7th and 8th IAAF Diamond League meetings took place with just a day separating them. On July 3, Lausanne hosted the 7th meeting and many athletes hopped over to Paris to participate in 8th DL meeting on July 5, 2014. Fans in Europe had a perfect week to watch their heroes and even the Brazil World Cup euphoria couldn’t dampen their spirits. Only two men’s events; 400m hurdles and Pole Vault were common to Lausanne and Paris. French spectators were delighted to watch world-record holder pole-vault sensation, Renaud Lavillenie emerging victorious on both venues. In 400m hurdles, Michael Tinsley won in Lausanne but lost his first place in Paris to Puerto Rico’s Culson Javier.
After New York, Diamond League was back to Europe in early July. The July 3 Lausanne schedule included; Men’s Discus, Pole Vault, 400m, High Jump, Long Jump, 400mH, 1500m, 110mH, 3000m Steeplechase, and 200m. For women, Lausanne had; Triple Jump, Javelin, Shot put, 3000m, 100m and 800m. Two days later in Paris, men’s field had; 100m, 800m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Triple Jump, Shot Put, Javelin and Pole Vault; while women had competitions in 200m, 400m, 1500m, 100m Hurdles, 3000m Steeplechase, Discus, Long Jump and High Jump. There were top stars in both places vying for glory in their fields. Stands were full at both places with Meeting Areva in Paris being attended by over 42000 enthusiasts.
In Lausanne, Justin Gatlin maintained his DL lead in 100m sprint with year’s best timing of 9.80 seconds. In all US sweep, Tyson Gay was second with 9.93 and Michael Rodgers third at 9.98. Grenada’s Kirani James won 400m in 43.74 seconds. USA’s Lashawn Merrit was second in 43.92 and Saudi Youssef Ahmed Masrahi third in 44.43. In men’s 1500m, Kenya’s DL leader Silas Kiplagat with 3:31.81 finished second behind compatriot Ronald Kwomoi in 3:31.48. Another Kenyan James Kiplagat Magut came third with 3:31.91. In 110m hurdles, France’s Pascal Martinot-Lagarde maintained his top position in 13.06s. Russia’s Sergey Shubenkov was second in 13.13 and Andrew Riley of Jamaica third with 13.28. Panama’s Alonso Edward won men’s 200m sprint in 19.84 to snatch the DL lead from Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade, who was second in 20.06. Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre was third in 20.11. In men’s steeplechase, DL leader Jairus Birech was first with 8:03.34s, followed by Conseslus Kipruto in 8:11.93 and Jonathan Muia Ndiku in 8:12.95. American Jeff Henderson won men’s long jump with 8.31m, GBR’s Greg Rutherford was second in 8.19 and China’s Jinzhe Li third in 8.10. Men’s discus was won by Poland’s Piotr Malachowski in 66.63m. Cuba’s Fernandez was second with 66.50 and Estonia’s Kanter third with 64.91. Bohdan Bondarenko maintained his DL status with a leap of 2.40m at Lausanne. Ukraine’s Andriy Protensko was second and Russian Ivan Ukhov third at 2.38.
For women at Lausanne, 100m sprint was won by Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago in 10.98s. Murrielle Ahoue of Ivory Coast was second in 10.98 and English Gardner of USA third in 11.19. Valerie Adams maintained her unbeatable status in shot put with a throw of 20.42m. China’s Lijiao Gong was second in 19.65 and USA’s Michelle Carter third in 19.38. Caterine Ibarguen won triple jump, leaping 14.87m, Russia’s Yekaterina Koneva was second in 14.67 and Portugal’s Patricia Mamona at 14.49. Kenya’s Eunice Sum won 800m in 1:58.48. Russian Yekaterina, was second in 1:58.79 and Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa third with 1:59.24. Kenyan Mercy Cherono won 3000m in 8:50.24, Ethiopia’s Genzebe was second in 8:50.81 and Kenya’s Viola Jelagat Kibiwot third in 8:52.03. Czech Barbora Spotakova won javelin by a 65.10 hurl, Slovak Martina Ratej was second with 64.63 and American Kimberley Mickle third in 64.20.
Pole-vault king Renaud Lavillenie was the shining star at both venues with 100% record in 2014. In Switzerland, he cleared 5.87m to finish first. Brazil’s Thiago Braz, was second in 5.73 and Kevin Menaldo third with 5.62. In Paris, Lavillenie won with just 5.70m. Brazilian Augusto Dutra and Kevin Menaldo were second and third. In 400mH, Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson followed his New York victory to finish at par in DL standing with USA’s Michael Tinsley by winning in 48.32s with Tinsley coming second in 48.40. South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks was third in 48.45. In Paris, however, Tinsley regained his lead in 48.25, Fredericks was second in 48.42 and Culson third in 48.45.
Apart from Lavillenie and Culson in the Paris DL meeting, many athletes maintained their DL status. They included; Nijel Amos and Robert Biwott in 800m despite losses; Ethiopian Yenew Alimerew in 5000m, Will Claye in triple jump, Joe Kovacs in shot put, Vitezslav Vesely in javelin, Blessing Okagbare in 200m, Novlene Williams-Mills in 400m, Abeba Aregawi in 1500m, Queen Harrison in 100mH, Sofia Assefa in 3000m steeplechase, Ana Simic in high jump, Ivana Spanovic in long jump, and Sandra Perkovic in discus. These athletes will have to perform much better in the remaining DL meetings with the next coming up in Glasgow on June 11, 2014.