Allyson Felix in action in the 200m at the Diamond League meeting in Paris (© Errol Anderson)
A women’s 200m field and men’s 100m line-up both worthy of a major championships final will be among the expected highlights at the Meeting Areva on 5 July, the Paris stage of the IAAF Diamond League.
Olympic champion and three-time world champion Allyson Felix will contest the 200m in the Stade de France for the first time since 2010. On that occasion, she won in a stadium record of 22.14.
But she will be up against a host of top sprinters, including double world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, world leader Tori Bowie, double world medallist Blessing Okagbare and 2010 European champion Myriam Soumare.
Fraser-Pryce made her Meeting Areva debut last year, winning the 100m in 10.92. Minor injuries have hampered the first half of her season, but the Jamaican Olympic champion will look to get back to winning ways in Paris.
Bowie has been one of the revelations of the season. The former long jump specialist has turned her attention to the sprints this year and now has three IAAF Diamond League victories to her name, winning the 100m in Rome in 11.05, the 100m in New York with 11.07 and the 200m in Eugene with 22.18.
Fellow jumper-sprinter Okagbare has also been in PB form this year, clocking 22.23 behind Bowie in Eugene. Soumare, meanwhile, is fresh from confidence-boosting 100m victories at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo and at the European Team Championships.
Felix, Fraser-Pryce, Bowie and Okagbare have already raced against each other over 200m this season. Bowie came out on top on that occasion with Okagbare setting a PB in second place and Felix running a season’s best of 22.44 in third.
Seven sub-10 men in 100m field
Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson, the fastest man in the world this year, is one of seven men in the 100m field in Paris who have run faster than 10 seconds for the distance.
At last weekend’s national championships, he improved his own national record to 9.82. The 2008 Olympic silver medallist has already won at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo this year and will be looking for another victory in the series in Paris.
Among those set to take him on include world bronze medallist Nesta Carter, former world record-holder Asafa Powell, former US champion Michael Rodgers, 2003 world champion Kim Collins and European champion Christophe Lemaitre.
Unfortunately, local star sprinter Jimmy Vicaut has had to withdraw because of injury. The European indoor champion sustained a right thigh strain at the European Team Championships in the German town of Brunswick on Saturday.
These are the latest exciting sprint clashes announced for Paris, following the 400m head-to-head between LaShawn Merritt and Kirani James and 100m hurdles showdown between world champion Brianna Rollins and Olympic champion Sally Pearson.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep