On Thursday 29 August, Zurich will host the first of two finals for the 2013 IAAF Diamond League series as 16 Diamond Race winners will be crowned.
The Diamond Race champions in some events have already been decided, but athletes must compete in the IAAF Diamond League final for their discipline to secure the USD$40,000 bonus and the Diamond Race Trophy.
In Zurich, four athletes – Ayanleh Souleiman (1500m), Aleksandr Menkov (Long Jump), Zuzana Hejnova (400m Hurdles) and Christina Obergfoll (Javelin) – need only to line up for their events to secure their Diamond Race victories.
But in the 12 other IAAF Diamond League events in the Swiss city, the Diamond Race is still open.
The most interesting scenario is in the women’s 800m. With points leader Francine Niyonsaba out for the rest of the season through injury, it effectively means that whoever wins in Zurich will secure the Diamond Race win, as a victory in the final carries double points and in Niyonsaba’s absence eight points will be enough to top the overall standings.
Another close event is the women’s Pole Vault. Yarisley Silva currently leads the points standings from Silke Spiegelburg and Jenn Suhr, but any of those three athletes will secure the Diamond Race title if they win in Zurich.
The women’s Long Jump is another three-way contest with Blessing Okagbare, Brittney Reese and Shara Proctor all vying for the win in Zurich which will land them with the Diamond Race prize.
World champion David Oliver is the current leader in the 110m Hurdles and needs to finish in the top two in Zurich to maintain his lead. If fellow World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce wins the 200m, she will leap-frog Murielle Ahoure’s points tally to steal the Diamond Race title.
Just two athletes – Olympic champion Kirani James and World champion LaShawn Merritt – are left in contention in the 400m Diamond Race. A win in Zurich from either of those athletes will guarantee them the Diamond Race title.
The same applies in the women’s 5000m, where World champions Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba have two victories each so far in the IAAF Diamond League.
A top-three finish in Zurich will guarantee Diamond Race victories for Bohdan Bondarenko in the High Jump, Conseslus Kipruto in the 3000m Steeplechase and Justin Gatlin in the 100m.
In the throws, Valerie Adams looks destined for the Diamond Race title in the Shot as the World champion needs only to finish in the top two. Poland’s Piotr Malachowski is also looking for a top-two finish in the men’s Discus, but if Robert Harting wins and Malachowski finishes lower than second, then the German could grab the Diamond Race victory.
The Diamond Race finals for the other 16 disciplines will be contested at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 6.
Diamond Race stats concerning the 16 Zurich finals can be downloaded as a pdf from right-hand-side of the page.