Tag Archives: Diamond League

Diamond League final three format changed

Controversial winner takes all final three format altered for 2022 Diamond League season

The much talked about ‘final three’ format, introduced by the Diamond League last year for horizontal jumps and throws, has been revised after criticism over what became a winner takes all event.

Last season, the athlete who jumped or threw the furthest didn’t necessarily win the competition. What decided the event was which athlete performed the best in the crucial final round; with the three athletes with the furthest distance jumped/thrown over five rounds qualifying for what was a ‘final’. The best score from the final round won the competition.

You could theoretically set a world record in an earlier round and still lose your event.

That’s all stopped ahead of the 2022 Diamond League season.

Now the best throw or jump over the whole competition will see the athlete win the event, with the highest ranked athletes going first from rounds one to three.

After round three, the order of the eight remaining athletes will be re-drawn with the best performing athletes throwing/jumping at the start of the next two rounds.

The three athletes with the best scores of the five rounds would still be the only ones qualifying for a final three but the main difference next year is that it’s not decisive to the overall outcome of the competition.

That means if an athlete theoretically set a world record in an earlier round and didn’t throw/jump the furthest in the final three round then they would still win the event.

Diamond League AG CEO, Petr Stastny said: “The Wanda Diamond League is a world-class premier one-day league. We are committed to using these fast-paced and exciting events to showcase the amazing talents of our athletes which means evolving and developing new ideas, formats and concepts to keep our existing fans engaged and encourage new fans to follow the sport.

“We are grateful to our athletes and meeting organisers for agreeing to trial the Final 3 this season which has seen an increase in attention for those events, which is the primary purpose of the Final 3. We promised a thorough feedback process and have held a series of discussions and meetings to review the format and explore other ideas to innovate around this concept.

“We are delighted to have found a revised format that all stakeholders in our one-day meetings support and will introduce it into the 2022 season.”

Commenting on the revised Final 3 format, Athletes’ Commission vice chair Dame Valerie Adams said: “When we discussed and agreed to trial the Final 3 Format this season we were apprehensive but understood why this concept was being considered.

“The Wanda Diamond League Board promised to consult with athletes and others at the end of the season, which they did and we have agreed on a revised format which we think will work better for athletes and fans. We would like to thank the board and the meeting organisers for keeping their word and listening to the athletes. We are looking forward to competing in the revised format in 2022.”

The Diamond League season begins on May 13 in Doha and crosses four continents before the finals take place on September 7-8 in Zurich.

Source: athleticsweekly.com

Ferdinard Omanyala targets Usain Bolt world record

Africa fastest man in 100m Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa has hinted that in one year’s time he will be targeting to lower Usain Bolt world record over the distance.

Omanyala broke the African record that had been set in July this year of 9:84 by South African Akani Simbine when he set a new record of 9.77 at the second edition of the Kip Keino Classic last Saturday (18) at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

While Speaking on Citizen TV with Jeff Koinange, Omanyala said that the record will not take him a year to break as his trends has been on gradual growth.

“The difference in time with bolts record time with what I ran at Kip is 0.19 now if you do the math am capable of running 9.56.” Omanyala said.

The 25- year-old also narrated how he wrote to be included in the Diamond League race but his request was turned down by one of the directors.

“There was a time I applied to run in the Diamond League but the email reply from one of the directors said they could not take me as he could not believe a Kenyan would run that fast”

The eighth fastest man on the planet is taking a three weeks rest before he begins his training for the busy new track season in March next year.

Athing Mu crushes 800m race American Record

United States Athing Mu crushed her own American record by winning the women’s 800 meters at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

Two weeks after the Tokyo Games ended, a pair of Olympic medalists closed out their historic seasons with American records at Hayward Field.

The 19 year-old in crushed her own American record by winning the women’s 800 1:55.04, improving on the previous time of 1:55.21 which she set while winning the gold medal in Tokyo on August 3.

“I knew this was probably going to be a little tougher because [of] coming off the Olympic Games and running a personal best there. So, I wasn’t looking at time, I just wanted to come here and run with whoever is out there and just be competitive,” said Mu.

Athing Mu crushes 800m race American Record at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. PHOTO: Mathew Quine/ Diamond League

Because of her front-running style, the competition wasn’t a factor for Mu in her Diamond League debut.

Olympic heroes return to Action in Eugene

The Olympic Games may be done and dusted, but the 2021 athletics season is far from over as some of the stars of Tokyo 2020 continue their Wanda Diamond League campaigns at the Nike Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on August 21st.

The eighth meeting of the season will provide an immediate chance to settle some Olympic scores with a whole host of rematches on the track. Men’s 200m gold and silver medallists Andre De Grasse and Kenny Bednarek will go head to head again at Hayward Field, while Athyn Mu, Keely Hodgkinson and Raevyn Rogers make up an Olympic podium full house in the women’s 800m.

The same applies for the women’s 5000m, with reigning Diamond League champion and Olympic gold medallist Sifan Hassan taking on silver and bronze medallists Hellen Obiri and Gudaf Tsegay in the women’s race. All three 5000m medallists (Joshua Cheptegei, Moh Ahmed and Paul Chelimo) will also be in action in a star-studded men’s two-mile race in Eugene.

In the men’s shot put, the USA’s Ryan Crouser will be hoping to add a first career Diamond Trophy to his shiny new Olympic gold medal in the remaining months of the season. He will take on fellow medallists Joe Kovacs and Tom Walsh, who is looking to defend his Diamond League title this year.

Gold and bronze medallists Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Hugues Zango will reprise their men’s triple jump battle on the Diamond League stage, while there could also be a rematch between Olympic and Diamond League champion Mariya Lasitskene and bronze medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh in the women’s triple jump.

Source: diamondleague.com

Cheruiyot sharpening form as Olympics beckon coach says

Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot, a late addition to the Olympic team after initially failing to qualify, is sharpening his preparation as he looks to win gold at his first Games at Tokyo 2020, his coach said.

The reigning 1,500 metre world champion struggled at last month’s Kenyan trials, which can sometimes be more competitive than the Olympics themselves.

He finished fourth, missing the cut to compete in Tokyo and conjuring memories of his failure to qualify for the Rio Olympics five years earlier.

Cheruiyot, 25, said later he had been grappling with an injury and a relative close to him had died the day of the Kenyan trials, factors that contributed to his sub-par performance.

His coach Bernard Ouma said people sometimes forget that athletes are human beings too.

“On a podium, people see athletes, others see machines that are running and have to be position one. At the back of my mind as a coach, I see a human being with social challenges as well, the family perspective and personal as well,” he said.

Cheruiyot’s Olympic dream was revived after Kamar Etyang, who finished second at the trials, was dropped from the team for not meeting World Athletics anti-doping testing requirements.

Cheruiyot, a three-time Diamond League champion, was next man up.

“He has just been called to the team, that excitement is there,” Ouma told Reuters.

Following the disappointment at the Kenyan trials, Cheruiyot bounced back impressively, winning the Diamond League meet in Stockholm. He followed that up with a terrific victory in Monaco, with a world-leading time of 3 minutes and 28.28 seconds.

“He is happy with the performances, what we are doing is sharpening now,” Ouma said. “Championships are tough, because you’ve got the heats, semis and finals.

“So far, we are in good shape, just maintaining to take us through…Everything we are doing now is work backward towards retaining the same shape.”

Cheruiyot is scheduled to arrive in Tokyo on July 30 as Team Kenya triesto manage preparations while factoring in Japan’s sweltering heat.

On Wednesday, the country’s weather bureau issued heat-stroke alerts for a fifth consecutive day, emphasising the challenge teams will face at the tournament.

“We are factoring in the effects of the weather conditions, some athletes will be arriving closer to their races,” Ouma said in a phone interview from the Japanese city of Kurume, where Team Kenya has set-up camp.

But the goal is clear for Cheruiyot, Ouma said.

“There are three medals, everybody is fighting for the best place. So Timothy as well is looking for the best place, which is gold,” he said.

Muir Strengthens Her Lead atop the Diamond League Standings With Season’s Best In Lausanne

Laura Muir (club: Dundee Hawkhill, coach: Andy Young) was the standout British performer as she claimed second place in a season’s best in a highly competitive women’s 1500m in Lausanne.

Muir ran a smart race and kicked with 250 metres to go, leaving a trail of four runners in her wake, only to be caught by Shelby Houlihan (USA) in the closing stages, who set a new meeting record and personal best of 3:57.34.

Muir held off the challenge of the rapidly advancing Sifan Hassan (NED) to clock 3:58.18 and earn herself seven Diamond League points in the process to maintain her lead at the top of the women’s 1500m standings.

After the race, Muir said: “I knew it was going to be a fast race that the girls had asked for. I was happy to sit in on the first half, work hard and use my strength in the second half.  I felt a lot better than I did in the race a couple of weeks ago so it’s a step in the right direction.

“I could see Tsegay was tiring so I thought I had to go at that stage and not leave it to a sprint finish. I just wanted to run as far as I could. I nearly got the win so I’m really pleased with that.”

Fellow Brits Laura Weightman (Steve Cram, Morpeth) and Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill, Liz Nuttall) recorded season’s bests of 4:01.76 and 4:01.98 respectively to take the final two spots in the points.

Commonwealth Games medallist Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark, Poole AC) could not make her way into the points, finishing tenth in 4:06.27.

In the field, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider, Birchfield Harriers) was the best of the Brits in the women’s long jump, claiming four Diamond League points with a best of 6.62m (wind: 2.0m/s). Malaika Mihambo (GER) saved her best jump until last as she matched Ivana Spanovic (SRB) with a mark of 6.90m (1.3m/s), taking victory via countback.

Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson, Thames Valley Harriers) could not replicate her world leading mark of 7.05m set at the Muller British Athletics Championships, finishing seventh with a best effort of 6.48m (-0.1m/s) set in the third round.

Proctor assessed: “It was OK.  I was consistent but not as good as some days.  I have a number of things to work on but I have two weeks before London.  I’m excited to be going back for more training and some technical work.  I made some mistakes tonight and I will fix them for next time.”

Following her jumps, world lead Ugen added: “I was a little bit flat after all the stress I put my body through last weekend, getting the PB. It was hard getting my body going again and jumping that far. I probably need to get back into training and to have a cool down before I get back up again. It was a good competition and I had fun out there, hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be back on top form.”

Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon, Edinburgh AC) clocked a new season’s best of 2:01.22, as she claimed one point in a fast women’s 800m, won by Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) in 1:57.80.

Jack Green (June Pews, Kent) made the most of being promoted from the B-race into the Diamond League race by clocking 49.52. Abderrahman Samba (QAT) won the race in 47.42 – his seventh victory on the circuit this season.

Green added: “They’re fast boys!  This event has really stepped up so it’s about time I did as well.  I have lots of work to do.  It’s hard to race here just after the trials but if you’re seeking excellence, this is the kind of thing you need to be able to do and get better at.  This is a very long year, starting with the Commonwealths. I’m still holding on, just.

“Samba is impressive, being able to put together races back to back, 46 seconds one week, then 47. He is consistently there all the time, he’s obviously put the work in. But it is not just that because he’s executing races, whatever the conditions – which in 400m hurdles is really hard to do. I’m looking forward to being in more races with him and hopefully watching him against Benjamin next year.”

Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman, Croydon) took victory in the men’s 400m B-race in 46.16, a shade outside his season’s best, with Owen Smith (Matt Elias, Cardiff) third in 46.90.

Marcel Hug (SUI) claimed a closely fought men’s wheelchair 1500m in a tight finish in 3:19.87 with Great Britain’s Richard Chiassaro (Jennifer Banks, Harlow AC) fourth in 3:20.75.

Niall Flannery (Matt Elias, Gateshead Harriers) came home fourth in the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.57, behind Luke Campbell (GER) who clocked 49.54 to take victory, with Jodie Williams (Stuart McMillan, Herts Phoenix) producing a good run to finish fourth in women’s 200m in 22.85, a race won by Gabrielle Thomas (USA) in 22.47.

britishathletics.org.uk

Julius Yego returns from European training camp

Kenya’s javelin sensation Julius Yego and world 5,000m champion Hellen Obiri will be among the elite athletes eyeing a return to the African Athletics Championships having skipped competition two years ago.

Olympic silver medalist Yego has been training in Europe and returned to Kenya for final preparations ahead of the national championships in Nairobi from Thursday, which will serve as trials for the Africa Championships.

Only the top two athletes in each discipline will secure their tickets to the competition in Asaba, Nigeria. This year’s event, which runs from August 1st to 5th, will be the 21st edition and will feature athletes from every one of Africa’s 54 states.

Speaking in Nairobi, Yego said he had gained tremendous ground since returning to action, after he battled groin and ankle injuries that saw him lose the world title last year in London.

“I have returned to action and managed to throw the javelin over 80 meters twice in Ostrava and Finland. Now the focus will be to make the Kenya team, compete in one more Diamond League event and head to Nigeria to try and win the Africa title,” he said on Tuesday.

However, for Obiri, the allure of competing at the Athletics World Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic in September is what motivates her to return to the continental championships. Four years ago, she made the cut, but ultimately failed to win the 1,500m race.

“In my two previous appearances at the Africa Championships, I always competed in the 1,500m race. This will be my first time at the Africa Championships as a 5,000m athlete. In 2014 I won the 1,500m title in Mauritius but did not manage a podium finish during the World Cup,” said Obiri on Tuesday in Nairobi.

A sabbatical from competition to give birth to her first child and loss of form in 2018 have taken the wind out of Obiri’s sails.

However, she is confident of returning to top form ahead of Kenya’s trial this weekend and hopes she will go on to excel in Nigeria and also in Ostrava for the IAAF World Cup on September 8th and 9th.

“I’m confident in my training and I can see good results ahead, especially during the IAAF Athletics World Cup. I hope when I compete in the 3,000m it will erase the disappointments of 2014 when I finished fourth (4:08.15) and out of the medal bracket,” added Obiri.

Other athletes to look out for include Elijah Manangoi, the World and Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion, 400m hurdler Nicholas Bett, defending high jump champion Mathew Sawe and walking race duo Samuel Gathimba and Grace Wanjiru.

Kenya will be hoping to form a strong team to wrest the overall title from South Africa and hosts Nigeria, who have dominated the competition in recent years.

Ethiopia, Uganda and Morocco are also expected to feature strongly in the quest for medals.

xinhuanet.com

Kipruto targets to break steeplechase world record

World and Olympic Games 3000m steeplechase king Conseslus Kipruto, will be targeting a win at this year’s Monaco Diamond League in May following his triumph at the concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

After winning all world events, starting with gold medals from World Youth championships, world championships, Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, Kipruto will be eyeing a world record in Monaco Diamond League.

With the IAAF meeting kicking off on 4th May in Doha, Qatar, Kipruto will on course for a world record on a course with Monaco having historical fastest course.

As he recovers from Commonwealth Games, Kipruto will skip Doha and train for water and barriers record when he kicks off the journey at Shanghai in 5,000m before tackling Eugene course.

“This year, I have to do something special in Monaco. As I make a debut on the course, I will be eyeing for world record. I have to concentrate in quality training ahead of the races” said Kipruto.

The world record has stayed for fourteen years since Kenyan neutralized Qatari international Saif Shaheen formerly Stephen Cherono broke Moses Kiptanui’s record to 7:53.63 since 2004.

Commenting on Gold Coast, where he won the only missing gold in his medal cabinet, Kipruto said “I confirm in Gold Coast that I was in top form. It was an easy race winning in 8.10.08. If I could have pushed more I think I would have run sub 7 but I want to improve on that in the next events.”

dailysport.co.ke

Seb Coe: Jake Wightman can double up like me

SEB Coe knows a thing or two about doubling up in the 800m and 1500m at a major championships. But even he knows there are no foolproof plans when it comes to the sharp end of middle-distance racing.

No sooner had the IAAF President passed on his advice to Scotland’s Jake Wightman ahead of tonight’s Commonwealth 800m final at the Carrara Stadium than the politician in him was inserting the small print.

“. . . But what do I know,” he said. “I’ve stuffed up a few 800 metres in my time.”

While he too has more pedigree in the 1500m, Wightman is doing well enough in 800m all by himself. Racing in the slowest, final heat, he put on the after burners to claim the second automatic qualifying spot in this lunchtime’s final, where he hopes to battle Botswana’s Nijel Amos, Australia’s Luke Matthews and a couple of handy Kenyans for a medal.

False modesty aside though, Coe – who took gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m at both the 1980 and 1984 Olympics – is in touch with Wightman often enough that the two men should perhaps consider setting up a

Whatsapp group.

A friend of his dad Geoff’s from their running days, Jake is a real student of the sport who grew up immersed in the Coe legend via his parents. He was delighted to receive a hand-written letter of congratulations from him after he became the first

British male winner of a Diamond League in the 1500m at last year’s Bislett Games in Oslo and there was even a comic exchange between the two when Wightman mistakenly thought that a text from the IAAF President was actually from an old university pal who was also called Seb.

For the record, the track legend’s advice to Wightman ahead of tonight’s Commonwealth 800m final is simple enough to be verging on the bleeding obvious.

Don’t get boxed in. And be prepared to think outside the box if things aren’t going the way you hoped they would.

“What is my advice to him?” said Coe. “Back his own instincts. Back his own judgment. It’s very difficult for someone sitting in the stands to make that judgment.

“But the golden rule in all these things is to focus all the time and keep your wits about you,” he added. “The number one rule, particularly in 800 because things happen really quickly, is always to have an exit strategy – just in case someone does something silly in front of you.

“If they do, does that leave you on the inside momentarily where the race has got away from you? So if in doubt always run clear and just don’t get caught on the inside.”

If the likes of Wightman are bringing the 800/1500 double back into fashion, Coe doesn’t see why it shouldn’t be achievable – even if the dynamics over racing over the shorter distance appear to be changing.

Where successful runners like himself would often leave their burst till the latter stages of a race, now

exponents often step on the gas from the outset. At least Wightman had the day off yesterday after a round of the 800m was dropped due to a lack of entrants.

“It is tough to double up,” said Coe of Wightman, the sole Scot surviving in this event after the elimination of

Guy Learmonth.

“He hasn’t doubled up that often before. The only observation I made was, as I found in LA when I doubled up and on other occasions, that getting some good 800 metres under your belt actually left you in good shape.

He’s a well-conditioned athlete so

actually, given his background as an athlete, that could be advantageous to him.

“I thought Jake looked really strong in his semi-final,” he added. “He didn’t put a foot wrong. The problem is the nature of the 800 metres has altered. I don’t think, if I’m being honest, it’s strictly an endurance event anymore.

“It gives the 400 metre chancers more of a chance. In the old days

you had four rounds in four days.

But actually the ability to last four rounds in four days also meant you probably had enough background to do the 1500 as well. Most of the 800 metres runners now are struggling beyond 800 metres and two yards.”

Watching him run in this manner over two laps with his preferred event still to come, there is a temptation to get carried away by the promise of Wightman. “Jake is making good progress,” continued Coe. “Remember he was the first British athlete in ten years to win a Diamond League. It prompted me to pen a piece of paper to him. Mind you, it had to be pen and paper because

I can’t type on a computer!”

Wightman, who also had Steve Ovett’s son Freddy staying with him, has no shortage of belief in his own ability. “I’m here to get a medal,” he said. “No matter what the event. The opportunity to have two is very exciting. But however the 800 goes, I’ve got to keep my focus for the 1500m.”

Whatever happens this lunchtime – flagbearer Eilidh Doyle has her date with destiny not long before – Wightman seems headed for great things and the Gold Coast might well be the next staging post on his progress.

It always helps when you have friends in high places to call upon.

Conseslus, Obiri upbeat as they seek to deliver medals

World and Olympic 3,000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto is upbeat that his late arrival for the Commonwealth Games here in Gold Coast will translate into good results.

Kipruto said their delay back home was deliberate because they wanted to train in familiar environment.

“This kind of weather in Gold Coast is always tricky and that is why we preferred to stay back and train a bit longer at home,” he said.

He said they will use the next three days to acclimatise before swinging into action this Friday. “I am ready and as usual, I will be going for gold,” he noted.

He said he decided to honour the Commonwealth Games despite other elite athletes staying away because it was on his schedule from the word go.

“I always plan my schedule early and this time, Commonwealth Games featured prominently because it is a less busy year with no World Championships or Olympic Games,” he added.

He said there is no much this year and that is why he opted for the games. “From here, I am headed for the Diamond League and I intend to do around five meetings starting with Doha next month,” he added.

He said the Africa athletics Championships in Nigeria are also top on his agenda and if everything remains constant, he will honour the event.

As usual, he believes steeplechase will be a Kenyan affair and sees no much opposition here.

Obiri, who also arrived together with Kipruto, echoed the same sentiments.

She said Commonwealth Games hold a special place in her heart and that is why she is here.

Like Kipruto, she said she intends to honor the Diamond League series and the Africa Championships in the coming months.

She also said she is feeling great after delaying back home for the purposes of training.

Obiri and Kipruto arrived alongside Margaret Chelimo, Eva Cherono (5,000m); Amos Kirui, Abraham Kibiwott (3,000m steeplechase) and 10,000m trio of Rodgers Kwemoi, Jonathan Muia and Josphat Bett