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Stage set for the final Diamond League meet in Zurich

ATHLETICS By Stephen Rutto | September 8th 2021
Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan - August 6, 2021. Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates with her national flag after winning gold REUTERS

The world's best athletes are today converging in Zurich for a two-day clash in the final leg of the Diamond League.

In Zurich, a decision on who will take home the 2021 Diamond Trophy will be made after 11 legs in 11 different venues across the globe.

Beginning this afternoon, athletics fans across the world will be treated to some mouth-watering clashes in the Weltklasse Zurich meeting in Switzerland.

Top guns who faced off at the Tokyo Olympic Games are clashing in the finals. Thirty two Wanda Diamond League champions will be crowned in the tough finals tomorrow.

Newly crowned Olympic champions, world champions and budding athletes will be competing for the top prize of Sh3.3 million.

Kenya’s golden girl and two-time Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon will not be leaving anything to chance in the 1500m event. Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot is also in the mix in men’s 1500m.

At the Wanda Diamond League, all the 32 finalists earned their place in the final after consistent performances during the season that started off in May in Gateshead.

In the 100m, sprint hurdles and 800m, it is the top eight who qualify, while in the 200m and 400m races, it is the top seven who make it, according to a report by the Wand Diamond League.

“Some fields will be more compact than in previous years, with the top six qualifying in the technical disciplines and the top ten qualifying in the middle and long distance races,” the Wanda Diamond League report reads in part.

This season’s Diamond League will see the introduction of a new award for the most consistent athlete. Under this award, athletes who have displayed excellent performances, consistently throughout the Diamond League season will be rewarded.

Ten athletes will receive the award, with one male and female winner respectively in the sprints, hurdles, distance events, jumps and throws. Each winner will receive Sh2.1m in prize money.

Kenya’s two-time world champion Hellen Obiri, who has a season best of 14:26.23 and her compatriot, world silver medallist Margaret Chelimo (14:27.12), will race in women’s 5000m.

Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba, who was disqualified from her 5000m heat at the Tokyo Olympics, is among the top contenders.

The 2018 world U20 champion Beatrice Chebet, Doha Diamond League winner Eva Cherono and Lilian Kasait Rengeruk will be among Kenyan women seeking to clinch the title in Zurich.

In men’s 5000m, Nicholas Kimeli, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympic Games, will be clashing with Olympic gold medallists Selemon Barega of Ethiopia and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

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