Tag Archives: Michael Norman

Wanda Diamond League in Numbers

The Wanda Diamond League returned for its 13th season in 2022, taking place over 13 meetings from May to September.

Yet it proved to be anything but an inauspicious year as the series celebrated another thrilling summer of athletics action. Here’s a look back at the year in numbers.

Global series

Phileas Fogg may have made it around the world in 80 days, but the Wanda Diamond League had to settle for 118. Starting in Doha on May 13th, the series travelled to four different continents and 12 different countries as the biggest stars of world athletics battled it out for a place in the final. Among the stops were series stalwarts such as Monaco, Brussels and Oslo, but also a new addition in Silesia, which hosted the first ever Diamond League meeting on Polish soil.

It was also a truly global series in terms of participation. A total of 1084 athletes (555 male, 529 female) from 88 different countries took part in the Diamond League in 2022, almost 200 more than in the previous season. There were 146 winners of individual events, hailing from 48 different countries, while the 32 Diamond League Champions encompassed 21 different nationalities.

First-timers

Poland was not the only country to make a Diamond League debut in 2022. There were also several nations who picked up their first ever win and their first ever title in athletics’ most prestigious one-day series. Soufiane El Bakkali finally broke his Diamond Trophy duck to become the first Moroccan Diamond League Champion in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, winning four out of five meetings in the men’s 3000m steeplechase to take his first ever title.

Neeraj Chopra also made national history in the men’s javelin, becoming the first Indian to win a Diamond League meeting with victory in Lausanne and the first to win the Diamond Trophy with a win in Zurich a few weeks later. Slovenia also celebrated their first title as Kristjan Ceh stormed to a perfect record of five wins in five in the men’s discus, while Marileidy Paulino became the first ever Diamond League champion from the Dominican Republic in the women’s 400m.

Record breakers and pace setters

More than ever in 2022, the Wanda Diamond League proved itself to be the series where the world’s best set the standard for elite track and field. No less than 51 world leads were set on the circuit this year in 16 men’s and 14 women’s events.

There was also the usual flood of historic performances, with 55 new national records set by athletes from 29 different countries. These included Faith Kipyegon’s Kenyan record of 3:50.37 in the women’s 1500m in Monaco and Jakob Ingebrigtsen’s 3:46.46 Norwegian record on home soil in the men’s mile in Oslo.

Area records also fell like flies in 2022, as seven new marks were set across three different areas and five different disciplines. Highlights included Marie-Josée Ta Lou’s African record of 10.72 in the women’s 100m in Monaco and Tobi Amusan’s African record of 12.41 in the women’s 100m hurdles in Paris, a mark she later bettered with her world record at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

Many athletes also made series history, with a total of 10 Diamond League records broken in the course of 2022. Seven of them came in points-scoring events, including Joe Kovacs title-winning throw of 23.23m in the men’s shot put and Michael Norman’s staggering 43.60 in the men’s 400m in Eugene.

Click here to browse all Diamond League records and all-time Diamond League statistics

Source: diamondleague.com

Fred Kerley lands in Kenya with a promise to dethrone Jacobs and Omanyala

Olympic silver medallist, Fred Kerley has landed in Kenya with high hopes of staging one of the best racing performance e of his life time as he makes his second return at the 3rd edition of the Absa Kip Keino Classic Continental Tour that will be held on Saturday (7) at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani, in Nairobi

The 26 year-old who Kerley chose to focus on the 100 meters during the Olympic cycle to improve his basic speed for future attempts at a sub-43 400 m, landed in at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport early Wednesday morning as he promised fireworks sending a strong warning to Olympic 100m champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs and the Africa’s fastest man Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala.

“I am happy to be back to where I ended my season last year. I look forward to running fast at the Kasarani Stadium where I also ran a personal best in 200m. I am born ready for competition, I love to compete and that’s what I am here for. To compete with the best.”

Kerley is one of only three men along with Michael Norman and Wayde Van Niekerk to go sub 10 seconds in 100m, sub 20 seconds in 200m and sub 44 seconds in 400m.

Seven reigning global medallists to renew rivalry in Eugene 100m

The medallists from the men’s Olympic 100m and 200m finals in Tokyo, plus the men’s world indoor 60m final in Belgrade, will all clash in a stacked 100m field announced for the Prefontaine Classic, part of the Wanda Diamond League series, in Eugene on 28 May.

Reigning Olympic champions Marcell Jacobs and Andre De Grasse will go up against Fred Kerley, Kenny Bednarek, Noah Lyles, Marvin Bracy and Christian Coleman, as well as Olympic 100m fifth-place finisher Ronnie Baker, at Eugene’s Hayward Field.

They will all be looking to make their mark ahead of the World Athletics Championships Oregon22 taking place in the same stadium in July.

“I am honoured and excited to be part of this year’s Prefontaine Classic at the University of Oregon in Eugene,” said Italy’s Olympic 100m champion Jacobs, who also claimed the world indoor 60m title in Belgrade last month.

“It’s going to be my first race in the US since the Tokyo Olympics and the adrenaline is already pumping. I can’t wait to feel the track beneath my feet.”

De Grasse won the 100m at last year’s Prefontaine Classic, a few weeks after becoming a three-time Olympic medallist in Tokyo. The Canadian claimed 4x100m silver and 100m bronze in Japan along with his 200m title.

Kerley secured 100m silver between Jacobs and De Grasse in Tokyo, while Bednarek gained silver and Lyles bronze behind De Grasse in the 200m. At the World Athletics Championships Belgrade 22, Jacobs was joined on the podium by silver medallist Coleman and bronze medallist Bracy.

The men’s 100m is the latest in a number of strong fields announced for the Eugene meeting. All three Tokyo Olympic medallists – Athing Mu, Keely Hodgkinson and Raevyn Rogers – will race in the 800m, while champion Mondo Duplantis will take on his fellow Tokyo Olympic medallists Chris Nilsen and Thiago Braz in the pole vault.

Michael Norman, Michael Cherry and Kirani James will race the 400m, while Rai Benjamin and Alison Dos Santos will go head-to-head in the 400m hurdles and the 100m hurdles will pit Keni Harrison against Jasmine Camacho-Quinn. Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Nicola McDermott will renew their rivalry in the high jump.

Clash of Champions In Eugene 400m

Reigning Wanda Diamond League champion Michael Cherry will take on compatriot and 2019 winner Michael Norman in a clash of the champions in the men’s 400m at the third meeting of the season in Eugene on May 28th.

Cherry, who picked up wins in Brussels and Zurich on his way to a first career Diamond Trophy last season, secured a gold medal alongside Norman in the 4x400m relay at last year’s Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Yet the two Americans will go head to head on home soil at the Prefontaine Classic, with Norman looking this year to win back the Diamond Trophy he lost to Cherry in 2021.

Norman won the 400m at the Prefontaine Classic in Stanford on his way to the title in 2019 and will be hoping to recreate that performance at Hayward Field in May. Since becoming a professional in 2019, he has lowered his 400m personal best to 43.45, the fourth fastest time ever run, and has represented Team USA at the World Athletics Championships in Doha and the Olympic Games in Tokyo. After winning the Olympic Trials last summer, he would go on to finish fifth in Olympic 400m finals and be a part of the gold-medal men’s 4x400m relay team. Heading into the Pre Classic this year, Norman might give Michael Johnson’s meet record of 43.92 a good scare.

Norman and Cherry will be joined by 400m specialist Kirani James. Originally from Gouyave, Grenada, James has medalled in every Olympic Games he has competed in. He won gold in London, silver in Rio, and bronze at last summer’s Toyko games. His lifetime best of 43.74 seconds is eleventh on the all-time list. James has also won the Pre Classic 400m three times in his career; 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Also competing are Americans Vernon Norwood, Will London, and Bryce Deadmon, who have all been a part of a U.S. relay team at either the World Championships in Doha (London, Norwood) or the Olympics in Tokyo (Norwood, Deadmon). Jereem Richards, the World Indoor Championship gold medalist from Belgrade, rounds out the field.

There is an equally scintillating line-up in the men’s 400m hurdles, with Olympic silver and bronze medallists Rai Benjamin and Alison Dos Santos heading a field which includes six national record holders.

The line-up will also feature Tokyo Olympic finalists Kyron McMaster (4th), Abderrahman Samba (5th), Yasmani Copello (6th), Rasmus Magi (7th), and Alessandro Sibilio (8th). McMaster, Copello and Magi all broke their national records in the Olympic finals last year, with Samba, the Qatari national record holder, still running a season’s best in the race. Rounding out the lineup are Olympic semi-finalist Kenny Selmon and the World Indoor 400m bronze medallist Carl Bengtström.

Source: diamondleague.com

Ferdinand Omanyala impresses in big boys club as he debuts in Brussels

Kenya’s National 100m champion Ferdinand Omanyala Omurwa tested the big boys’ league as he made his debut at the Brussels Diamond League meeting that was held on Friday Night (3) at the Allianz Memorial Van Damme in the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, Belgium.

Omanyala, who failed to advance to the Tokyo Olympics final, made history as the first Kenyan to reach the semis.

The 25 years-old enjoys the National Record that he set twice in 9.86 during the final race at the International Josko Lauf Meeting at Pramtal Stadium, Andorra, Austria.

Ferdinand Omanyala poses after dipping the sub 10 at theat the International Josko Lauf Meeting at Pramtal Stadium, Andorra, Austria. Photo Ferdinard Omanyala

Omanyala finished in fourth place in 10.02 seconds with the race won by American Fred Kerley who pulled 9.94 seconds. Kerley led a podium sweep with Trayvon Bromell coming in second in 9.97 and Michael Norman closing the first three podium finishes in 9.98.

Ferdinand Omanyala to debut at Brussels Diamond League

National 100m champion Ferdinand Omurwa Omanyala will be making his Diamond League debut at the Brussels Diamond League meeting on Friday evening.

After making his debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, Omanyala will be up against American Fred Kerley, South African Akan Simbine, American Trayvon Bromell and Michael Norman.

Omanyala, who failed to advance to the final, made history as the first Kenyan to reach the semis at the Olympics.

The 25 years-old Enjoys the National Record that he set twice in 9.86 during the final at the International Josko Lauf Meeting at Pramtal Stadium, Andorra, Austria a fortnight ago.

Olympic 5,000m silver medallist, Hellen Obiri, who is also the reigning World 5,000m champion, Margaret Chelimo, Lilian Kasait, Beatrice Chebet, Eva Cherono and Daisy Cherotich are the Kenyans who will compete in women’s 5,000m.

They will be up against Tokyo Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, Ethiopia’s Gidey Letensebet and fast-rising Francine Nyonsaba from Burundi.

Gatlin, Coleman to miss U.S. championships, World Cup

World sprint champions Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman will miss next week’s U.S. championships and as a result will not be eligible for track and field’s new premier event, the Athletics World Cup in London in July, officials tell Reuters.

The decisions, especially rising star Coleman’s, come at a time the World Cup, an eight-nation showdown, is seeking to bring new energy to the sport in a year when there is no world outdoor championship and Usain Bolt is no longer competing.

Managers for 100 meters winner Gatlin and Coleman, the world indoor 60m champion and record holder, both told Reuters their clients would not run in the American meeting, scheduled Thursday through Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa.

That makes them and any other athlete who misses the championships ineligible for the U.S. World Cup team, according to Duffy Mahoney, USA Track & Field’s chief of sport performance.

“It is quite simple,” Mahoney said in an email to Reuters. “The highest placing finisher in each event at the 2018 USATF Senior Championships – who elects to compete – will select themselves for a position on the U.S. Team.”

Gatlin’s manager, Renaldo Nehemiah, said “there was no real incentive” for the 36-year-old sprinter to run in Iowa since there would be no world championship and not having extra races would cut down on the sprinter’s wear and tear going into the 2019 world championships and 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Coleman manager Emanuel Hudson, in a text message, said, “Coleman is not at nationals.”

The world 100m silver medalist has been injured but is expected to return for the June 30 Paris Diamond League meeting.

Olympic 400m hurdles gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad also will not be at the championships, Hudson wrote.

“So according to what you sent (Mahoney’s statement), they wouldn’t be eligible for World Cup,” he added.

TOP TEAMS

Despite their absence and perhaps others, “USATF looks forward to having the world’s best national track & field championship next week in Des Moines, and to fielding the top team for the World Cup,” spokesperson Jill Geer said.

The World Cup, scheduled for July 14-15, will bring together teams from the United States, Jamaica, China, France, Germany, Britain, South Africa and Poland.

Track events from 100 through 1,500 meters, plus hurdles races and 4×100 and 4×400 meter relays, will be contested along with eight field events.

Each nation will have one competitor per event.

Without Gatlin or Coleman, the World Cup likely will look to Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, the year’s fastest at 100m, or emerging talent from the U.S. and Jamaican championships for its new sprint king.

World indoor bronze medalist Ronnie Baker and new 200m sensation Noah Lyles are set for a 100m showdown at the American meeting with Michael Norman, the year’s top 400 meters runner, contesting the 200.

Teenager Sydney McLaughlin will be launching her professional career in the 400 meters hurdles, where she is 2018’s fastest.

reuters.com