Brianna Rollins on her way to winning the 100m hurdles at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome (© Gladys Chai von der Laage)
The Meeting AREVA has always loved the hurdles, and the 2014 edition of the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris will be a further demonstration of this passion as the world’s best hurdlers descend on the French capital on 5 July.
One thing for sure is that the audience in the Stade de France will be treated to some exciting clashes in the 100m hurdles, 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles. A combination of international stars and leading French athletes suggest that some truly outstanding performances could be on the cards.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, world champion Brianna Rollins will face Olympic champion Sally Pearson for just the second time in their career. Their only clash to date was at last year’s IAAF World Championships when Rollins came from behind to take the gold.
With the seven fastest women in the world this season, the line-up for the 100m hurdles reads like a major championship final. Joining Rollins and Pearson on the start-line will be 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, New York IAAF Diamond League winner Queen Harrison, Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells, two-time world indoor champion Lolo Jones, French champion Cindy Billaud and Kristi Castlin, the woman who earlier this year ended Rollins’ winning streak.
Although the men’s 110m hurdles in Paris isn’t part of the Diamond Race, the line-up is still top quality. Competing on home soil, current world leader Pascal Martinot-Lagarde will take on world champion David Oliver, Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment and former world record-holder Dayron Robles.
Both Martinot-Lagarde (13.12) and Oliver (12.89) set their PBs in Paris, but Robles holds the meeting record at 12.88.
The men’s 400m hurdles will feature the two fastest performers in the world this season, Puerto Rico’s two-time world silver medallist Javier Culson and USA’s world and Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley.
It also contains two Olympic champions: two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Felix Sanchez and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, who recently clocked a PB of 48.94 in Ostrava.
“My philosophy is as follows: the more changes you make, the fresher you stay,” said Eaton of his temporary switch of events. “I needed to freshen up my body and my mind.”
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