The Athletissima Meet, held on July 6, just five days after Meeting de Paris, was a truly exciting meet on a near perfect night in the Olympic stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
From a brilliant shot put, to an epic women’s high jump, to a battle in the men’s pole vault, and the fastest 400 meters of the year, to a surprise NR in the women’s javelin, to an amazingly deep women’s 800 meters, the Athletissima had meet records and just fantastic competitions.
Here’s our thoughts on six lessons from Lausanne.
1. Ryan Crouser takes on all competitors. Tomas Walsh threw out a 21.97 meter throw to shake it up early. Crouser responded with 22.18 meters. Then, Crouser had a foul. In his last four throws, Crouser went 21.56 meters, then, 22.18 meters, 22.39 meters, 22.35 meters. Crouser was not fooling around. He had noted that Tomas Walsh likes to get a big throw out at the end of the competition. Tomas shook it up in Lausanne, and Ryan responded well. The shot put wars are on.
2. Mariyla Lasitskene competes with herself. Mariya Lasitskene has won 19 straight competitions, and been over 2 meters 23 times. Her jump of 2.06 meters excited the fans and surprised even herself! The last time 2.06 meters was cleared by women was in 2009. Lasitskene attempted 2.10 meters three times and gave it a honest attempt.
3. Wayde Van Niekerk will break the 400 meter WR this summer, hopefully in London 2017. Wayde Van Niekerk ran 43.62, the fastest time of the year. His PBs at 100m, 200m, and 300 meters put him in amazing shape this year. His ability to turn on the speed and take the lead, then, shut it down was a site to see!
4. Pole vault for men continues to get higher and higher, Kendricks in fine shape and Lavillenie and Wojciechowski improving. Kendricks and Wojciechowski continue to improve, and Renaud Lavillenie, who jumped 5.87m, continues his return to fine form. Mondo Duplantis, the amazing teenage pole vaulter, is gaining experience at world class level. He is the future of the sport. Kendricks and Lavillenie continue their road show.
5. The women’s 800 meters continues to astound. Francine Niyonsanga won the 800 meters, leading six under 1:59 and ten under 2:00! Niyonsanga should challenge Caster Semenya, but no one, I believe can beat Caster Semenya at this time. Caster could run 1:52 if she ran all out. That will wait to be seen.
6. Dafne Schippers is rounding into shape. Schippers is running the 200 meters and 100 meters. She told us that she likes to race multiple races and she tends to race better when she races more! In Lausanne, Schippers ran 22.10, seasonal best, and battled with Marie Josee Ta Lou, in 22.16, who continues to impress this season. With just under a month to go before London, the sprints for women are shaping up to be extremely competitive, with no one the definitive leader over 200 meters.