Diamond League: athletes to watch in Zurich

Diamond League 2011

Venue:
Zurich
Date:
Thursday, 8 September
Coverage:
Watch live from 1900 BST on BBC Two and the BBC Sport website (UK users only)
Get involved:
Use Twitter via hashtag #BBCAthletics
Kirani James
Teenage 400m star Kirani James is among the newly-crowned world champions competing in Zurich

1855 BST: Women's pole vault

Russian pole vaulting great Yelena Isinbayeva failed to medal at her second straight World Championships in Daegu, where she could only finish sixth. The world record holder may not be the force she once was but is still capable of matching the 4.85m cleared by Brazilian Fabiana Murer, who equalled her lifetime best in taking South Korean gold.

German Martina Strutz upstaged her Diamond League leading compatriot Silke Spiegelburg to win silver in Deagu, with Spiegelburg unexpectedly finishing way down the field in ninth. Veteran Svetlana Feofanova took bronze to claim a fourth World Championship medal and leads the charge.

1940 BST: Men's high jump

Jesse Williams
Jesse Williams took gold in Korea

This event was one of the most eagerly contested in Daegu with only three centimetres covering the top seven men and the good news is they all compete in Zurich. There is also the added bonus of Andrey Silnov in action, who failed to make the Russian team so this is his chance to demonstrate what might have been.

Silnov and American Jesse Williams, the new world champion, are the joint Diamond League leaders. Williams claimed gold on count-back from Aleksey Dmitrik after both men finished on 2.35m. Trevor Barry of the Bahamas took bronze with a new lifetime best of 2.32m, ahead of five men with the same height. He is still to record his first Diamond League points, something he will be looking to do despite distinguished company.

2005 BST: Women's 400m hurdles

The top five finishers from the recent World Championships all line up in a high-class field. American Lashinda Demus finally came of age in Daegu with her first individual world title, and did so in style with a world-leading time.

Jamaican Melaine Walker, who won gold in 2009, had to settle for silver with her best time of the year. The pair remarkably finished over a second clear of bronze medallist Natalya Antyukh.

The Diamond League leader is Kaliese Spencer, who has an eight-point advantage over the Czech Republic's Zuzana Hejnová. Both endured disappointing World Championships, finishing fourth and seventh respectively.

2035 BST: Men's 110m hurdles

Chinese athlete Liu Xiang and Cuban Dayron Robles

There are plenty of athletes with points to prove in the sprint hurdles, not least Dayron Robles. The world record holder and reigning Olympic gold medallist crossed the line first at the World Championships in Daegu but was stripped of his title for impeding China's Liu Xiang in the dash for the finish.

The Cuban's disqualification meant that unheralded American Jason Richardson was named world champion. Richardson ran a personal best of 13.08 seconds when second in London on his last Diamond League outing.

Only world silver medallist Liu is missing from the finalists in Daegu. Britain's Andy Turner, who was promoted to the bronze medal, will be looking to prove that was no fluke, while recently deposed world number one David Oliver needs to reassert his credentials after finishing a distant fourth in South Korea. Oliver heads the Diamond League standings with top-three finishes in each of his five meetings.

2045 BST: Men's 400m

There will be some bruised egos lining up alongside new World Champion Kirani James at the start of the 400m. The 19-year-old Grenadan's victory in Daegu signalled a power shift away from American Olympic champion Lashawn Merritt who will be looking to reassert himself after losing the world crown he won in Berlin two years ago.

Another man with a point to prove is Jermaine Gonzales. The Jamaican leads the Diamond League rankings but could only finish fourth in Daegu.

While James looks to coax another big performance out of himself, Great Britain's Martyn Rooney will be hoping to rediscover some form after he could only finish seventh in his semi-final - a big disappointment for an athlete whose personal best would have been good enough to share the gold medal with James.

2050 BST: Women's 800m

Jenny Meadows
Meadows missed out in Daegu

Britain's Jenny Meadows will be looking to put Daegu disappointment behind her in Zurich. The 2009 world bronze medallist crashed out at the semi-final stage, having medalled at each of the previous four major championships.

She faces stiff competition from new world champion Mariya Savinova of Russia, who needed to run a season's best to beat 2009 winner Caster Semenya in South Korea. Meadows currently sits second in the Diamond League standings, a point behind young Kenyan Kenia Sinclair, who was only seventh at the World Championships.

2100 BST: Men's 100m

Asafa Powell
Asafa Powell missed Daegu through injury

Jamaica's former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell - who missed the recent World Championships in Daegu with a hamstring injury - will return to action in the 100m in Zurich.

With a tally of 14 points and Usain Bolt not competing, Powell has bagged the 100m Diamond Race title worth $40,000 in cash and a spectacular Diamond Trophy.

Powell, with the opportunity to score a consolation victory, will line-up against fellow countryman and World gold medallist Yohan Blake, Walter Dix, the USA's runner up in both the World 100 and 200 and the evergreen 35-year-old Kim Collins.

2110 BST: Men's 1500m

Olympic and World champion Asbel Kiprop is expected to keep his five-point lead to retain the Diamond Race crown in the 1500m.

With world leader Kenya's Silas Kiplagat and a scrum of other team mates and countrymen in the field, a Kenyan 1-2-3 could be on the cards.

2130 BST: Women's 200m

Carmelita Jeter
Jeter has ran three of the 10 fastest 100m ever

The women's 200m will see Carmelita Jeter, the world 100m champion and 200m silver medallist go head-to-head with fellow American Allyson Felix.

Their head-to-head match-up could determine the overall Diamond Race winner for the event.

They both face stuff competition from fellow American Bianca Knight who currently leads with 10 points but with Felix on six points and Jeter on five there is all to play for.

2135 BST: 3000m Steeplechase

Season leader Brimin Kipruto, the silver medallist in Daegu, is nursing an injury which means only the world champion Ezekiel Kemboi is in a position to halt fellow Kenyan Paul Koech.

Koech, who did not compete at the World Championships, just needs a second place finish to retain his Diamond Race title.

Top Stories