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):
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
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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