When the World Championships in track and field begin a 10-day run Friday in London, Louisiana will be well represented.
From nine former LSU athletes to Mondo Duplantis, the 17-year-old pole vault phenom from Lafayette, the state will be represented in a variety of events on the sport’s second-biggest stage after the Olympic Games.
Five of the former LSU athletes will compete for the U.S. with four of them — Kimberlyn Duncan (200), Charlene Lipsey (800), Rodney Brown (discus) and Michael Cherry (4x400 relay) — earning their spots at the USA championships in late June.
Cassandra Tate, who won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in the 400-meter hurdles, will also compete after receiving an invite as the 2016 IAAF Diamond Trophy winner in that event.
The list of participants also includes four former LSU stars: Trinidad & Tobago’s Kelly-Ann Baptiste (100, 4x100 relay), Great Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (200), and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule (800) and Damar Forbes (long jump).
Cherry and Mitchell-Blake were members of the LSU team this past season.
Also competing for the U.S. will be former Southeastern Louisiana standout Alex Young (hammer), while Duplantis, the son of former LSU track and field stars Greg Duplantis and Helena Hedlund, represents his mother’s home country of Sweden.
Young was the 2017 NCAA and USA national champion in the hammer and won the 2016 NCAA indoor throw — the indoor equivalent of the hammer.
The younger Duplantis, a senior-to-be at Lafayette High School, set a world junior record when he soared 19 feet, 4¼ inches at the Texas Relays on April 1 — which ranks him third in the world this year.
Duncan, Brown, Tate, Baptiste, Goule and Forbes all have previous World Championships experience.
Athletes with Louisiana ties competing in the World Championships, which will be held Aug. 4-13 in London:
Name Country/School Event
Kelly-Ann Baptiste Trinidad & Tobago/LSU 100/4x100 relay
Rodney Brown USA/LSU Discus
Michael Cherry USA/LSU 4x400 relay
Kimberlyn Duncan USA/LSU 200
Mondo Duplantis Sweden/Lafayette H.S. Pole vault
Damar Forbes Jamaica/LSU Long jump
Natoya Goule Jamaica/LSU 800
Charlene Lipsey USA/LSU 800
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake Great Britain/LSU 200
Cassandra Tate USA/LSU 400 hurdles
Alex Young USA/Southeastern Hammer