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News02 Jan 2018

2017 IAAF Diamond League review – part one


Christian Taylor wins the triple jump at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene (© Victah Sailer)

The eighth edition of the IAAF Diamond League series was the first in which the overall title in each event was determined solely by performance at one of the two final meetings in Zurich and Brussels.

As always, finals of the 32 events were shared by the latter two cities. But this year points gained during the previous 12 meetings, which earned athletes a place in their final, were not carried forward. That meant every athlete arrived at their respective final with an equal opportunity of winning.

In all, US$3.2million was at stake in the 32 finals in Zurich and Brussels, with $100,000 on offer in each discipline.

Doha, 5 May

Germany’s Olympic javelin champion Thomas Rohler gave the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season historical significance as he won with 93.90m, the longest throw in the world for 20 years.

The only man to have thrown farther was Jan Zelezny, whose world record of 98.48m was set in 1996.

Thomas Rohler moves up to No.2 all time after his 93.90m javelin effort at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha


The 25-year-old German – whose previous personal best was 91.28m – thus registered a world-leading mark and a meeting, IAAF Diamond League and national record.

Another extraordinary performance occurred in the women’s 100m hurdles, where world record-holder Kendra Harrison won in 12.59 before revealing that, during warm-up, she had injured her hand on a hurdle. It turned out to be broken, requiring surgery to insert a metal rod and six screws.

Home favourite Mutaz Essa Barshim won the men’s high jump and topped the season’s world list with 2.36m.

Jamaica’s Olympic 200m champion Elaine Thompson won in 22.19, with Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands, world 200m champion, clocking 22.45.

South Africa’s Olympic champion Caster Semenya won the 800m in 1:56.61 – another early world lead. Ethiopia’s world 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba, making her 800m debut, finished fifth in 1:59.37.

Other seasonal world leads came from three Kenyan runners. Elijah Manangoi won the men’s 1500m in 3:31.90, Ronald Kwemoi took the 3000m in 7:28.73, and world champion Hyvin Kiyeng won the steeplechase in a meeting record of 9:00.12. Kiyeng’s compatriot Celliphine Chespol, 18, finished fourth in 9:05.70, a world U20 record.

Shanghai, 13 May

Luvo Manyonga added seven centimetres to the IAAF Diamond League long jump record with a final-round meeting record of 8.61m.

The 26-year-old South African, who had jumped 8.65m earlier in the year, bettered the mark of 8.54m set in 2011 by Australia’s Mitchell Watt in Stockholm.

Nineteen-year-olds Noah Lyles of the United States and Kenyan Kipyegon Bett produced headline performances in the 200m and 800m respectively.

Lyles ran his first sub-20 200m, taking 0.19 off his best to equal the world-leading mark of 19.90, set at altitude a month earlier by South Africa’s Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk.

Bett surged past his fading Kenyan teammate David Rudisha, the double Olympic and world champion, to win in 1:44.70.

Three Olympic champions produced early world leads. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson won the 100m in 10.78, Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas won the 400m in 49.77, and Kenya’s Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon produced the first sub-four-minute 1500m of the season with 3:59.22.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo dominates in Shanghai


In the women’s 5000m, Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri also went top of the season’s world list with 14:22.47.

In another innovation for the IAAF Diamond League, men’s and women’s discus throwers were competing simultaneously.

Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia won with 66.94m, while the men’s competition went to Philip Milanov of Belgium with 64.94m.

The high jump went to Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim with 2.33m.

Eugene, 27 May

Home triple jumper Christian Taylor achieved 18.11m – the fourth longest jump in history, a world lead, a meeting record and an IAAF Diamond League record.

The 26-year-old’s compatriot Will Claye had taken the lead on countback in the fourth round after equalling Taylor’s wind-assisted 17.82m with a wind-legal version. Claye’s own fifth-round effort was a wind-assisted 18.05m.

A super-charged women’s 200m saw home sprinter Tori Bowie run an IAAF Diamond League record of 21.77 to defeat Jamaica’s Olympic champion Elaine Thompson and Dutch world champion Dafne Schippers.

Torie Bowie wins the 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene


Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas was second to the US Olympic silver medallist in a national record of 21.91.

In the women’s high jump, world champion Maria Lasitskene won with a personal best of 2.03m.

Brittney Reese won the women’s long jump with a world-leading distance of 7.01m, with fellow US jumper Tianna Bartoletta, the Olympic champion, managing 6.83m.

Mo Farah won the 5000m in a world-leading 13:00.70.

Olympic shot put champion Ryan Crouser won on home soil with 22.43m – the second longest throw of the season at that point.

Ashley Spencer went top of the 2017 world list with a 400m hurdles lifetime best of 53.38.

The Bowerman Mile went to Kenya’s Ronald Kwemoi in 3:49.04, ahead of compatriots Elijah Manangoi (3:49.08) and Timothy Cheruiyot (3:49.64).

In non-scoring events, 18-year-old Kenyan Celliphine Chespol won the women’s 3000m steeplechase in a world U20 record of 8:58.78, the second-fastest time ever recorded, despite almost losing a shoe at the penultimate water jump.

Faith Kipyegon won the 1500m in 3:59.67, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba won the 5000m in 14:25.22, and Olympic champion Omar McLeod took the 110m hurdles in 13.01.

Rome, 8 June

Colombia’s 33-year-old world and Olympic triple jump champion Caterine Ibarguen had her unbeaten run of more than a year ended by Yulimar Rojas. The 21-year-old Venezuelan won with 14.84m.

Ibarguen – beaten only once between taking silver at the 2012 Olympics and gold at the 2016 Games – had a final-round best of 14.78m.

Yulimar Rojas sailing to the triple jump victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome


A month after his 93.90m throw in Doha, Germany’s Olympic javelin champion Thomas Rohler unleashed a final effort of 90.06m to beat compatriot Johannes Vetter’s 88.15m.

Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands and Hellen Obiri earned runaway victories in world-leading times over 1500m and 5000m respectively. Hassan clocked 3:56.22 and Obiri, the Olympic silver medallist, earned a Kenyan record of 14:18.37.

Maria Lasitskene earned another high jump win with 2.00m.

Greece’s Olympic pole vault champion Ekaterini Stefanidi won with 4.85m.

Oslo, 15 June

Sixteen-year-old home runner Jakob Ingebrigtsen won a Bislett Games Dream Mile designated, for the first time, as an U20 race. Another young Norwegian prodigy, 21-year-old Karsten Warholm, defeated a 400m hurdles field that included the 31-year-old US Olympic champion Kerron Clement.

Ingebrigtsen won in 3:56.29 – well inside the 3:58.07 he had recorded at Eugene to become the youngest four-minute miler in history.

But Warholm, a decathlete-turned-hurdler who had reached the previous year’s Olympic semi-finals, provided the emotional highpoint as he lowered his national record to 48.25. Clement came to grief at the seventh hurdle and finished last.

Karsten Warholm en route to his surprise victory at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Oslo


Mutaz Essa Barshim cleared a season-leading 2.38m to better the stadium high jump record of 2.37m set 28 years earlier by the Cuban who holds the world record of 2.45m, Javier Sotomayor.

The concluding men’s 1500m – involving a field that would normally have raced under the Dream Mile banner – went to Britain’s 22-year-old Jake Wightman, who took more than a second off his personal best in clocking 3:34.17. Kenya’s Elijah Manangoi finished second in 3:34.30 as two former British middle-distance legends, IAAF President Sebastian Coe and the BBC's Steve Cram, looked on.

World 200m champion Dafne Schippers earned the 25th birthday present of victory in 22.31 after winning an appeal against a false start.

South Africa’s Olympic 800m champion Caster Semenya narrowly defeated Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba to win in 1:57.79.

Stockholm, 18 June

A huge following wind of 4.8m/s helped Andre De Grasse run his fastest ever 100m in 9.69 – which remained the fastest time recorded for the distance in 2017, albeit inadmissible for record purposes.

Twenty-one-year-old Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya won the men’s 1500m in a world-leading 3:30.77. Norway’s 16-year-old wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen, last by 30 metres, clocked a European age-16 best of 3:39.92.

His 21-year-old compatriot Karsten Warholm produced another winning 400m hurdles win in 48.82.

Luvo Manyonga’s first-round effort of 8.36m proved enough to win a men’s long jump from which he retired after straining his ankle.

Long jump winner Luvo Manyonga at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm


Twenty-one-year-old Steven Gardiner of The Bahamas won the men’s 400m in 44.58.

Maria Lasitskene won with a high jump of 2.00m – reaching that height for the fifth time in the season.

There was a rare defeat for Croatia’s Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic, whose best of 67.75m left her behind Cuba’s Yaimi Perez’s 67.92m.

Daniel Stahl, seeking a home victory, produced his fifth 68-metre-plus discus throw of the season, 68.13m, but lost to Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres, who managed 68.36m.

Paris, 1 July

Two of the world’s finest 1500m runners charged for the line in the Stade Charlety, the new home to the Meeting de Paris after years in the Stade de France. And it was Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands who got there first in 3:57.10, 0.41 ahead of Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon.

Home vaulter Renaud Lavillenie was beaten by Sam Kendricks, fresh from his first six-metre vault at the US trials, who won in 5.82m.

Germany’s Olympic javelin champion Thomas Rohler was third with 87.23m behind the 88.74m of fellow German Johannes Vetter and the 88.02m from the Czech Republic’s Jakub Vadlejch, which equalled his personal best.

Mutaz Essa Barshim secured another men’s high jump win with 2.35m.

Jamaica’s Olympic 100m and 200m champion Elaine Thompson won over the shorter sprint in 10.91 ahead of the Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou, who set a season’s best of 10.96.

Olympic champions Ruth Jebet and Omar McLeod, who had arrived talking of world records in their respective 3000m steeplechase and 110m hurdles events, both ended up limping away.

Jebet, who fell at the water jump with just over three laps remaining, was fourth in a race won by Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech in 9:01.69.

Beatrice Chepkoech on her way to winning the steeplechase at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris


McLeod finished last in 13.41 before subsiding to the track holding the back of his right knee. Victory went to Jamaican teammate Ronald Levy in a personal best of 13.05.

Ethiopia’s Muktar Edris won a high quality 3000m race in a personal best of 7:32.31.

Botswana’s 2012 Olympic 800m silver medallist Nijel Amos held off the challenge of three top Kenyans to win in a season’s best of 1:44.24.

The men’s 200m went to Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev in 20.15.

China’s world and 2012 Olympic silver medallist Gong Lijiao earned shot put victory with six escalating distances, all beyond her closest opponent, culminating in 19.14m.

Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF