Gatlin, Lavillenie to lead field at Monaco Diamond League

Monaco(IANS) Monaco Diamond League will present on Friday a star-studded field at the Stade Louis II which features this year’s world’s fastest man Justin Gatlin and pole vault record holder Renaud Lavillenie.
A dress rehearsal for next month’s world championships in Beijing, Herculis 2015 will see the 2014 Diamond League winner Gatlin to confront the new European record holder Jimmy Vicaut of France in the men’s 100 metre, reports Xinhua.

Nearly a week ago, the 33-year-old Gatlin clocked 9.75 seconds to claim an easy win over Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay in the sprint at another Diamond League event Athletissima in Lausanne.

His time on last Thursday was just 0.01s off pace from the season’s world leading result of himself, set in May at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) elite races’ opening race in Doha, while it was in Paris earlier this month when Vicaut came second to Powell in 9.86.

Gatlin’s fellow Americans Gay and Trayvon Bromell have also entered Friday’s Monaco meeting, the 10th stop of the 14-races IAAF elite series, as both hold a season best under 9.80 seconds.

Pole Vault’s Olympic champion Lavillenie will again test his luck in the stadium where he had previously three victories, as his best result this year came in Eugene as of 6.05m, a distance mark from his world record of 6.16m set earlier last year in Donetsk.

His close competitors include reigning world champion Rafael Holzdeppe of Germany, who has conquered 5.92m this year, and the 2014 indoor worlds winner Kostandinos Filippidis of Greece.

Also in Monaco’s field, Christian Taylor and Pedro Pichardo, the two men who jumped over 18m this year, will repeat their confrontation in Lausanne, while European champion Benjamin Compaore will also attend the triple jump.

The men’s shot put, javelin and 3000m will all feature Olympic and world champions, while world 800m champion Mohammad Aman will fight against last year’s Diamond League leader Nijel Amos.

On women’s part, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist and double world champion Christine Ohuruogu will face European champion Libania Grenot in the 400m lap, and the world champion Abeba Aregawi, the world record holder Genzebe Dibaba and European champion Sifan Hassan will all compete the 1,500m.

World champion Brianna Rollins and Diamond League winner Harper-Nelson will lead a race in the 100m hurdles, while the long jump world champion Brittney Reese and discus Olympic, world and European champion Sandra Perkovic will both come to Monaco.

No Chinese athletes will compete in the Monaco meeting, as all of the local favourites are focused on preparing for the August 22-30 worlds on home soil.

The Diamond League series have so far been held in Doha, Shanghai, Eugene, Rome, Birmingham, Oslo, New York, Paris and Lausanne, and will next move to London on July 24-25 then to Stockholm on July 30 and Zurich on September 3 before ending in Brusseles on Septmeber 11.

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