$1.6 Million+ Is Up For Grabs In Farah's Last Hurrah At The Zurich DL
Men's 1500m: WC bronze medalist Ingebrigtsen and Oslo champ Wightman face Kenyan field even deeper than Worlds
One of the great beauties of Diamond League competition is that, unlike, Worlds, it isn't limited to three or four per country -- and with seven Kenyan competitors at 3:32 or better in this race (compared with just six from all countries combined in the Worlds final), the men's 1500m is a prime example of how a race can benefit from that depth. The favorite in World champ Elijah Manangoi will be looking to cap off an excellent season with his first Diamond Race crown, but in a one-off race anything can happen -- as we learned in Oslo when Britain's Jake Wightman surprised all by stealing a rare non-African DL 1500 win. Wightman and World bronze medalist Jakob Ingebrigtsen will both be toeing the line in Zurich, and the stakes have never been higher.
Women's 200m: It's a full-blown Worlds rematch for Schippers, Ta Lou, & Miller-Uibo, but with a big twist
Dafne Schippers, Marie Ta Lou, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo were probably just beginning get comfy with one another. Any time you see the entire Worlds podium from an event collide, you know it'll be a great race -- but what makes this one so special is that they'll be joined by reigning Olympic champ Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, who chose to forgo the longer sprint at Worlds this year to focus on the 100m. Thompson didn't look great at Worlds but with a rebound she'll be hoping to challenge the two-time World champ in Schippers for the win. NCAA recordholder Kyra Jefferson will also be making an appearance with a shot at finally dipping under 22 seconds if the conditions are right.
Women's 3K Steeple: Coburn out to prove her Worlds victory wasn't a fluke
We all may still be adjusting to it, but that doesn't make it any less true: Emma Coburn is the reigning World Champion in the 3000m steeplechase. Though her flat 3K of 8:48.6 in Birmingham was a PR, expectations have never been higher for the American, and she knew she could do better than that 11th-place showing. In Zurich she'll have a chance to prove it in her main event, and though her compatriot in Worlds silver medalist Courtney Frerichs will be absent on account of not qualifying for the DL final, all the top Kenyan-born talents in Chepkoech, Jebet, Chespol, and Kiyeng will be more than enough to push her. Coburn is clearly in an unreal shape right now, but according to her post-Birmingham comments, a sub-9:00 American clocking might just have to wait for next year.
Men's 400m Hurdles: Karsten Warholm could score a big PB and a win
As puddles lined the track during the 400mH final at Worlds, it seemed destined that a fast time wasn't in the cards for the eventual surprise winner Karsten Warholm of Norway. In Zurich -- should the weather cooperate -- fast times will be plentiful, and Warholm is clearly better than his 48.25 PR achieved in winning the Oslo DL this year (he ran just a tenth of a second off of that in London). Having world leader Kyron McMaster pushing the pace will certainly help, as he's the only performer in the world to have run under 48 seconds this year. They'll be joined by Americans Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson, with Clement looking to return to his 2016 Olympic gold-medalist form with a win here.
Women's 800m: Lipsey gets another crack at the Big Three -- Will Semenya go for time?
Though her training partner Ajee Wilson was the first to complete the task in Monaco and Worlds (she didn't qualify for Zurich due to an untimely suspension), Charlene Lipsey will be looking to become the second woman since the start of 2016 to break up the Olympic podium trio of Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba, and Margaret Wambui, who have never lost to anyone but themselves and Wilson over 800m in the past two years. Semenya had to split a 1:55.16 to win Worlds, and with the fast-paced nature of DL races we may get to see a similarly fast time in Zurich. After skipping out on Worlds, three-time Diamond Race champ Eunice Sum will also be returning to the track for the final here looking to redeem herself.
Men's 100m: Gatlin shines in the biggest pro 100m since Bolt's retirement
It's finally time to adjust to a post-Usain Bolt sprinting world in track and field -- and the reality is that, for the time being at least, that world is let by Justin Gatlin. Gatlin had a slow start to his season with injury, but he's come on strong recently headlined by his first global championship since 2005 at Worlds, dethroning Bolt in the process. He's got to be considered the favorite in Zurich, but there are a number of formidable athletes that could steal the title, including Akani Simbine of South Africa, who has equaled Gatlin's gold-medal time with his 9.92 from earlier this season. Ronnie Baker and Isiah Young round out the U.S. contingent, and both will also be looking to score big on prize money.
Men's 5K: The Farah vs Edris rematch we didn't know we needed, plus Chelimo's shot at sub-13
For nearly a decade, the Kenyans and Ethiopians have theorized how to beat Mo Farah in a global championship to no avail -- until Muktar Edris finally did it with a devastating kick in the London 5K, leaving Mo to settle for silver. And who would have thought that the two would collide one final time in Mo's last ever track race just days later? Mo looked good in winning the Birmingham 3K a few days ago, but his task in Zurich will be much harder -- especially because with Collins Cheboi and Cornelius Kangogo on pacing duties, this race will be set up for a fast time (remember that Edris and youngster Selemon Barega both dropped 12:55s in their last DL 5K). The World bronze medalist in USA's Paul Chelimo came just milliseconds away from out-leaning Farah last week, and he hasn't really gone for it in any international 5Ks this year aside from a bad day at the Pre Classic, so he'll be looking to hop on that train for a PR.
One interesting unknown in this race will be that of Ronald Kwemoi. After running a near-unthinkable 3:30.89 1500 at the high altitude of Nairobi in the Kenyan World team trials, he did not perform to expectation at Worlds but many have long speculated that his true talent lies in the longer distances. Can he resurrect his season with another impressive performance over a distance he has yet to prove himself in?
Women's 100m Hurldes: A Keni-less field doesn't make this any less exciting with Pearson back in the mix
If this preview was written two weeks ago, it would probably start by lamenting that world record-holder Keni Harrison wasn't in it. But despite her bad day at Worlds, it's clear that the rest of the world is more than ready to pick up the slack, headlined by the comeback story of Australia's Sally Pearson who picked up her first global title since 2012 in London. A staggering five Americans are in this final, with Jasmin Stowers holding the best time on the year but Dawn Harper-Nelson coming off the best Worlds finish (second), and any one of them could have a shot to take down Pearson for the $50,000 grand prize.
Men's 400m: Healthier than ever, Makwala is on display in his favorite event after Worlds disappointment
Isaac Makwala of Botswana became the unlikely hero of the World Championships after hastily qualifying for the final of the men's 200m despite contracting a norovirus that barred him from the 400m final days earlier. Though world record-holder and defending champ Wayde van Niekerk won't be present for it, Makwala will finally get his day in the sun in Zurich against a strong field, including two Americans in Gil Roberts and Vernon Norwood, and one other sub-44 performer on the year in the Bahama's Steven Gardiner. Without the added stress of a 200m double to run, Makwala may be looking to nab an improvement on his 43.84 PR in what he deems his main event in Zurich.