women's shot put final in Zürich, time is running out for the chasing pack to book one of the last four qualifying positions. In Paris, it is Aliona Dubitskaya and Yuliya Leantsiuk who stand the best chance of securing qualification. The two Belarusians lead the chasing pack at the moment, and victory or second place for either of them could see them reach the Final, leaving just two spots to play for in the coming weeks.

2. Who will follow Kejelcha into the Final? (3000m M)

In the men's 5000m/3000m, only Yomif Kejelcha has managed to secure one of the twelve available qualifying spots on the Road To The Final so far. Of those just behind him in the standings, Ronald Kwemoi and Albert Rop are both running in the 3000m in Paris, and both will surely scent the opportunity to follow in Kejelcha's footsteps, and secure their place in the Zürich final.

3. Things still on a knife edge in the 400m (400m W)

The women's 400m has often been one of the closest competitions in previous IAAF Diamond League seasons, and this year appears to be no exception, with just three points separating the top three, and gaps of just one point between athletes lower down the standings. No one has yet secured qualification for the Brussels final, but that could change in Paris, with Novlene Williams-Mills and Olha Zemlyak both looking to leapfrog Natasha Hastings at the top of the standings and potentially pick up enough points to grab their spot in the Brussels blocks.

4. Lavillenie hoping for home advantage (Pole Vault M)

Renaud Lavillenie is still the only man to have won the Diamond Trophy in the pole vault, having dominated the IAAF Diamond League since its inauguration back in 2010, picking up seven titles in the process. Yet his crown is under threat this season, as the Frenchman has twice suffered defeat to Sam Kendricks, and is currently only second in the standings. Though he will almost certainly secure qualification for the final – perhaps even in Paris – Lavillenie will be hoping to make the most of his home advantage, beat Kendricks and return to familiar surroundings at the top of the standings.

5. Thompson to begin the fight back? (100m W)

Elaine Thompson has one victory under her belt on the Road To The Final so far, and yet qualification is far from a fait accompli at this stage, as she trails both Maria-Josée Ta Lou and Michelle Lee-Ahye in the standings. The Jamaican star will be looking to claim another victory in Paris, reclaim top spot and, most importantly, become the first to book a place in the women's 100m final.