Andre De Grasse Looks To Win Again, Kiprop To Prove Himself In Stockholm

Andre De Grasse Looks To Win Again, Kiprop To Prove Himself In Stockholm
The Stockholm Diamond League meet will see a host of world-class competitors going head-to-head to score some precious Diamond Race points on Sunday, June 18, before the series takes a break for most countries' national championships.

The meet will take place from 4 AM to noon ET, with the best races beginning at 9 AM. Here is a look at what to watch for and expect in Stockholm.

Men's 400m Hurdles: Jackson looks for a win before USAs

Who: Bershawn Jackson, LJ Van Zyl, Yasmani Copello
When: Sunday, 10:03 AM ET
Why: With three men having PRs under 48 seconds, this race will be a hot one. Bershawn "Batman" Jackson is looking for a final win before the U.S. championships next week, but his path to the win won't be easy against South Africa's LJ Van Zyl and Turkey's Yasmani Copello. Van Zyl (47.66 PB) will be eyeing a return to form after failing to break 49 seconds so far this season, while Copello (47.92 PB, third at Rio) will be looking to open up strong following his bronze Rio medal in his first international race of 2017.

Men's 110m Hurdles: Spain's Ortega will battle Russia's Shubenkov

Who: Orlando Ortega, Sergey Shubenkov
When: Sunday, 11:18 AM ET
Why: Spain's Orlando Ortega has finished second or better in all but one of his 13 races this year, and he will look to continue that trend by coming home with his first DL win of the season in Stockholm. One man who could challenge is Russia's Sergey Shubenkov, who will be competing at this meet as a neutral athlete in the wake of his country's IAAF national ban. Shubenkov holds a PR of 12.98 seconds in this event and has a good chance to improve upon his third-place showing in Rome, where he ran 13.21 earlier this year. Ortega (12.94 PR) and Shubenkov are the only sub-13 men in this field, so either of them should take the title.

Men's 1500m: With Kiprop an unknown, it's anyone's game

Who: Asbel Kiprop, Abdelaati Iguider, Ayanleh Souleiman
When: Sunday, 11:28 AM ET
Why: With seven men at 3:31 or under and three men who have broken the 3:30 barrier, this race will be deep and could see a fast time if it all goes right. The biggest question going into this race will be that of Asbel Kiprop's fitness. From 2011 to 2015, Kiprop ran 3:26.69 and won three straight outdoor world championships. While he has certainly seen his fair share of success in the Diamond League over the past few years, his 2017 has been much less fruitful. In all of his domestic 1500s this year, he has failed to better 3:42.6, and his DL season debut at the Prefontaine Classic was hardly better as he ran a 3:58.24 mile for last place there, citing illness. Can Kiprop return to form with a win in Stockholm, or will a different talent such as Abdelaati Iguider (3:28.79 PB, fifth in Rio) or Ayanleh Souleiman (3:29.58 PB, fourth in Rio) be ready to take the mantle?

Men's 100m: De Grasse will double back after Oslo

Who: Andre De Grasse, Churandy Martina, Ben Youssef Meité
When: Sunday, 11:40 AM ET
Why: Just three days after winning the Oslo Diamond League 100m, 22-year-old Rio 100m bronze medalist Andre De Grasse of Canada will be hoping to continue his streak in Stockholm, but he'll have to beat three other sub-10 men to the line. De Grasse has been running strong in 2017, but he has failed to break 10 seconds with legal wind since that race in Rio. Two of the strongest challengers looking to steal his thunder will be the Netherlands' Churandy Martina (9.91 PB, fifth in Rio) and Côte d'Ivoire's Ben Youssef Meité (9.96 PB, 6th in Rio).

Women's 800m: Niyonsaba and Wambui highlight a Semenya-less field

Who: Francine Niyonsaba, Margaret Wambui, Melissa Bishop
When: Sunday, 11:53 AM ET
Why: It's rare to find a women's Diamond League 800m without Caster Semenya these days, but this field certainly has the talent to put on a good show, highlighted by Olympic silver medalist Francine Niyonsaba and bronze medalist Margaret Wambui. In all likelihood, those two will finish one-two on Sunday, but there are a slew of fast women not far behind, including Canada's Melissa Bishop (1:57.02 PR, fourth in Rio) and Great Britain's Lynsey Sharp (1:57.69 PR, sixth in Rio). Niyonsaba and Wambui will likely just run for the win, but with the right pacing an improvement upon the 1:56.71 meet record may be possible.
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