David Rudisha

Zurich Diamond League final preview

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The Diamond League circuit concludes with two finals meets in Zurich on Thursday and Brussels on Sept. 5.

The finals are labeled that way because they mark the last competitions in individual event Diamond Races, accumulation points standings that determine season-long champions.

The Diamond League finals provide double the points than the previous Diamond League meets. That means first place in Zurich awards eight points, second place gets four points and third place two points.

Each of the 32 individual event Diamond Race winners receive $40,000 and a Diamond Trophy. Half of the Diamond Races conclude in Zurich. The other 16 conclude in Brussels.

In Zurich, 14 of the 16 Diamond Races are still in play. Only LaShawn Merritt (400m) and Sandra Perkovic (discus) have their titles already clinched, so long as they show up in Switzerland.

The rest of the events are headlined by Allyson Felix and David Rudisha with Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com coverage starting at 2 p.m. ET. Don’t forget Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell racing in the 100m, a non-Diamond Race event.

Here are five Diamond Races to watch in Zurich:

Men’s triple jump — 2 p.m. ET

Standings
1. Will Claye (USA) — 14 points
2. Christian Taylor (USA) — 12 points

The Americans who went one-two at the London Olympics will do battle for another title in Zurich. This time, London silver medalist Claye is in the driver’s seat.

Claye has had a better season than Taylor, leaping personal bests 17.66m in May and 17.75m in June, the latter winning the U.S. Championships in Sacramento, Calif. Claye celebrated that jump, while wearing a backwards cap, by running into the stands.

But Taylor, who opened his season running 400m races, won the last Diamond League triple jump in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 12. Claye was second there. If that result repeats in Zurich, Taylor will claim the Diamond Race title.

Women’s 1500m — 2:38

Standings
1. Abeba Aregawi (SWE) — 12 points
2. Sifan Hassan (NED) — 10 points
3. Jenny Simpson (USA) — 9 points

Simpson, the 2011 World champion, is having the best season of her career. She’s gone under her previous personal best twice, including a 3:57.22 in Paris on July 5. Then she beat the Ethiopian-born Aregawi and Hassan, along with Genzebe Dibaba, in Stockholm on Thursday.

That victory put Simpson in control of her own destiny in Zurich. Win, and she takes the Diamond Race. If she finishes second, she can also capture the season title if Aregawi doesn’t finish first or third and Hassan doesn’t win.

Women’s 100m — 2:59

Standings
1. Kerron Stewart (JAM) — 7 points
2. Murielle Ahoure (CIV) — 3 points
3. Veronica Campbell-Brown (JAM) — 2 points
3. Blessing Okagbare (NIG) — 2 points
3. Myriam Soumare (FRA) — 2 points

Few could have predicted how this event would play out this season. Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce prevailed in the opener in Doha but hasn’t won since and isn’t in the Zurich field after scratching the Birmingham 100m on Sunday.

American Tori Bowie, primarily a long jumper until March, won three of the six Diamond Race events so far this season, giving her 12 points and the lead. But she pulled up with a leg injury in Birmingham and will miss Zurich, meaning she is not eligible to win the Diamond Race.

That leaves the Jamaican veteran Stewart as the leader. Stewart, 30 and a 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist, hasn’t broken 11 seconds this year for the first time since 2007. She’ll likely need to finish second to win the Diamond Race, and it won’t be easy. Okagbare and Campebell-Brown are the fastest women this year in the field. Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix and the world’s fastest 200m runner this year, the Netherlands’ Dafne Schippers, are also in the field.

Men’s 800m — 3:08

Standings
1. David Rudisha (KEN) — 8 points
2. Nijel Amos (BOT) — 6 points
3. Asbel Kiprop (KEN) — 4 points
3. Adam Kszczot (POL) — 4 points

The Olympic champion and world record holder Rudisha will clinch the Diamond Race title with a victory or by finishing second if Amos, Kiprop and Kszczot don’t win. Rudisha, who came back in June after missing more than a year of competition with a knee injury, has looked more beatable this season that any time over the last five years. He is coming off a 600m victory in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.

World champion Mohammed Aman can prevail in the Diamond Race with a win if Rudisha doesn’t finish second. Aman won a pair of 800m races at Diamond League meets this year, but they didn’t count in the Diamond Race standings.

Women’s 100m Hurdles — 3:17

Standings
1. Queen Harrison (USA) — 17 points
2. Dawn Harper-Nelson (USA) — 13 points

Americans have won all six 100m hurdles races this season — Harrison with three, Harper-Nelson with two and World champion Brianna Rollins with one. Australian Olympic champion Sally Pearson is also in this field, but the Diamond Race will come down to Harrison, a 2008 Olympian in the 400m hurdles, and the 2008 Olympic champion Harper-Nelson.

Harper-Nelson closed the gap on Harrison with a Birmingham victory and owns the fastest time in the world this year (12.44).

Video: Youth Olympics 8x100m relay

Tori Bowie pulls up at Birmingham Diamond League; recap

Tori Bowie
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source: Getty ImagesThe world’s fastest woman this year pulled up with an apparent injury at a Diamond League meet in Birmingham, England, on Sunday.

Tori Bowie had to be helped off the track after she came to a stop less than halfway through the 100m. Jamaican Kerron Stewart won in 11.22 seconds.

Bowie previously suffered a leg injury at the U.S. Championships in late June but came back to run a world-leading 10.80 seconds in Monaco on July 18. Bowie, primarily a long jumper until March, is also the second-fastest woman over 200m this year (22.18).

The women’s 100m was one of the marquee events of the meet, but Bowie’s injury came after Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was a non-starter and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix  failed to qualify for the final.

The Diamond League resumes with the first of two finals meets in Zurich on Thursday.

In other events Sunday, Beijing Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson won the 100m hurdles in 12.66. London Olympic champion Sally Pearson was third in 12.85, and World champion Brianna Rollins was fifth in 12.95.

Kenyan Asbel Kiprop won a star-studded men’s mile in 3:51.89, beating world leader Ayanleh Souleiman (3:52.07). Americans Leo Manzano and Matthew Centrowitz were eighth and ninth.

Britain’s most famous active track and field athlete, Mo Farah, separated from the pack in the men’s two mile and won in 8:07.85, a new European record in the non-Olympic event.

Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha won a 600m race in 1:13.71.

World champion Christine Ohuruogu won the 400m in 51.40. Neither Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross nor world leader Francena McCorory was in the field.

Kirani James won the men’s 400m in 44.59, lacking competition without rival LaShawn Merritt on hand.

Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim won the high jump with a 2.38m clearance over Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko. Both men failed at three attempts at 2.41m. The world record is 2.45m.

Jamaicans Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade took the men’s 100m and 200m in 10.08 and 20.33, respectively. They didn’t have to face Usain Bolt or Justin Gatlin.

Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor won the long jump at 8.09m, beating British Olympic champion Greg Rutherford and U.S. champion Jeff Henderson.

New Zealand’s Valerie Adams won her 55th straight shot put competition.

Usain Bolt ends his season