Athletics: Ta Lou sets the tone for the Worlds

Athletics: Ta Lou sets the tone for the Worlds

Marie-Josée Ta Lou sent a message to the competition by winning the last Diamond League meeting before the Budapest World Championships. The Ivorian will be a force to be reckoned with in the 100m in less than a month's time.

With less than a month to go before the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (August 19-27), athletes are entering the home stretch of their preparations. While some are still in search of their bearings and sensations, others are revving up and already sending messages to the competition. Such is the case of Marie-Josée Ta Lou. Present in London on Sunday as part of the Diamond League, the Ivorian showed she was in good form. Lining up at the start of the women's 100m, she outclassed the competition to beat two of her biggest rivals of the moment, Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith (10.85s) and Jamaica's Shericka Jackson (10.94s).

To top it all off, Ta Lou won the race with a blistering time of 10.75s. This time, already achieved at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo, set a new record for the London meeting, which is renowned throughout the world of athletics. A victory and a record in response to Shericka Jackson and Sha'Carri Richardson. The Jamaican and the American had hit the ground running at the national trials for the Budapest World Championships. They both went under Ta Lou's time of 10.75s, with Shericka Jackson even clocking a season's best of 10.65s.

Fraser Pryce, the favourite to topple

With this success ahead of her rivals, the Ivorian sets the record straight and proves that she will have her say in Budapest.An event she is looking forward to with great anticipation. "Another Diamond League victory, thank you London! I feel blessed to be able to do what the coach wants. Now it's time to concentrate on the last piece of the puzzle for Budapest. I trust in God and I know He's making the journey," she posted on her networks after her London victory.

But far from seeing herself on the top step of the podium in a few weeks' time, Marie-Josée Ta Lou at least confirms her growing momentum. She is also gaining a psychological advantage over the other sprinters in this last meeting before the World Championships, which look set to be hotly contested. In Budapest, however, the competition will be even tougher, with the presence of another Jamaican, Shelly-Anne Fraser Pryce, reigning world champion and automatic qualifier for the Worlds.

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