Thompson-Herah headlines raft of stars for Diamond League finale in Zurich

Thursday, September 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah.

Zurich, Wednesday

Jamaican sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah (pictured) will be one of 19 Olympic champions vying for prize money and glory in the Diamond League final in Zurich, just a month after the end of the Tokyo Games.

Thompson-Herah picked up three golds in the Japanese capital in the 100m, 200m and sprint relay and will not have to face her compatriot and great rival Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Zurich.

The Olympic champion timed the second fastest 100m ever run in Eugene last month, her time of 10.54sec just five-hundredths short of the record set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988.

Action at the bumper season finale gets under way on Wednesday, with the shot put, long jump, men’s and women’s 5000m and women’s high jump finals all to be held at the Sechselaeutenplatz square on the shores of Lake Zurich.

All 25 other finals are slated for Thursday at the iconic Letzigrund Stadium, where more than 20,000 spectators traditionally create a raucous atmosphere.

The winner in each discipline at the final receives $30,000 and a Diamond League trophy.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm takes to the track for the first time in the 400m hurdles since setting a sensational world record of 45.94sec when winning Olympic gold.

His American rival Rai Benjamin is absent, but Olympic bronze medallist Alison Dos Santos of Brazil will offer some competition.

Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, another world record setter in Tokyo, will be in Zurich and is seemingly in good enough form to challenge the 15.67m mark she set in the triple jump.

Also present will be Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, at 21 already the dominant force in men’s pole vaulting.

A Diamond League winner at both Paris when he cleared 6.01m and Brussels (6.05m), the US-born vaulter tried on both occasions to get over 6.19m to better his own world record. He was not far away and it is surely now just a matter of time before he sets a new benchmark.

Ethiopian-born Dutch runner Sifan Hassan, who won two golds and a bronze in an unprecedented distance showing in Tokyo, races in the 1500m. - AFP

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