From sprint showdowns to discus drama, there has already been plenty of athletics excitement as the IAAF Diamond League reaches the half-way point in the road to the final.
Six meetings have already taken place this year and there are six more to go before the series reaches its climax at the finals in Zurich (29 August) and Brussels (6 September).
And for the first time ever, this year’s IAAF Diamond League will conclude before the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, with wild card entries up for grabs for each of the 32 winners at the end of the series.
Winning a diamond discipline has never been so important.
The story so far
The 2019 IAAF Diamond League series kicked off in style in Doha, where Sweden’s Daniel Stahl broke the Diamond League record in the discus with 70.56m. There was also a scintillating clash between Hellen Obiri and Genzebe Dibaba in the women’s 3000m with Obiri prevailing in 8:25.60, and even closer finishes in the men’s 800m, won by Nijel Amos in 1:44.29, and 1500m, won by Elijah Manangoi in 3:32.21.
Noah Lyles and Abderrahman Samba, two of the biggest stars of last year’s Diamond League, were the talk of the town as the series reached Shanghai. In an extremely tight 100m, Lyles got the better of US compatriot Christian Coleman with both men clocking 9.86. Samba, meanwhile, sped to a world-leading 47.27 meeting record in the 400m hurdles.
The cool conditions in Stockholm didn’t dampen the spirits of the world’s best athletes. European champion Dina Asher-Smith impressed with a 22.18 victory in the 200m while Rhonex Kipruto set a meeting record of 26:50.16 in the 10,000m.
In Rome, Lyles once again formed part of a headline-making sprint showdown, this time involving Michael Norman as they clashed over 200m. In another close finish, Norman came out on top with a lifetime best of 19.70. The unheralded Telahun Haile Bekele made a name for himself by winning a high-quality 5000m in 12:52.98.
Home star Karsten Warholm exceeded expectations in Oslo, not only winning the 400m hurdles but setting a European record of 47.33 in the process. One month after his defeat in Shanghai, Coleman improved the world-leading 100m mark with 9.85.
After his third-round throw was initially declared a foul in Rabat, Fedrick Dacres was successful with his appeal and his 70.78m effort gave him the victory and an IAAF Diamond League record. Genzebe Dibaba produced her fastest 1500m clocking since setting the world record in 2015, winning with an African all-comers’ record of 3:55.47 with Sifan Hassan close behind in 3:55.93.
Before any athlete can contend for a Diamond trophy, they must first earn a spot in one of the two finals. Some athletes have managed to do that already, while several others are well on their way to doing so.
The list below shows the current leaders in each event, any athletes already qualified for the final (marked ‘Q’), and the number of completed qualifying disciplines so far in the series (the figures in parenthesis after each discipline).
100m (2/6): Christian Coleman (USA) 15pts
200m (4/6): Ramil Guliyev (TUR) 27pts Q, Alex Quinonez (ECU) 24pts Q
400m (2/6): Michael Cherry (USA) 13pts
800m (3/6): Nijel Amos (BOT) 23pts Q
1500m (3/6): Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) 15pts
5000m (3/4): Selemon Barega (ETH) 22pts Q, Birhanu Balew (BRN) 14pts Q, Telahun Haile Bekele (ETH) 12pts Q, Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH) 12pts Q
3000m steeplechase (2/4): Chala Beyo (ETH) 12pts
110m hurdles (3/6): Sergey Shubenkov (ANA) 22pts
400m hurdles (3/6): Thomas Barr (IRL) 19pts
High jump (3/6): Bogdan Bondarenko (UKR) 16pts, Ilya Ivanyuk (ANA) 16pts
Pole vault (3/6): Sam Kendricks (USA) 24pts
Long jump (3/4): Juan Miguel Echevarria (CUB) 15pts Q
Triple jump (1/4): Omar Craddock (USA) 8pts
Shot put (2/4): Darrell Hill (USA) 12pts, Darlan Romani (BRA) 12pts
Discus (3/4): Daniel Stahl (SWE) 23pts Q, Lukas Weisshaidinger (AUT) 19pts Q, Fedrick Dacres (JAM) 15pts Q
Javelin (2/4): Andreas Hofmann (GER) 13pts, Cheng Chao-Tsun (TPE) 13pts
100m (3/6): Blessing Okagbare (NGR) 15pts
200m (3/6): Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) 16pts
400m (3/6): Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) 24pts
800m (3/6): Nelly Jepkosgei (KEN) 19pts
1500m (3/6): Gudaf Tsegay (ETH) 19pts Q
5000m (2/4): Lilian Kasait Rengeruk (KEN) 12pts Q
100m hurdles (3/6): Sharika Nelvis (USA) 20pts
400m hurdles (3/6): Dalilah Muhammad (USA) 23pts
3000m steeplechase (2/4): Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN) 15pts Q
High jump (3/6): Erika Kinsey (SWE) 20pts Q, Mirela Demireva (BUL) 17pts Q
Pole vault (3/6): Sandi Morris (USA) 20pts Q, Katerina Stefanidi (GRE) 17pts Q
Long jump (2/4): Caterine Ibarguen (COL) 15pts
Triple jump (2/4): Caterine Ibarguen (COL) 8pts
Shot put (2/4): Chase Ealey (USA) 15pts, Gong Lijiao (CHN) 15pts
Discus (2/4): Yaime Perez (CUB) 15pts, Denia Caballero (CUB) 15pts
Javelin (2/4): Lyu Huihui (CHN) 16pts Q
IAAF Diamond League records (2)
Men’s discus: 70.56m Daniel Stahl (SWE) Doha
Men’s discus: 70.78m Fedrick Dacres (JAM) Rabat
Meeting records (16)
Doha: Stahl (discus), Muhammad (400m hurdles), Semenya (800m)
Shanghai: Samba (400m hurdles), Chepkoech (3000m steeplechase), Lyu (javelin)
Stockholm: Kipruto (10,000m)
Rome: Norman (200m), Bukowiecki (shot put)
Oslo: Warholm (400m hurdles), Jeruto (3000m steeplechase)
Rabat: Dacres (discus), Dibaba (1500m), Morris (pole vault), Perez (discus), Shubenkova (100m hurdles)
Area records: 2
National records: 17
World leads: 34
30 Jun – Stanford
5 Jul – Lausanne
12 Jul – Monaco
20-21 Jul – London
18 Aug – Birmingham
24 Aug – Paris
29 Aug – Zurich (final)
6 Sep – Brussels (final)