By JOSEPH NGURE and IAAF
A top-three finish in Zurich will guarantee Diamond Race victories for Bohdan Bondarenko in high jump, Kipruto in 3,000m steeplechase and Justin Gatlin in 100m.
Four athletes - Ayanleh Souleiman (1,500m), 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.
Kipruto, smarting from winning a silver medal in the just-ended 14th IAAF World Championship in Moscow, heads the steeplechase ranking with 13 points. He leads fellow Kenyans Ezekiel Kemboi and Hillary Yego (both on six points) with defending champion Paul Kipsiele Koech in fourth place with just five points.
The Diamond Race champions in some events have already been decided, but athletes must compete in the Diamond League final races either in Zurich or Brussels in their discipline to secure the USD$40,000 bonus and the Diamond Race Trophy.
The most interesting race will be the women’s 800m. With point leader Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi out for the rest of the season through injury, it effectively means that whoever wins in Zurich will secure the Diamond Race win.
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 point standings ahead of Silke Spiegelburg and Jenn Suhr, but any of those three athletes will secure the Diamond Race title if they win in Zurich.