This is the first piece by Stuart Weir, who is in Paris covering the Diamond League meetings for us on sites. Stuart sees some of the things that we just do not experience from viewing on TV, well, except that loud announcer.
The Charlety stadium produced a great atmosphere as a capacity crowd watched the Meeting de France, Diamond League in Paris on Friday night. The last time I was at the Paris event was in the magnificent 80,000-capacity Stade de France, but the stadium looked empty.
The Stade Charlety, June 9, 2023, before the meet began, photo by Stuart Weir
The event had the longest evening I can recall, with three hours of regional and B races as well as two relay races before the two-hour TV program of Diamond events, meaning that there was action from 6.00pm to 11.00pm. The stadium announcer has the loudest voice on the circuit. I think he does not understand the concept of the microphone, as he seems to think he has to shout for people to hear him.
Most of the hype beforehand was about Sydney McLaughlin-Lavrone making a race appearance in a Diamond League and that she was running flat, not hurdles. Sydney ran under 50 for the first time – at 49.71, but the race was won by Marileidy Paulinho in 49.12
The real fireworks was Faith Kipyegon’s second world record in two weeks, this time in the 5000 in 14:05.20
Jakob Ingebrigtsen, photo by Marta Gorczynska, Diamond League AG for Diamond League
There was a sort of world record in the 2 miles, which Jakob Ingebrigtsen won in 7.54. It is called a “world best performance” as it is not a competition distance. The official results recorded that all 10 athletes had run a season’s best. That they had not run the distance before is irrelevant!
Nicola Olysagers (McDermott) cleared 2 m to win the high jump.
Nicola Olysayers, photo by MARTA GORCZYNSKA FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG
In a magnificent women’s 800, Keely Hodgkinson’s 1:55.77 was a GB national record and a world-leading time – not bad for her first race of the year. There were six athletes under 1:59; Raevyn Rogers ran 2:00 and was 10th.
Keely Hodgkinson, photo by MARTA GORCZYNSKA FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG
In the two women’s throws, Valarie Allman won the discus for the second successive week and Auriol Dongmo the shot.
Val Allman, discus, photo by DAN VERNON FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG
Grant Holloway was a comfortable winner in the 110m hurdles in 12.98. Sadly Devon Allen hit a hurdle and fell in the prelim.
Gabby Thomas won the 200m. Not sure you can call that a shock, but she probably wasn’t most people’s favorite.
A full program of excellent quality on a warm Paris evening.
Gabby Thomas takes Paris, photo by DAN VERNON FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG FOR DIAMOND LEAGUE AG