Ashley Spencer wins in Lausanne (© Giancarlo Colombo)
The men’s triple jump has a history of creating exciting showdowns in Lausanne. The battle between this year’s top two athletes promises to draw an enthusiastic crowd the Athletissima IAAF Diamond League fixture on 5 July, with the magic mark of 18 metres under close scrutiny this year.
Christian Taylor, the Olympic and world Champion, returns to one of the few jump pits where he has achieved this mark. He managed it in 2015 with a jump of 18.06m, while at the same time establishing a new stadium record. The American is the only athlete to have spanned the 18-metre barrier on four separate occasions. He holds the second-best performance of all time with 18.21m, only eight centimetres shy of Jonathan Edwards’ world record. That record remains one of his primary objectives.
The Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo, 2013 and 2015 World Championships runner-up, will be Taylor’s main opponent. He has already jumped beyond 18 metres on two occasions and won in Doha last month with a jump of 17.95m, a distance that puts him atop of this year’s world lists. Lausanne is a venue that he is fond of having recorded his second victory here last year and he is now looking for a third. Putting all the luck on his side, he is preparing exclusively for Lausanne by skipping the other meetings for the next four weeks.
Will Claye, Taylor's compatriot who won silver at the Olympic Games and the World Championships is another athlete to watch. Alexis Copello of Azerbaijan will also be in the field.
In the 400m hurdles, local favourite Lea Sprunger will up against a challenging field. She will be up against not only Ashley Spencer, the US athlete who beat her last year, but also her compatriot, Dalilah Muhammad, the reigning Olympic Champion and runner-up at last year's World Championships.
The latter is in strong form having recently won in Shanghai. Georganne Moline, the winner in Rome, is also in the field, along with Jamaican, Janieve Russell, the winner in Eugene and Commonwealth champion. Eilidh Doyle of Great Britain, the Commonwealth runner-up, and Cassandra Tate of the US, who took bronze at the 201 World Championships, are also in the line-up.
Organisers for the IAAF