Star Diamond League Final fields chase track worlds spots, cap season; TV, live stream info

Noah Lyles
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The Diamond League Final, the last top-level track and field meet of 2022, boasts the busiest single day of competition this year, world records and undefeated seasons on the line as well as spots at next year’s world championships at stake.

Competition in Zurich, Switzerland airs live on Peacock on Wednesday (11:30 a.m. ET) and Thursday (1 p.m.). CNBC airs a five-hour broadcast of highlights Saturday at noon.

The headliners: world champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (100m), Faith Kipyegon (1500m) and Noah Lyles (200m) are either the second- or third-fastest performers in history in their events, are each arguably having the best season of their careers and could inch closer to a world record.

Mondo Duplantis (pole vault), Ryan Crouser (shot put), Yulimar Rojas (triple jump) and Tobi Amusan (100m hurdles) could improve their own world records. Shericka Jackson, who won 100m silver and 200m gold at July’s world championships, is entered to race both events over a 90-minute span on Thursday.

All of the aforementioned athletes have byes into next summer’s world championships in Budapest as reigning world champions. Diamond League Final winners also earn byes into worlds, provided they are not from the same country as the reigning world champions.

Here are the Zurich entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

Wednesday
10:55 a.m. — Women’s, Men’s Shot Puts
11:30 — Women’s Pole Vault
11:35 — Women’s 5000m
12 p.m. — Men’s High Jump
1:10 — Men’s 5000m

Thursday
11:35 a.m. — Women’s, Men’s Triple Jumps
11:55 — Women’s High Jump
12:15 p.m. — Women’s, Men’s Discuses
1:04 — Women’s 400m
1:15 — Men’s 400m
1:25 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
1:33 — Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
1:40 — Men’s Pole Vault
1:52 — Men’s 110m Hurdles
1:59 — Women’s 1500m
2 — Women’s, Men’s Long Jumps
2:10 – Men’s 1500m
2:20 — Women’s, Men’s Javelins
2:23 — Women’s 100m
2:31 — Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
2:49 — Men’s 100m
2:59 — Women’s 400m Hurdles
3:09 — Men’s 400m Hurdles
3:19 — Women’s 800m
3:31 — Men’s 800m
3:42 — Women’s 200m
3:52 — Men’s 200m

Here are five events to watch on Thursday (statistics via Tilastopaja.org and World Athletics):

Women’s 100m Hurdles — 1:25 p.m. ET
This has arguably been the best year in the event’s history, though it has been overshadowed at times by the dominance of Sydney McLaughlin in the 400m hurdles and Fraser-Pryce and Jackson in the 100m and 200m. Nigerian Tobi Amusan broke the world record at the world championships (12.12 seconds). Olympic gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico then beat Amusan two weeks ago. American Keni Harrison, an Olympic and world silver medalist and the former world record holder, is the third woman to break 12.30 this year. All three are in the Zurich field, along with world silver medalist Britany Anderson of Jamaica and 2019 World champion Nia Ali.

Men’s Pole Vault — 1:40 p.m. ET
Duplantis improved the world record by one centimeter on five occasions since the start of 2020, but his first defeat of 2022 came in Brussels last week. Ernest John Obiena of the Philippines was the man to end Duplantis’ bid for the the second undefeated championship season for a male pole vaulter in the last 50 years. Obiena isn’t in the Zurich field, but there is still intrigue. Duplantis will be on world record watch, and American Chris Nilsen can earn a world championships berth if he can upset the Swede.

Women’s 1500m — 1:59 p.m. ET
Kipyegon ran the second-fastest women’s 1500m in history in her last outing in Monaco on Aug. 10. American Allie Wilson, the lead pacer in Monaco who took Kipyegon to 800 meters in 2:01.64 (nearly three seconds ahead of world record pace), is in the Zurich field. As are world silver and bronze medalists Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia and Laura Muir of Great Britain, who were not in Monaco.

Women’s 100m — 2:23 p.m. ET
Fraser-Pryce’s bid for her first full, undefeated 100m season was denied by Jackson in Brussels last week (by one hundredth). Fraser-Pryce’s unprecedented streak of four consecutive sub-10.70 performances also snapped. She gets Jackson again here, assuming Jackson sticks to racing both the 100m and 200m in Zurich. Sha’Carri Richardson, Aleia Hobbs and TeeTee Terry, the three fastest Americans over the last six years, will clinch a world championships spot with an upset win over the Jamaicans.

Men’s 200m — 3:52 p.m. ET
The meet finale features all three world championships medalists — Americans Lyles, Kenny Bednarek and Erriyon Knighton — and the Olympic champion — Canadian Andre De Grasse. Lyles, after breaking Michael Johnson‘s American record at the world championships (19.31), has spoken about chasing Usain Bolt‘s world record of 19.19. Lyles has been consistently spectacular this summer, clocking 19.67, 19.62, 19.31, 19.46 and 19.56. Not even Bolt broke 19.50 multiple times in one year. This could be Lyles’ most important 200m until next summer’s worlds.

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Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
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Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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