The 2016 Diamond League season is almost done and dusted, with the Belgian city of Brussels set to host the second of two finals at the AG Memorial Van Damme on Friday, September 9.
A total of 16 new Diamond Race Champions will be crowned in events that will witness top notch clashes, as 31 athletes are in the mix for the Diamond Trophy.
In the first final held in Zurich last week, each discipline seemed like a Rio 2016 rematch, with the women’s 200m being the highlight of the night, which witnessed Olympic Champion, Elaine Thompson squaring up against Silver medallist, Dafne Schippers and USA’s Allyson Felix.
Thompson, was the victorious one once again clocking a Diamond League Record (DLR) of 21.85s ahead of Schippers. Though the Jamaican got all the maximum points, but the Dutchwoman’s position and points accumulated over the course of the Diamond League season were enough to win the Diamond Race.
The pair will be going against each other once again, this time in the 100m with Thompson having the edge as the Diamond Leader. A win or 2nd place finish, will see her win her first Diamond Trophy to cap her outstanding 2016 season.
World Record (WR) holder in the women’s 10,000m, Almaz Ayana will be hoping to put behind the disappointment of a 3rd place finish in the 5000m at the Rio Olympics, when she files out on the track in Brussels.
The Ethiopian legend will be aiming to smash the 5000m World Record (WR), thereby exerting revenge on her stiffest competitor in the field, Hellen Obiri who was the surprise Silver medallist in Rio.
Another athlete gunning for the WR is Conseslus Kipruto in the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, with the Kenyan already leading the Diamond standings with an unassailable margin.
The Olympic Champion will be targeting a very fast time, which might be enough to break not just the Diamond League Record (DLR) but the WR as well, to end his eventful 2016 outdoor and unbeaten Diamond League season.
Meanwhile in the men’s 800m, the battle for the Diamond Race will be between Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich and Frenchman Pierre Ambroise-Bosse. Rotich already has a 6 point lead, which may serve as motivation to win his race, and seal his name on the Trophy.
Another event set for a winner takes it all, is the women’s 400m, as just three points separate Stephenie-Ann McPherson from Natasha Hastings, meaning whoever finishes first will win the Diamond Trophy.
London 2012 Olympic 1500m Champion, Asbel Kiprop will aim to get his act together after failing to win a medal in Rio. The Kenyan will be running against a stacked field that includes Olympic medallists, Tauofik Makhloufi and Abdelaati Iguider, while a win for his countryman Elijah Manangoi will see Kiprop being dethroned as the Diamond Champion.
Panama’s Alonso Edward already has a massive 23 point lead in the men’s 200m, which automatically makes him the 2016 Diamond Race Champion.
The Rio 2016 finallist will hope to put up a good performance, when he races against a respectable field that comprises of Olympic Bronze medallist, Christophe Lemaitre, Great Britain’s Adam Gemili and Jamaica’s Julian Forte.
Field events won’t be left out on some of the interesting clashes, with the men’s High Jump headlining the events. A win for one of Bogdan Bondarenko, Robbie Gabarz, Mutaaz Essa Barshim and Erik Kynard will see them being crowned the Diamond Race Champion.
However, two athletes in Caterine Ibarguen (women’s Triple Jump) and Piotr Malachowski (men’s Discus Throw) will be gunning for their fourth Diamond Trophy. Although Ibarguen already has the Trophy in her kitty going into Brussels, Malachowski will need to finish as low as 6th to be denied claiming the Trophy.
Other athletes that have been certified as Diamond Champions are Ekaterini Stefanidi (women’s Pole Vault) and Orlando Ortega (men’s 110m Hurdles).