One of the biggest track meets in the world is the Athletissima – the Diamond League meet Friday in Lausanne, Switzerland. And South Jersey will be well represented.
Three South Jersey athletes are headed for Lausanne, where the 11th of 13 Diamond League meets is scheduled to begin at 12:10 p.m. EST – that’s 6:10 p.m. Central European Summer Time.
Lausanne is a spectacular, historic village in the mountainous southern tip of Switzerland across Lake Geneva from eastern France.
And Florence’s Curtis Thompson, Pleasantville’s Nia Ali and Delsea’s Josh Awotunde will all be at Stade olympique de la Pontaise to compete against some of the best athletes in the world. The 15,850-capacity stadium is sold out.
The full schedule of events is listed here.
Let’s take a look!
CURTIS THOMPSON: Thompson, a 2014 Florence High School graduate and 2021 Olympian, thought his season was over after he won the NACAC Championships in the Bahamas Friday with a 276-4, the second-best throw of his life and his fourth 270-foot throw since June after hitting 270 just twice in his life previously (at the 2016 and 2021 Olympic Trials).
This will be his second Diamond League meet. He placed third earlier this month in the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial at Stadion Śląski in Chorzów, Poland, with a 270-3.
Thompson is No. 8 in the world this year, No. 1 among American men, No. 50 in world history and No. 3 in U.S. history with his 287-9 at the American JavFest at East Stroudsburg (Pa.) South High School last month.
The javelin field also includes 2021 Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra of India, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago and 2021 Olympic silver medalist Jakub Vadlejch of the Czech Republic. The full javelin field is listed here.
The javelin is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Lausanne, which is 1:30 p.m. EST.
JOSH AWOTUNDE: Awotunde, a 2013 Delsea graduate, continues his breakout season with his second Diamond League appearance of his life and of this month.
Awotunde has competed twice since his monster 3rd-place finish at the World Championships. He placed 3rd with a throw of 70-0 ½ at the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial at Stadion Śląski in Chorzów, Poland – his Diamond League debut – and also 69-9 ¾ at the Gyulai István Memorial in the Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix at the Bregyó Athletic Center in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.
At Worlds, Awotunde won the bronze medal behind American teammates Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs and recorded the three-best throws of his life – 72-10 ¾, 72-11 ½ and 73-1 ½.
Awotunde has actually only competed in five meets this outdoort season after placing 5th in indoor worlds in Belgrade, Serbia, in March.
The Franklinville native is No. 4 in the world this year, No. 3 American, No. 18 in world history and No. 11 on the U.S. all-time list.
Also in the shot put field Friday are two-time Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Crouser and two-time World Champion and world all-time No. 4 Kovacs – Awotunde’s teammates when the U.S. swept the shot at Worlds – and the New Zealand duo of all-time world No. 6 and 2016 world indoor champion Tom Walsh and two-time Olympic two-10 placer Jacko Gill. The full field is listed here.
The men’s shot put is scheduled for 9 p.m. in Lausanne, which is 3 p.m. here.
NIA ALI: Ali, a 2006 Pleasantville graduate and the 2016 Olympic 100-meter hurdles silver medalist and 2019 World Champion, has raced in two Diamond League meets this year, running 12.76 at Kamila Skolimowska Memorial at Stadion Śląski in Chorzów, Poland, and 12.60 at Gyulai István Memorial in the Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix at the Bregyó Athletic Center in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.
Ali’s fastest time this year was her 12.49 in the semifinals of the World Championships. Later that day she was unable to finish in the final.
Ali is No. 12 in the world this year and No. 5 American. She’s No. 12 in world history with her 12.34 to win the 2019 World Championships at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, and No. 4 all-time among U.S. women.
Also in the field are Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan, who set the world record of 12.12 at the World Championships earlier this month in Eugene, former world record holder Kendra Harrison, who ran 12.20 in London in 2016, 2021 Olympic gold medalist and all-time world No. 5 Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico and Jamaican Britney Anderson, all-time world No. 9 with her 12.31 last month in the semis at worlds. The full hurdles field is here.
The women’s 100-meter hurdles is scheduled for 9:23 p.m. Friday, which is 3:23 p.m. EST.