US sprinter Noah Lyles clocked 19.51 in the 200m Diamond League Final on Thursday, breaking Usain Bolt’s 10-year-old meeting record to become one of 26 new Diamond League champions crowned on a dramatic night at Zurich’s Letzigrund Stadium.
Lyles had promised to “obliterate” world records ahead of the meeting, but had to make to do with smashing Bolt’s Zurich record of 19.66, set in 2012 as he stormed to a fifth career Diamond Trophy.
The US sprinter, drawn in lane six, was already up on Olympic silver medallist and defending Diamond League champion Kenny Bednarek half way round the bend. By the time he entered the straight, Lyles was clearly ahead of the rest of the field – and that was before he’d unleashed his trademark strong finish.
He crossed the line in 19.52, an incredible half a second clear of his opponents, and broke Usain Bolt’s meeting record of 19.66 from 10 years ago.
Canada’s Aaron Brown placed second in a photofinish from Alexander Ogando of the Dominican Republic, both men clocking 20.02.
Fellow world champion Shericka Jackson’s winning margin was even greater in the women’s half-lap sprint.
Just as she did at the World Championships, the Jamaican dominated the race to win in 21.80 from Olympic bronze medallist Gabby Thomas (22.38), who was returning to action following a mid-season injury.
Nigeria’s world record-holder Amusan capped a sensational season by adding the Diamond Trophy to her ever-expanding prize cabinet, beating a highly competitive field in a thrilling 100m hurdles final.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to breaking records – her world record of 12.12 was set in the semifinals at the World Championships in Oregon, where she went on to get gold, and her Commonwealth title was gained in a Games record. This time it was a meeting record that fell, Amusan running 12.29 to take a tenth of a second off the mark that had been set by USA’s multiple Olympic and world gold medallist Gail Devers in 2000.
It ensured a clear win, and in a field featuring a whole host of other global medallists it was USA’s 22-year-old Tia Jones, the 2018 world U20 champion, who secured second place in 12.40 – the second-fastest time of her career so far behind the 12.38 PB she set for the runner-up spot in Brussels. Jamaica’s world silver medallist Britany Anderson was third with 12.42, while Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn finished fourth in 12.49.
“Everyone has doubted me. I just had to prove myself, that I have got it,” said Amusan, who also won the African title this year. “I am just so thankful for all of this season. I am full of emotions. Now, vacation, rest and then back to practice.”
World leads for Paulino, Ingebrigtsen and Korir
Dominican Republic’s world and Olympic silver medallist Marileidy Paulino was the favourite going into the women’s 400m final and she lived up to that billing in style, running the race of her life to win the first Diamond League title of the second day of action in Zurich.
The fastest race in the world this season, the 25-year-old became the 12th athlete to ever dip under 49 seconds, clocking 48.99 for a clear win. She led the top three under 50 seconds, her compatriot and fellow world finalist Fiordaliza Cofil finishing second in 49.93 and world bronze medallist Sada Williams of Barbados placing third in 49.98.
Norway’s Olympic 1500m and world 5000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen missed out on this year’s world 1500m title but he wasn’t about to let the Diamond Trophy escape him.
Always in control, the 21-year-old – who rebounded to get 5000m gold in Oregon – ran a determined race and was never challenged as he took three hundredths from his own world lead to win in 3:29.02.
Such was the performance, it led to applause from his biggest rival in the race, Kenya’s 2019 world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, at the finish line. Cheruiyot, winner of the past four Diamond League titles, finished second in 3:30.27, while Australia’s Commonwealth champion Oliver Hoare was third in 3:30.59, the second-fastest 1500m of his career so far.
Content to follow the pacemaker through 400m in 54.19 and 800m in 1:51.41, Ingebrigtsen led through 1200m in 2:48.08 and eased away to add the Diamond Trophy to his hardware collection, which from this season also includes two more European titles won in Munich last month.
Emmanuel Korir was another world and Olympic champion to end his season with his fastest time of the year.
The world and Olympic 800m champion, who was rebounding from a loss in Brussels last weekend, timed his race to perfection here in Zurich. He held back from the early tempo, with the pacemaker leading the field through halfway in 50.41, then allowed world bronze medallist Marco Arop and world 1500m champion Jake Wightman to duel it out until the field hit the home straight.
Korir then kicked hard and passed a fading Arop just before the line, winning in a world-leading 1:43.26. Arop was a close second in 1:43.38 while Wightman placed third in 1:44.10.
Dos Santos and Bol continue 400m hurdles dominance
Alison Dos Santos wrapped up a perfect year by notching up yet another victory – his 11th this year, including heats and finals – in the 400m hurdles.
The 22-year-old world champion had world finalist Khallifah Rosser for company up until they entered the home straight, but the long-striding Brazilian pulled clear in the final 100 metres, charging through the line in 46.98. It was a record-breaking third sub-47-second clocking of the year and just 0.06 shy of the meeting record set by Karsten Warholm in 2019.
Rosser held on to take second place in 47.76 with his US compatriot CJ Allen finishing third in 48.21.
“I am nearly invincible, and that is nice,” said Dos Santos. “I believe in myself and I have a lot of confidence. After Eugene, my life changed. Now I have a target, now I am world champion. Now everyone wants to beat me and I want to fight for the win.”
Femke Bol’s victory in the women’s event was similarly decisive.
The Dutch athlete, whose only loss this year came at the World Championships, achieved her fifth Diamond League victory of the season, holding off a strong challenge from former world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad, who had a slight lead for the first 300 metres. Bol kicked hard down the final stretch and won in 53.03 with Panama’s Gianna Woodruff coming through for second place (53.72).
Fraser-Pryce, Getachew and Holloway bounce back
There was seventh heaven for Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the 100m, Jamaica’s five-time world champion becoming the first athlete to run sub-10.70 on seven occasions in the same season.
Storming to a meeting record-equalling time of 10.65 (-0.8m/s), the 35-year-old won her fifth Diamond League title – four claimed in the 100m in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and one in the 200m from 2013 – ahead of Jackson, who ran 10.81 before going on to win the 200m. African record-holder Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast was third in 10.91.
“I am very proud that I came away with a 10.65. I started (the season) with a 10.6 and I finish with a 10.6, so there is nothing more I could ask for,” said Fraser-Pryce. She made a late decision to take her place in the final after the start date for her son Zyon starting back at school got pushed back. On where she will keep this fifth Diamond Trophy, she said: “In Zyon’s bedroom! Every year when I go to a championship, and I get a mascot or anything, I give it to him, so he has a tonne on his bed. So I’m going to add that to his collection.”
In a race that came down to the final barrier, it was Ethiopia’s Werkuha Getachew who won the battle, the world silver medallist powering away from Bahrain’s world fourth-place finisher Winfred Yavi, who stumbled in the final stages, to win the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
Getachew, national record-holder in both the 800m and 3000m steeplechase, used her two-lap speed to great effect, remaining calm as she chased Yavi from the bell. Yavi looked in control but similar to in the world final, where she just missed out on a medal, an awkward clearance of the final barrier saw her lose her momentum and Getachew took full advantage.
Getachew clocked 9:03.57 to win by almost a second ahead of Yavi in 9:04.47. Kenya’s Faith Cherotich, who won the world U20 title in Cali last month, improved her PB by three seconds to finish third in 9:06.14. Ethiopia’s 2021 world U20 silver medallist Zerfe Wondemagegn also ran a PB, clocking 9:06.37 for fourth, while their fellow teenager Jackline Chepkoech, Kenya’s Commonwealth champion and winner ahead of Getachew in Brussels last week, was fifth in 9:11.06.
He came and he conquered, USA’s two-time world 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway following his second global win in Oregon with a first Diamond League title win in 13.02. The world indoor 60m hurdles record-holder had to settle for second in Szekesfehervar and third in Lausanne, both of those races won by Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell, but Holloway turned the tables when it mattered most.
Commonwealth champion Broadbell, unbeaten since missing out on the World Championships final by just 0.01, this time got the runner-up spot in 13.06, while Jamaica’s Olympic champion Hansle Parchment clinched third in 13.26.
“If one thing, I’m always consistent in what I do,” said Holloway. “From US Trials in June to a Diamond League Final in September, I always run 13.0. I’m happy to come out with the win, finally. It was actually my first time beating Broadbell. To come out here and compete at a high level in an intense field, it feels amazing.”
Trophies over times for Kipyegon
While she might have the world record in her sights, on Thursday night it was all about the win for Faith Kipyegon. On the hunt for her third Diamond Trophy, the two-time world and two-time Olympic champion was totally in control and confident in her kick. It all went to plan.
Running a blistering last lap, the 28-year-old crossed the finish line with 4:00.44 on the clock, winning by more than a second despite easing up on her approach to the finish. After her impressive national record-breaking win in Brussels, Ireland’s Ciara Mageean claimed second in 4:01.68, holding off Ethiopia’s world indoor 800m silver medallist Freweyni Hailu by 0.05. Ethiopia’s world 800m fourth-place finisher Diribe Welteji secured the same spot in this final, while Britain’s Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir was fifth and Ethiopia’s world 5000m champion and world indoor 1500m record-holder Gudaf Tsegay, who finished third in the Diamond League 5000m final the day before, was sixth.
“This was a really strong field, but I kept thinking it’s the last race of the season, and I took the opportunity to end it in a nice way,” said Kipyegon. “It has been a long season, and my legs are tired, but I think I still managed to run a good time, all things considered.”
Fellow Kenyan Mary Moraa ran a similarly well-controlled race in the women’s 800m to hold off a quality field to cap a memorable season, winning in 1:57.63.
The world bronze medallist and Commonwealth champion found herself in the lead once the pacemaker had done her duties. She kept her cool and did enough to finish comfortably ahead of Jamaica’s Natoya Goule (1:57.85) and USA’s Sage Hurta (1:58.47).
Third trophy for James, first for Bromell and El Bakkali
Grenada’s multiple world and Olympic medallist Kirani James clocked 44.26 to win his third Diamond Trophy over 400m, 11 years since his first. In that time, the 30-year-old has become an Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal-winner, completing the set with third place in Tokyo, and he secured silver in Oregon last month.
Ahead as he left the final bend, James held off a fast-finishing Bryce Deadmon, the US sprinter pipping his compatriot and fellow world and Olympic 4x400m gold medallist Vernon Norwood – 44.47 to 44.66.
“It is special for me to win here today after 11 years, when I also won in Zurich,” said James. “I have one more meeting coming. I try to enjoy every moment.”
USA’s world bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell blasted to victory in the men’s 100m, reaching the finish line with enough time to raise his arms in celebration and still finish clear ahead of Jamaica’s 2011 world champion Yohan Blake and Canada’s world 4x100m gold medallist Aaron Brown.
Running 9.94 (-0.3m/s), Bromell was the sole athlete under 10 seconds as Blake clocked 10.05 for the runner-up spot and Brown was 0.01 further back.
Morocco’s Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali finally got the win he had been craving. After five previous attempts, the event’s overwhelming favourite would not be denied the Diamond Trophy this time. Running 8:07.67, the 26-year-old won by almost a second ahead of Ethiopia’s 2019 Diamond League champion Getnet Wale, who clocked 8:08.56. Kenya’s Commonwealth champion Abraham Kibiwot was third in 8:08.61, with the rest of the field four seconds back.
Content to run near the back of the pack, which followed the pacemakers through 1000m in 2:40.32 and 2000m in 5:27.90, El Bakkali had no trouble easing away from his rivals to become the first Moroccan athlete to win a Diamond League title and maintain his unbeaten season.
Mondo Duplantis and Yulimar Rojas have both taken their events to new levels and they made further history at the Weltklasse meeting in Zurich on Thursday (8).
The respective pole vault and triple jump superstars were among the recently crowned world champions to triumph at the Diamond League Final, Duplantis setting a meeting record to win his second Diamond Trophy and Rojas leading a field of unprecedented depth to join him in becoming a back-to-back Diamond League title winner. Cuba’s Andy Diaz Hernandez also topped a historic men’s triple jump final, while USA’s Kara Winger brought her career to a close with one final emotional javelin victory.
At the end of a year in which he has improved the world pole vault record three times, won world titles both indoors and outdoors and taken his career total of six metre-plus clearances to a remarkable 54, Duplantis described his win in Zurich’s Letzigrund Stadium as “the perfect cherry on top”.
It took three vaults for him to win the title and another two to improve the meeting record, the Swedish 22-year-old eventually clearing 6.07m to add a centimetre to the mark he set last year. Entering the competition at 5.62m, Duplantis managed that height on his first go. He then passed at 5.72m, cleared 5.81m at the first time of asking and passed 5.86m. When he soared over 5.91m on his first try and Norway’s Sondre Guttormsen, USA’s Chris Nilsen and France’s Renaud Lavillenie were all unable to make it over, Duplantis was confirmed champion and had the bar moved to a meeting record height. After coming close on his first attempt, he flew over the bar on his second before calling it a night.
“If I came into this competition and I didn’t perform well, the whole season – which was so amazing – wouldn’t feel as good as it should feel,” said Duplantis, who bounced back after his recent loss in Brussels. “In any competition, on any given day, I think I should be able to jump six metres. Same goals next year. We are going to try and crank it up another notch.”
In Zurich, Guttormsen took his own performance up a notch, improving his PB to 5.86m to equal the Norwegian record. He fought for it, with a total of 12 vaults, and it paid off. The NCAA champion then had three attempts at 5.91m but that was a height too far, but his 5.86m got him the runner-up place ahead of Olympic and world silver medallist Nilsen, who cleared 5.81m but then passed at 5.86m, as did 2012 Olympic champion Lavillenie, who finished fourth on countback.
Like Duplantis, even with the world record on her CV, Rojas still wants more. The 26-year-old jumped an outright world record of 15.74m to win her third world indoor title in Belgrade in March and then soared 15.47m to win her third world outdoor title in Oregon, but her target is something beyond 16 metres. As a result, she seemed disappointed with her winning distance of 15.28m (-0.2m/s) in Zurich, but was pleased that it resulted in another Diamond Trophy win.
And although she might not have been overjoyed with her own mark, she won over a field of great depth – never before had four women jumped 14.75m or farther in a Diamond League meeting. Ukraine’s Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, contesting both the triple jump and long jump finals in the same evening, leapt 14.96m for the second best mark of her career behind the 15.02m PB she set when winning the European title last month, while Jamaica’s two-time world silver medallist and Commonwealth champion Shanieka Ricketts jumped 14.85m for third and USA’s world bronze medallist Tori Franklin 14.75m for fourth.
“I am very pleased to be able to finish my season with a Diamond League win. It was not a great mark, but I am still happy considering it was a long season, full of ups and downs,” said Rojas. “My goal for next year is to improve my shape, both physically and in terms of my technique. There are some details that need some fine tuning. I am already thinking about next summer, and the World Championships in Budapest.”
There was also unprecedented depth in the men’s triple jump final, Hernandez jumping 17.70m (-0.8m/s) as three athletes soared 17.60m or beyond for the first time in the Diamond League.
The 26-year-old set his previous PB of 17.68m at the Italian Championships in June but added 2cm to that mark in the first round of the competition to build on his wins in Lausanne and Silesia. Portugal’s world and Olympic champion Pedro Pichardo, who was targeting a hattrick of Diamond Trophy wins after his victories in 2018 and 2021, was second with 17.63m and Cuba’s Jordan Alejandro Diaz Fortun was third with 17.60m.
The men’s long jump was won by Olympic champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, who rebounded after finishing second at the World Championships to win the European title and then take the Diamond Trophy. Saving his best leap until last, he jumped 8.42m (0.0m/s) in the sixth round – the fourth-best outdoor winning mark of his career – as part of a series that also included leaps of 8.33m and 8.14m.
USA’s 2016 world indoor champion Marquis Dendy, sporting a bucket hat, was second with 8.18m, also achieved in the last round, while Cuba’s Olympic bronze medallist Maykel Masso claimed another third place with an 8.05m leap.
Serbia’s Ivana Vuleta also added the Diamond Trophy to her European long jump title win, the two-time world champion jumping 6.97m (-0.7m) to triumph. It was close in the fight for second, Sweden’s European indoor bronze medallist Khaddi Sagnia getting the runner-up spot with 6.55m, USA’s NACAC champion and world fourth-place finisher Quanesha Burks placing third with 6.54m and Germany’s Olympic and two-time world champion Malaika Mihambo finishing fourth with 6.52m.
Silver lining for Chopra and Winger
World silver medallists Neeraj Chopra and Kara Winger may have had to settle for the runner-up spot at the World Championships, but the javelin duo ended their season by taking their place on the winners’ podium at the conclusion of the Diamond League Final.
Chopra fouled his first attempt as Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch took an early lead, throwing 84.15m and 86.00m in the first two rounds. But Chopra then sent his spear out to 88.84m at the end of round two, giving the Olympic champion the lead. The Indian followed it with throws of 88.00m and 86.11m, while Vadlejch improved to 86.94m in round four.
There were no changes in the final two rounds, though Chopra had an 87.00m effort in the penultimate round.
Winger proved her recent Brussels victory was no fluke, wrapping up her season – and her career – with another win in the women’s javelin.
The 36-year-old, who broke the US record with 68.11m in Brussels last week, once again got the better of two-time world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber, out-throwing the Australian in each round.
Winger led from the outset, opening with 61.36m before improving to 63.81m in round two. Her winning effort of 64.98m came in the fifth round and put her comfortably ahead of Barber’s 63.72m.
Japan’s Haruka Kitaguchi, who shared a podium with Barber and Winger in Oregon, was third with 63.56m.
“I’ve been to Zurich four times, but there was something special about today,” said Winger. “I felt like the entire stadium was with me. I felt like I had so many friends with me. I just wanted to have a good time this year and it turned out to be the best season of my life. I am so grateful for what I did because we worked really hard for this and I just cannot believe it.”
World record-holder Barbora Spotakova, who took European bronze last month at the age of 41, hinted that this too may be the end of her career.
“For me, it is just a big success to be here and compete,” said the Czech thrower, who placed fifth with 59.08m. “After Munich, I felt so tired that I did not want to compete anymore. Maybe this will be my last big competition on the professional level.”
Mahuchikh soars, Ceh and Allman prevail
Ukraine’s world indoor high jump champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh cleared a world-leading 2.05m to win in Brussels – her highest ever outdoor jump – and she backed that up with a 2.03m clearance to secure the Diamond League title. In what has been an incredibly challenging year because of the conflict in her home country, the 20-year-old has become a world indoor winner, European champion and world silver medallist, and now she has a Diamond Trophy to go with those honours.
“Every competition, every win, is so important for me and for Ukraine,” she said. “Now, I am really like an ambassador of Ukraine on the track because I talk to many journalists and I have the chance to talk about Ukraine.
“Now, I finish the season with 2.03m. It is so nice and I hope I will find the power to compete in the new season.”
Her compatriot Iryna Gerashchenko, the world and Olympic fourth-place finisher, finished second on countback with a 1.94m clearance, Australia’s Olympic silver medallist Nicola Olyslagers also managing the same height.
In the men’s discus, Kristjan Ceh maintained his unbeaten record in this season’s Diamond League, throwing 67.10m to win ahead of Austria’s Olympic bronze medallist Lukas Weisshaidinger and Lithuania’s world bronze medallist Andrius Gudzius.
Slovenia’s 23-year-old Ceh won all four of the qualification meetings in Birmingham, Rabat, Rome and Stockholm, improving his national record to 71.27m in Birmingham, and capped that with a win in the final. Weisshaidinger threw 65.70m in second and Gudzius 65.28m in third.
USA’s Olympic champion Valarie Allman and Croatia’s two-time world and two-time Olympic gold medallist Sandra Perkovic filled the top two spots at each of the Diamond League qualification meetings for the women’s discus and in the final it was Allman who won the head-to-head. Launching the discus 67.77m in the third round, the world bronze medallist won by almost half a metre ahead of Perkovic with 67.31m, while Portugal’s Liliana Ca was third with 63.34m.