Heritage - Athletissima Lausanne
Plaque name: Athletissima Lausanne
Location: Stade Olympique Pontaise, Rte des Plaines-du-Loup 7, 1018 Lausanne, Switzerland
Plaque awarded: 24/06/2022
Reason: Plaque Category – Competition
The meeting’s history did not get off get-off to an auspicious start with torrential rain subduing performances at the first competition. Yet that wet beginning, especially the passion and enthusiasm exuded by the soaked spectators who stayed to support the equally wet athletes, confirmed this was no ordinary competition nor audience.
The athletes were so impressed that they made the exceptional decision to return later in the same summer to compete again. On 3 August 1977, the athletes and spectators returned in dry conditions and the competition began its history in earnest.
USA’s Leroy Burrell gave Athletissima its first world record in a standard Olympic event. On 7 July 1994, Burrell ran the 100 metres in 9.85 improving Carl Lewis’ mark by 100th of a second. In 2005, Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva flew to 4.93m in the pole vault raising her own record by 1cm. The next year China’s Liu Xiang gave the meeting its third world mark, clearing the barriers to establish a 110m hurdles world record of 12.88sec which improved the time he set at the 2004 Olympic Games (12.91).
While the Russian’s and Chinese marks still stand as meeting records today, Yohan Blake, who sizzled to 9.69sec at the 2012 edition of Athletissima, is the fastest 100 ever run in the Diamond League, let alone Lausanne.