After 13 meetings from May to September, the final fields are now set as the Wanda Diamond League gets ready to crown its 2023 champions at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, this weekend (16-17).
The world’s best athletes – including world and defending Diamond League champions Mondo Duplantis, Yaroslava Mahuchikh, Mary Moraa, Shericka Jackson and Grant Holloway – head to Hayward Field looking to end their seasons on a high, but the athletes who missed out on top honours in Budapest last month will be out for revenge.
Diamond trophies and top $30,000 prizes are up for grabs in the 32 finals taking place across the two days of action. The first 15 finals will be contested on Saturday (16) and the remaining 17 – 14 of which contain their newly crowned world champions – will take place on Sunday (17).
The majority of athletes qualified for the finals by earning points at the 13 series meetings, while others have been entered as national or global wild cards.
With so much to look forward to, here we preview the day two finals, with day one previews available here.
Times stated are local time (PDT) and are subject to change.
11:15 – women’s high jump
After claiming her first global senior outdoor crown at last month’s World Championships in Budapest, Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh carried that winning form to the Diamond League meetings in Xiamen and Brussels. Now she targets a second Diamond League title.
While she is the current world No.1, Mahuchikh hasn’t been unbeatable in 2023 and the athletes to have finished ahead of her in Lausanne and Monaco – Australia’s Nicola Olyslagers and her Ukrainian compatriot Iryna Gerashchenko – will be among her challengers in Eugene.
Olyslagers, the bronze medallist in Budapest, equalled her Oceanian record of 2.02m in Lausanne – making her a joint world leader alongside Mahuchikh. Yuliya Levchenko joins her Ukrainian compatriots in Eugene, while the field also features Serbia’s 18-year-old world U20 and European senior bronze medallist Angelina Topic.
11:30 – men’s discus
Sweden’s Daniel Stahl and Slovenia’s Kristjan Ceh have gone head to head on 10 occasions so far in 2023, with the score currently tied at 5-5. Eugene is the decider. Ceh, the 2022 world champion, has more wins on the Diamond League circuit this year – having finished top in Doha, Rabat and Stockholm – but Stahl secured the big one, winning his second world title in Budapest.
Stahl threw 71.46m to win the world title – the third farthest mark of his career – but Ceh leads this season’s top list with the 71.86m he threw in Johvi in June, matching Stahl’s PB from 2019. While world bronze medallist Mykolas Alekna doesn’t compete, his Lithuanian compatriot Andrius Gudzius, the 2017 world champion, does, along with Australia’s Matthew Denny.
11:40 – men’s long jump
There will be a new Diamond League champion in the men’s long jump, where Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle looks to build on his bronze in Budapest and Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer hopes to rediscover his eight metre-plus form.
Among those entered, Ehammer has been the busiest on the Diamond League circuit this season, with world champion Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece not defending his title in Eugene. Ehammer won in Oslo and was second in Paris, but he was sixth on home soil in Zurich, where Gayle, continuing his comeback after injury, claimed the runner-up spot. The pair are separated by just 5cm on season’s bests.
Looking to deny them in Eugene will be USA’s 2017 world silver medallist Jarrion Lawson and national indoor champion William Williams, plus Bahamian LaQuan Nairn.
12:04 – men’s 800m
Marco Arop – world bronze medallist at Hayward Field last year – unleashed a perfectly timed kick to win the world title in Budapest, then Kenya’s 2021 world U20 champion Emmanuel Wanyonyi got one back by beating his Canadian rival in another thrilling finish in Xiamen. Their career head to head record stands at three apiece – who will end this season with the upper hand?
In an open field, the win could even go elsewhere, as they face Kenya’s Commonwealth Games champion Wyclife Kinyamal, who won in Monaco and was second in Doha and Rabat, plus Algeria’s Stockholm and Brussels winner Djamel Sedjati, and Benjamin Robert of France.
12:39 – women’s 5000m
Kenya’s defending champion Beatrice Chebet, the world cross country champion in Budapest earlier this year, has the chance to claim another title ahead of going for world 5km gold at the World Road Running Championships in Riga next month. There she will be joined by Ethiopia’s world record-holder Ejgayehu Taye, world indoor 800m silver medallist Freweyni Hailu and Medina Eisa, plus Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka, all of whom are also among her rivals in Eugene.
They will each be looking for a strong end to their track seasons but they will have to contend with Gudaf Tsegay, who won the world 5000m title the last time she raced at Hayward Field and then added the world 10,000m title to her CV in Budapest. They are joined on the start line by Australia’s Jess Hull, USA’s Alicia Monson and Kenya’s Lilian Kasait Rengeruk.
12:44 – men’s pole vault
There are a few events with standout favourites in Eugene and one of those is the men’s pole vault. Sweden’s Olympic and two-time world champion Mondo Duplantis set a world record of 6.21m at Hayward Field last year and improved again to 6.22m in Clermont-Ferrand in February. Now he goes for a third Diamond League title, up against another two-time trophy winner, USA’s Sam Kendricks, who will be among those looking to capitalise if Duplantis strays from his usual fantastic form, as he did in Monaco where he finished fourth.
The win that day went to USA’s Chris Nilsen, who claimed joint world bronze in Budapest, while the field also features Australia’s Kurtis Marschall, with whom Nilsen shared that medal, plus Philippines’ world silver medallist Ernest Obiena.
13:04 – women’s 400m hurdles
Dutch star Femke Bol is the clear No.1 on the circuit and barring incident, she should add a third Diamond trophy to her cabinet. Things don’t always go to plan, but it’s how athletes overcome those setbacks and after falling just before the finish in the mixed 4x400m relay at the World Championships in Budapest, Bol rebounded to win her first world 400m hurdles title and then anchored the women’s 4x400m team to victory after a sensational final sprint.
She’ll take the confidence from those performances – and her five Diamond League series wins this season – with her to Eugene, where she lines up alongside her fellow world medallists Shamier Little and Rushell Clayton, plus Clayton’s Jamaican compatriot Rushell Clayton.
13:08 – women’s discus
The women’s discus has built to an exciting crescendo this season. Laulauga Tausaga claimed a surprise world title win ahead of her US compatriot Valarie Allman, the Olympic champion, by throwing 69.49m in Budapest and then Allman improved her world lead to 70.47m in Brussels before Croatian great Sandra Perkovic threw a season’s best of 67.71m at her home Continental Tour Gold meeting in Zagreb.
That puts Perkovic in a strong position as she sets her sights on a seventh Diamond League title, but Allman is also looking for another trophy to add to her collection, after winning the last two finals, and has shown great consistency this year, while Tausaga goes for a maiden title as she contests the final for the first time.
13:17 – men’s 3000m
Three Olympic champions clash – Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500m), Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei (5000m) and Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega (10,000m). All three (Ingebrigtsen with 5000m gold, Cheptegei with 10,000m gold and Barega with 10,000m bronze) also claimed medals at the World Championships in Budapest. As they meet in the middle at 3000m, it’s all to fight for.
Then there’s world 5km record-holder Berihu Aregawi, who won the 2021 Diamond League title in the 5000m, and his Ethiopian compatriots Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yomif Kejelcha, USA’s Woody Kincaid, Guatemala’s Luis Grijalva and USA’s Grant Fisher, on his comeback after injury.
Making the battle even more intriguing is that Ingebrigtsen, who set a world two-mile best in Paris and a world 2000m record in Brussels, will be contesting his second final in two days after racing the mile at the end of day one.
13:37 – women’s 400m
Dominican Republic’s Marileidy Paulino lived up to expectation to win the one-lap title in Budapest and now she goes into the Diamond League final as favourite to retain the trophy she claimed for the first time in Zurich last year.
The Olympic silver medallist has gained three wins on the circuit this year – in Doha, Paris and Xiamen – but she was pipped into third by Poland’s world silver medallist Natalia Kaczmarek and Lieke Klaver of the Netherlands in Silesia, and they will both be looking to spring another surprise, as will Barbadian Sada Williams, bronze medallist in Budapest.
13:42 – women’s long jump
Serbia’s Ivana Vuleta finally got the global gold she craved in Budapest – peaking with a world-leading leap of 7.14m when it mattered most. While a world senior outdoor title had eluded her until this year, the two-time world indoor champion has great experience of Diamond League success and will want that to continue in Eugene, where she targets trophy number five.
Looking to deny her will be Olympic bronze medallist Ese Brume of Nigeria, who claimed world silver in Oregon last year, plus USA’s Quanesha Burks. Italy’s Larissa Iapichino will not compete due to injury.
13:52 – men’s 110m hurdles
The world champion and Olympic champion clash again, as USA’s Grant Holloway goes up against Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment on the hunt for his second Diamond League trophy. Holloway has had the more consistent series, winning in Florence, Paris and London before retaining his world title in Budapest, but he hit the last hurdle in Xiamen and had to settle for third behind Parchment and USA’s Daniel Roberts, who joined that pair on the podium in the Hungarian capital last month and races them both again in Eugene.
The field features five US athletes, Holloway and Roberts joined by Jamal Britt, Freddie Crittenden and Cordell Tinch.
14:05 – women’s 100m hurdles
The unexpected can always be expected in the sprint hurdles and after winning a surprise second world title after her first victory in 2015, Jamaica’s Danielle Williams will aim to regain another honour and become a two-time Diamond League champion after her first victory in 2019.
All three world medallists feature in another strong field, with Puerto Rico’s Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and USA’s Kendra Harrison targeting their first Diamond trophy along with Nia Ali and Tobi Amusan.
14:09 – men’s shot put
Can anything stop Ryan Crouser? After retaining the world title with a 23.51m championship record – just 5cm off his own world record – despite having two blood clots in his leg, the US shot put star will now want to regain the Diamond League title he lost to his compatriot Joe Kovacs last year.
Italy’s Leonardo Fabbri split Crouser and Kovacs on the podium in Budapest after a 22.34m PB performance and he’s also in the line up alongside the pair in Eugene, as is New Zealand’s 2017 world champion Tom Walsh.
14:19 – women’s 800m
Back at Hayward Field, the women’s 800m offers the thrilling opportunity of an unexpected rematch between global medallists Mary Moraa, Keely Hodgkinson and Athing Mu.
Both Britain’s Hodgkinson and Kenya’s Moraa have one Diamond trophy apiece and it was always anticipated that they would go head to head on the hunt for a second, but Mu is now also in the mix as she races with a wild card entry and seeks revenge after being pipped into third by winner Moraa and runner-up Hodgkinson in Budapest. Mu won when they last raced in Oregon, taking the world title ahead of Hodgkinson and Moraa in 2022.
But it might not be just a three-way race as Britain’s Jemma Reekie is in form and fresh from a road mile win in New York, while Jamaica’s Natoya Goule-Toppin and Australia’s Catrona Bissett will also want to challenge.
14:36 – men’s 200m
World champion Noah Lyles has opted to race the 100m in Eugene, leaving world silver and bronze medallists – USA’s Erriyon Knighton and Botswana’s Letsile Tebogo – to battle for the half-lap title against five other sub-20 men.
They include USA’s Kenny Bednarek, who won the Diamond trophy in 2021, plus Canada’s Olympic champion Andre De Grasse and his compatriot Aaron Brown.
14:49 – women’s 200m
Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson has made no secret of the fact that she has the world 200m record of 21.34 set by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988 in her sights and now she has one more big stage opportunity on which to take it in 2023.
The two-time world champion clocked 21.41 to retain her title in Budapest, 21.45 to win her first world title at Hayward Field last year, and 21.48 to win in Brussels last month. She is edging closer and now has three of the four fastest times in 200m history to her name.
Jackson is doubling with the 100m in Eugene and racing her in the longer event are Cote d’Ivoire’s multiple global medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou, USA’s Jenna Prandini, Bahamian Anthonique Strachan and Britain’s Daryll Neita.
Credit: World Athletics