Hurdlers sculpture at Shanghai Stadium (© Bob Ramsak)
Welcome to our comprehensive coverage of the Shanghai 2017 meeting.
This page will be updated regularly throughout the day today, tomorrow and right up until the competition begins on Saturday, incorporating news gathered from our correspondents on the ground here in Shanghai and from IAAF, local organisers' and athletes' social media channels. In short, a one-stop shop for all things Shanghai Diamond League.
To get up to speed, first check out our main in-depth meeting preview here. And while you're at it, share it on Facebook and Twitter.
(All times UTC+2)
Saturday 13 May
11:40 - The women's shot put begins in five minutes so that's a wrap here.
Check out the timetable and live results here. And don't forget to tune in to IAAF Radio's live broadcast beginning at 11am GMT. The link is in the banner at the top of the page.
Thanks again for checking in and checking out out our live updates from Shanghai. And if you have a minute or two, we'd love your feedback. Good and bad. Thanks and enjoy the competition!
11:15 - Aries Merritt: Shanghai training diary.
Ever wondered what athletes do the day before a meet? Here's how 110m hurdles world record-holder Aries Merritt spent part of his yesterday. This is an especially wise nine-minute investment for aspiring hurdlers. Watch it.
09:52 - IAAF Diamond League format: a brief reshresher.
The eighth season of the IAAF Diamond League brought with it its biggest restructure since its inception in 2010, with the series adopting a championship-style model whereby athletes earn points at the first 12 meetings to qualify for the two finals.
In previous seasons, athletes accumulated points throughout the IAAF Diamond League season with the overall winner of each of the 32 events being the athlete with the most points, irrespective of whether they won the final.
This year, the winners of each discipline in the finals will be crowned as IAAF Diamond League champions, earning a $50,000 bonus and the Diamond Trophy. A quick reminder of how the Road to the Final now works:
09:24 - Picked your Fantasy Diamond League team yet? Don't say we didn't remind you.
You've got just over an hour to do so. Deadline is at 08:30 UTC.
Picked your team yet? Deadline is at 08:30am UTC -- that's just over one hour from now. Get on it! https://t.co/0ezpD0bLEc— IAAF (@iaaforg) May 13, 2017
08:58 - Good morning and good afternoon - less than three hours to go!
Our correspondents report sunny weather this morning in Shanghai. No rain predicted and temperatures expected to be 27C at the start of the meeting, dropping to about 22C by the conclusion of the three-hour athletics extravaganza.
Some potential meeting records which could be vulnerable today: Men's 800m Wilfred Bungei 1:44.63, men's 110m hurdles Liu Xiang 12.97, men's 400m hurdles Michael Tinsley 48.77 and men's long jump Mitchell Watt 8.44m. On the women's side, 400m Novlene Williams-Mills 49.63 and 3000m steeplechase Hyvin Kiyeng 9:07.42 could also be challenged.
Friday 12 May
18:29 - And that's a wrap.
It's after midnight in Shanghai, our correspondents have hit the hay, so we're calling it a day.
We hope you enjoyed our updates and many thanks to everyone for stopping by. Remember to check back here tomorrow for the latest, right up until the first event begins.
Check your local listings for broadcasts in your area and remember that you can also follow all the action from Shanghai via IAAF Radio from the link at the top of this page.
18:10 - And the pace-setters' targets:
18:06 - The height progressions for tomorrow:
17:59 - Elaine Thompson: “I’ve got more powerful and more aggressive.”
Elaine Thompson was one the stars of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, taking out a memorable 100m and 200m double. Yet the Jamaican, who competes in the 100m tomorrow here in Shanghai, is seeking a little bit more during the 2017 campaign.
"I hope to run some good times and see if I can run below 10.6 (for the 100m, Thompson’s current 100m best is 10.70)," she says. "I think I’ve improved. I’ve got more powerful and more aggressive.”
She also admits that she’s surprising even herself with how fast she is. Listen below.
17:45 - After her heroics at the IAAF World Relays on home turf less than three weeks ago, Shaunae Miller-Uibo says she’s ready for her first 400m of the year.
The Olympic 400m champion is unquestionably one of the sport’s global superstars and she is fully committed to gunning for the 200m/400m double at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in August.
A 400m victor in Shanghai last year, the tall Bahamian is looking for a repeat success tomorrow.
“I’m ready to go," she says. "For me, it is a train-through meet and it is not something we are peaking for, but I’m excited to see what time we are going to put together.”
17:34 - And now a little more attention on the sprinters. We catch up with China's rising sprint talent Xie Zhenye ahead of his 200m outing on Saturday.
On being considered one of China’s most promising sprint stars:
“All the expectation and encouragement is a sort of impetus for me, which drives me to push myself day after day. I will try my best to make more breakthroughs and live up to the expectations.”
On the 10-second barrier:
"For every 100m sprinter, 10 seconds is an important landmark. Even for those who have already achieved that goal, they will have further goals to strive for. A sub-10 result is a long-time goal for me. And I would like to act rather than just talk about it."
17:21 - Renaud Lavillenie again, who admits he’s still on the rebound from injury.
Renaud Lavillenie says he had a far from perfect winter preparation with a quad and a hamstring problem, but he is fit and healthy once more and is optimistic of a good performance in Shanghai.
“I’ll try to get back the competition feeling,” says Lavillenie, who is competing in his first competition for more than three months. “I hope to be able to fight for victory. My first goal is to jump 5.70m. That would be a good minimum for me because I’m still jumping off 16 steps and normally I vault off 20. If I can jump 5.70m, I know I can go higher. I’m pretty confident. I have no pain, no injuries and that is the most important thing for me.”
17:16 - Continuing with the jumpers. Olympic long jump champion Jeff Henderson will also kick off his IAAF Diamond League season in Shanghai.
“I’m just looking for a great result and just doing my best,” the 28-year-old US star said. More from this morning’s press conference.
16:36 - Barshim in 2017: will less be more?
World-leading high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim has adopted a different approach to training this winter and will be looking to fire in Shanghai.
“This year I work less," he says. "My coach says sometimes less is more. He says even if it is 10% less than the season before, you can jump higher, if you are healthier."
After opening up with a 2.35m in Jeddah followed by a 2.36m clearance in Doha, the recipe seems to be working for the Qatari.
15:58 - Next up in our high jumpers line-up? World and Olympic champion Derek Drouin.
During a brief chat with the high flying Canadian, we asked him how his training for combined events was progressing. (And we also discovered he is a big fan of Agatha Christie novels.)
“It’s been going well. Some of the events I haven’t trained for about six or seven years. I have just been trying to get back into it and get more confidence with my training. I definitely think I’ve got a lot more confidence and strength from training for the multis. I’ve learned some body awareness skills which transfer well to the high jump. I plan one more decathlon this year."
On competing in Shanghai for the first time:
“I haven’t been on the circuit and keep things fresh looking forward to kicking off the Diamond League season here.”
15:31 - First up: catching up with Zhang Guowei.
The Chinese high jumper, who took silver at the World Championships two years ago, likes to entertain, as you’ll see in the video below. But he also likes to perform well, which is why he has been a little frustrated with his comeback from injury.
On that injury:
"The injury is in the upper part of my left thigh, which is my jumping leg. After I got injured last year, I have been working hard trying to return to my best level. But after more than ten months, I still have not fully recovered. The healing process is combined with difficulties."
On his expectation in Shanghai:
"The Diamond League Shanghai meeting will be my third competition of the outdoor season. I have jumped 2.24m twice and my goal in Shanghai is to clear 2.29m or 2.32m."
And a quick video, courtesy of the IAAF Diamond League media team.
15:27 - Moving our attention to the men's high jump. Check out this start list!
14:44 - For Milanov, that discus throw set-up offers plenty of motivation.
World and European silver medallist Philip Milanov is looking forward to competing in tomorrow’s combined women’s and discus competition. The men and women will compete one round after another, leading the Belgian to comment:
“I think I will be motivated because the women have to hit the 1kg harder (to make it fly). Maybe, we too can motivate the women."
14:32 - BTW, Shanghai will be making a bit of discus history.
Fans at the Shanghai Diamond League meeting, and those watching elsewhere from around the planet, will be treated to a unique event when the best male and female discus throwers in the world compete simultaneously for the first time ever at a top-level track and field meeting. The men’s and women’s discus events in Shanghai will be held with alternating men’s and women’s rounds.
14:16 - Robert-Michon’s whirlwind (!) Shanghai tour.
Staking a strong claim for most heroic competitive effort this weekend is Olympic discus silver medallist Melina Robert-Michon.
The 37-year-old French athlete only arrived in Shanghai today, competes tomorrow and then flies straight back to Paris a few hours later at midnight. She lands in Paris on Sunday morning only to then compete later that day in Montgeron in France. Wow! Beat that!
“To compete in Shanghai is my first big meet of the season," she says. "A chance to see where I am at with the other girls. It is the beginning.
“But then competing in Montgeron is important to participate because we don’t have a lot of competitions in France in the discus.”
13:37 - And not to be outdone, Olympic pole vault champion Thiago Braz on his Shanghai debut:
13:20 - Among those challenging Lavillenie tomorrow is China’s Xue Changrui, an Olympic finalist.
On his expectations for Saturday:
"It is really a strong field tomorrow. I have competed with most of them at the Olympics, so there will be no special pressure. I am looking forward to the competition tomorrow."
On the chances of breaking his own 5.80m national record:
"Last year’s Olympic Games was kind of a setback for me. I am trying to rebuild my confidence through competitions. I do not want to think too much right now. What I need to do is to find my best form back as soon as possible."
12:42 - Lavillenie on his Diamond trophy collection: yes, more please.
Renaud Lavillenie is the only athlete to have won his event at each of the Diamond League series' first seven seasons. But no, seven trophies isn't enough.
11:57 - Return Engagements III. Sandra Perkovic is gunning for Shanghai victory No.4.
Croatia’s two-time Olympic champion’s impressions of China’s IAAF Diamond League fixture:
"This is one of my favorite Diamond League meeting because every time I came here I won and here I threw my Diamond League record which is 70.88m. There is a great audience here. Everything is just perfect for me. So I always like to come to this town."
On her expectations tomorrow:
"I am in very, very good shape and as I said before I like to compete here so I think you can expect very, very good throws. Who knows, maybe further than 70.88m."
10:53 - Return engagements II. Gao Xinglong is back to defend his Shanghai title.
The 23-year-old Chinese long jumper on returning to Shanghai:
"I like the stadium here. It will be my second time to compete here. Last year I jumped 8.14m to claim the title and I believe I can jump further than 8.14m this time as I am in a better physical condition. But being the defending champion will not be a special pressure for me."
On his expectations for the 2017 season:
"Last year I ended up with three fouls at the Olympic Games. It was really a disappointing experience for me because my preparation was quite good and I was expecting a podium finish in Rio. It was quite a lesson for me.
"Now, I think I am psychologically much stronger than I was one year ago. In Shanghai I will face a very strong field. If I can achieve a good result here, it will definitely be a big boost of my confidence when I go to London for the World Championships. The outdoor season has just began. I will take my time and try to find my best form."
On the possibility of breaking the national record of 8.47m:
"I think it is not impossible. But I have to be patient. After all it is 8.47m. I have to wait for the right time and right competition."
10:20 - Return engagements.
Of the 11 returning events here from 12 months ago, we have some eight returning victors from the 2016 edition in Shanghai: Kenyan Ferguson Rotich (800m), Jamaican Omar McLeod (110m hurdles), Sam Kendricks of the US (pole vault), China's Gao Xinglong (long jump), Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo (400m), Kenyans Faith Kipyegon (1500m) and Hyvin Kiyeng (steeplechase) and Sandra Perkovic (discus) of Croatia.
09:21 - Catching up with Chinese shot putter Gong Lijiao, the 2012 Olympic and 2015 world silver medallist.
The 28-year-old’s expectations for Saturday?
"It will be my first competition in the outdoor season. And I will be competing in front of the home fans. To be honest, I am a little bit nervous. I am not in my best form right now, so tomorrow I will be satisfied with throws over 19.50m."
07:51 - Watch the Shanghai pre-meet press conference live stream beginning at 8am local (UTC-8).
The athlete guests line-up:
07:48 - Good morning and good afternoon, happy Friday to one and all.
A weather update from our correspondents in Shanghai:
It's wet, wet, wet here in Shanghai today as you can see from the image below. The good news is on competition day tomorrow, temperatures will reach a maximum of 27c with no rain predicted.
Thursday 11 May
22:15 - Reminder: press conference live stream on Friday
That's a wrap for this evening. Be sure to join us throughout the day tomorrow, Friday, beginning at 2pm Shanghai time (GMT +8) for the live stream of the main pre-meet press conference. That's 4pm in Melbourne, 3pm in Tokyo, 8am in central Europe, 7am in London, 2am on the US east coast and 11pm Thursday on the US west coast.
21:40 - Now, Shaunae quizzes Omar.
And while on the topic of McLeod, here's Shaunae Miller-Uibo turning her mic towards the Olympic 110m hurdles champion. Again, courtesy of the globe-trotting Diamond League website media team.
21:17 - More with Omar McLeod, this time about things on the track.
On his preparations for the current season:
"We tried seven steps to the first hurdle, but I found I was reaching too much. Next year without a World Championships (or Olympic Games) is when I will make those changes. I feel in my workouts I’ve gotten stronger and faster, especially in the weights room and just hope to keep that momentum going."
On his opening 13.04 clocking for the season at Drake Relays:
“I knew I was training well, I just didn’t know where I was at competitively. To run 13,04 in inclement weather was a great start. I know I am right where I want to be and the times that I am running in practice make sense."
20:48 - Have you picked your Fantasy Diamond League team yet? If not, what exactly are you waiting for?
20:03 - Among the eagerly awaited season's debuts on tap in Shanghai? Olympic champion David Rudisha's.
On his preparation for his first race of the season:
“This year I have done things differently. I didn’t go to Australia and compete in early March like I usually do. I have some good build and I’m eager to go back (to Kenya after Shanghai and do some good speed work.”
On his thoughts for Saturday:
“This is always a tough race, because it is a fast race. I might be in good form but it is always hard because it is my first competition. I feel like my body is in good form, but I’ve not yet done good speed work.”
19:55 - Omar quizzes Shaunae
This afternoon Olympic champions Omar McLeod and Shaunae Miller-Uibo traded their spikes for some mics. (Fear not, fans, it was just temporary. For now.) First up, Miller-Uibo in the hot seat. Watch.
19:36 - Good evening world!
And welcome to our Live coverage ahead of the IAAF Diamond League Shanghai meeting. We're just over 40 hours from the start of the second stop of the 2017 IAAF Diamond League series, this weekend in China's largest city where a dozen reigning Olympic champions have gathered to either kick off, or resume their Road to the Final.