Discus throw women (Thursday, 6.30 p.m.): The oldest meeting record within reach.22-year-old Sandra Perkovic is leading the Diamond Race by an uncatchable margin of 22 points. However, the two-time European champion and newly-crowned Olympic champion from Croatia has no intention of resting on her laurels. Her goal for the competition at Letzigrund Stadium: Faina Melnik’s 37-year-old meeting record of 70.20m. Perkovic will have to improve her personal best of 69.11m by a little more than one metre.
Triple jump men (Thursday, 6.35 p.m.): An experienced star challenging a young champion.In a repetition of the scenario in the London Olympic final, 36-year-old European champion and Olympic bronze medallist Fabrizio Donato (ITA) will challenge Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor (USA), who is 14 years his junior. Taylor is the current world leader (17.81m) and also leads the 2012 Diamond Race.
Pole vault men (Thursday, 7 p.m.): Renaud Lavillenie against fellow top ten athletes.Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) is the one to beat: The world indoor champion, European champion, and Olympic champion won all but two competitions this summer. Securing the victory of the Diamond Race seems to be a matter of pure form. However, at Weltklasse Zürich, the Italian 1.76m tall high-flyer will face about every pole vault colleague who could rain on his parade: The field includes all athletes of the world’s top ten list. Björn Otto (GER), who was a runner-up to Lavillenie at all three recent championships, is just one of the world-class jumpers who will challenge him at Letzigrund Stadium.
High jump men (Thursday, 7.40 p.m.): Three athletes in contention for air supremacy.At Athletissima Lausanne, as many as three athletes cleared 2.37m: Olympic bronze medallists and national record holders Moutaz Essa Barshim Ahmed (QAT, 2.39m) and Robbie Grabarz (GBR, 2.37m), as well as Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov (RUS). This has happened only twice so far: at the world championships in Rome in 1987 and in Stuttgart in 1993. Is the time ripe for the first outdoor 2.40m result in more than 10 years? Grabarz is in the pole position to reach for the diamond. However: World champion Jesse Williams (USA) has scored only one point less, ready to snatch the triumph from him at the very last opportunity.
400 m hurdles men (Thursday, 8.05 p.m.): Félix Sánchez turns 35 and aims at fifth Weltklasse Zürich win. It was one of the most spectacular comebacks of the year: Eight years after winning the Olympic title in Athens, Félix Sánchez (DOM) took gold again in London, clocking exactly the same time as in 2004: 47.63. At Letzigrund Stadium, the two-time world champion is trying to win the 400m h for the fifth time. Reviving his winning streak would make a perfect birthday gift to himself. Sánchez will turn 35 on Thursday. Javier Culson (PUR), Olympic bronze medallist and convincing leader in the Diamond Race, and two-time Olympic champion Angelo Taylor (USA) will still try to make things as difficult as possible for him. Taylor, who had taken Olympic gold in 2000 and 2008, had to make do with a fifth place in London. 100m women (Thursday, 8.15 p.m.): A very close Diamond Race.There is an ongoing duel between the two fastest women in the world. While Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) managed to defend her Olympic title in London, world champion Carmelita Jeter (USA) has been gaining ground in the Diamond Race by winning the two most recent 100m races. Either of the two sprint queens can win the diamond by placing first in the race at Weltklasse Zürich. Allyson Felix (USA), the most successful female track athlete in London, winning gold in the 200m, the 4x100m, and the 4x400m, could be the spoilsport, however.
3000m SC women (Thursday, 8.20 p.m.): Another diamond for Milcah Chemos?After giving birth to a daughter, former world junior record holder Milcah Chemos (KEN) reassumed her track career four years ago. In 2009 and 2011, she won world championship bronze medals, and last year, she concluded a successful season by winning the Diamond Race. Picking up another diamond is her goal for the race at Weltklasse Zürich, especially as she missed out on an Olympic medal when placing fourth at the Games this year. Two of the medallists of London, Habiba Ghribi (TUN, 2nd in London) and Sofia Assefa (ETH, 3rd in London), however, are close on her heels in the 2012 Diamond Race.
Javelin throw men (Thursday, 8.25 p.m.): A Kenyan thrower in a mostly European field.In Zurich, as in many other discus competitions, the field includes mostly European athletes: European champion Vitezslav Vesely from the Czech Republic would like to embroider his gold medal with a diamond. The current world leader (88.34m) had placed fourth in London, and in the Diamond Race, his strongest opponent is Olympic silver medallist Oleksandr Pyatnytsya from Ukraine. Then, there is the Finnish former world champion Tero Pitkämäki, who was bouncing back to his old form in Stockholm. One athlete, however, will be representing the African continent: African champion Julius Yego will be the first Kenyan ever not to compete in a running event at Weltklasse Zürich.
Long jump women (Thursday, 8.30 p.m.): A local hero vs. all three 2012 Olympic medallists.Swiss record holder Irene Pusterla has fond memories of Zurich. In the past two years, she placed third and fourth in most prestigious line-ups. This year, she will be competing against eight of the nine best athletes according to the current world top list. All Olympic medallists – Brittney Reese (USA), Elena Sokolova (RUS), and Janay DeLoach (USA) – will be in the competition. Sokolova could secure a diamond by placing at least third.
800m men (Thursday, 8.40 p.m.): David Rudisha will run against the clock.His world record run was one of the most terrific performances at the Olympic Games in London. In his only post-Olympic race this year, Kenyan 800m star David Rudisha plans to beat his own record of 1:40.91. Sammy Tangui, an excellent pacemaker whose stride matches Rudisha’s will try to help the 23-year-old champion to do it. Quite possibly, all the athletes in the field, including 18-year-old Olympic bronze medallist Timothy Kitum (KEN), can benefit from the dynamics of the race and run very fast, as well.
100m men (Thursday, 8.50 p.m.): Jamaica vs. USA.Triple Olympic medallist, 2011 Weltklasse Zürich winner, and reigning world champion Yohan Blake (JAM) will again be challenged by former world champion Tyson Gay (USA). Their personal best is the same (9.69), they are both the second-fastest sprinters of all times, outsprinted only by Usain Bolt (JAM). The Jamaica vs. USA match, however, will also include Olympic relay champions Nesta Carter (JAM) and Michael Frater (JAM), as well as Ryan Bailey, who placed fifth in London. The only European in the field will be Christophe Lemaitre of France. The European champion, who is the first white sprinter to have gone sub 10 seconds, will return to the 100m, after placing sixth in the Olympic 200m final in London. In contrast to the 200m, the 100m race in Zurich is not a Samsung Diamond League discipline this year. The 100m Samsung Diamond League final event will take place in Brussels next week.
400m women (Thursday, 8.55 p.m.): Sanya Richards-Ross eyeing sixth win in Zurich.After winning the world championship title in 2009, Sanya Richards-Ross has taken Olympic 400m gold in London this year. In Zurich, the double Olympic champion (400m and 4x400m) will be running without any pressure, in a stadium she likes: After dominating the Weltklasse Zürich quarter-mile on five occasions, Richards-Ross would like add a sixth win on Thursday night. In addition to the two other 2012 400m Olympic medallists, 400m h Olympic champion Natalya Antyukh (RUS), world leader Antonina Krivoshapka (RUS), and world champion Amantle Montsho (BOT) will line up against her. Montsho is leading the Diamond Race, and if she places in the top three positions, the diamond is hers.
1500m women (Thursday, 9.05 p.m.): Another triumph for Maryam Yusuf Jamal?The two-time world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal is used to winning in Zurich, scoring two wins in the 1500m (in 2007 and 2009), and one in the 3000m (in 2005). The native of Ethiopia has been running for Bahrain for seven years. Having lived in Lausanne for some time, however, the Olympic bronze medallist is considered a local in Switzerland. Winning the Stockholm race has re-entered her into the Diamond Race. If she would like to pick up a diamond, she will not only have to win her race, she will also have to hope that Abebe Arigawi (ETH) places third at best.
200m men (Thursday, 9.15 p.m.): Usain Bolt in his specialty event.With his second round of triple Olympic triumph (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Usain Bolt put himself in the history books. In Zurich, after winning the 100m race in 2008 and 2009, he plans to add a win in the 200m to the list. The Jamaican sprint cast will also include Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir, winner of the 2012 Lucerne race Jason Young, and world championship finalist Nickel Ashmeade. 2011 Weltklasse Zürich winner Wallace Spearmon (USA), Diamond Race leader Churandy Martina (NED), and Swiss champion Alex Wilson will challenge them. Bolt still has a chance to win the Diamond Race, but only if Martina and Ashmeade both miss the podium.
100m hurdles (Thursday, 9.25 p.m.): Two US hurdlers on the hunt for diamonds. Even though the two athletes are often separated by hundredths of seconds only, Olympic silver medallist Dawn Harper (USA) defeated Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells (USA) on five occasions during the 2012 season. Will Wells be able to turn the tables in Zurich? In the Diamond Race, she is ahead of the 2008 Olympic champion by four points. As the winner will score double points, the two sprint queens will give it their very best right up to the finish line.
5000m men (Thursday, 9.30 p.m.): Galen Rupp against African armada.In the Olympic 10000m race, Galen Rupp (USA) managed to take silver, placing between his training colleague Mo Farah (GBR) and Tariku Bekele (ETH). After covering 20 kilometres on the Olympic track (including the 10000m and the 5000m), he missed the podium in the 5000m, placing seventh. The 5000m silver medallist Dejen Gebremeskel is the leader in the Diamond Race. He will compete in Zurich, facing the six best athletes according to the current world top list. As many as six athletes are still contenders in the Diamond Race.
4x100m men (Thursday, 9.50 p.m.): Relay festival featuring the Jamaican, teh US and the Swiss team.The Zurich Trophy will again round off the programme of events. The Trophy is staged for the sixth time, and is always an inspirational athletics spectacle. The prestigious race will feature the teams of the world’s two top sprint nations, Jamaica and the USA. The Swiss national team (Alex Wilson, Marc Schneeberger, Reto Amaru Schenkel, and Rolf Malcolm Fongué) will try and benefit from the opportunity to run in front of their home crowd. The Zurich Trophy is not a Samsung Diamond League event, but it will still be one of the true highlights of the evening.
At the Samsung Diamond League final events, athlete can score double points. 8 points will awarded to the winner of a Diamond Race, 4 points to the athlete placing second, and 2 points to the athlete placing third. At level score and the same number of wins, the better result at the final event will count. Athletes are required to compete at the Samsung Diamond League final events in Zurich or Brussels to win a Diamond Race.
Entry Lists and Timetable