Pierre-Ambroise Bosse in the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat (© Kirby Lee)
World 800m champions Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and Caster Semenya will head the fields in their specialty events at the Meeting de Paris, the seventh stop of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League, on 30 June.
Bosse is a familiar face at the meeting organised by the French Athletics Federation. Indeed, the Frenchman made his debut at the meeting in 2012, less than a year after racing to the European junior title. Twenty years old back then, he finished ninth in 1:47.85, albeit with the certainty that he was approaching the highest level in the world for the first time.
Since then, the athlete from Nantes has competed at the Paris leg of the IAAF Diamond League in 2014, 2016 and 2017. His best finish was fourth in 2014, a year where he created a stir by devouring the two laps of the track dressed in a French football squad shirt. As ever, it was his own personal way of showing his support for the Blues who were midway through the World Cup in Brazil.
His best time in Paris dates back to the 2016 edition with a time of 1:43.58. He’ll be keen to excel on home soil for what will be his first race in the French capital since his world title.
Semenya has a less substantial record at the meeting. The South African has only made the billing here once before, in 2011, the year she secured her second world title. She carried the day, dominating proceedings with a time of 2:00.18. Now a triple world champion and double gold medallist at the Olympics, she will be competing on the Charléty track with the same goal she has every time she races: victory.
Sitting atop the 2018 world lists with a 1:56.68 from the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games, Semenya has remained undefeated over the distance since her elimination in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Championships in Beijing.
At 27, she has set herself a fabulous challenge this season: to win the IAAF Diamond League over two distances, the 800m and the 1500m. She kicked off her campaign with victory over the longer distance with a 3:59.92 national record in Doha on 4 May. In Paris, she’ll be keen to improve her world lead but she'll have to erase her personal best time – 1:55.16 from last year's World Championships in London – to challenge the meeting record of 1:54.97 set by Kenyan Pamela Jelimo in 2008.
Organisers for the IAAF
2018 IAAF Diamond League calendar:
4 May – Doha, QAT
12 May – Shanghai, CHN
26 May – Eugene, USA
31 May – Rome, ITA
7 Jun – Oslo, NOR
10 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
30 Jun – Paris, FRA
5 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
13 Jul – Rabat, MAR
20 Jul – Monaco, MON
21-22 Jul – London, GBR
18 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
30 Aug – Zurich, SUI
31 Aug – Brussels, BEL