Today is Thursday, so, it must be Zurich, by Stuart Weir


Stuart Weir is visiting the Weltklasse at the Zurich Letzigrund, which happens on Thursday, September 3, 2015. Here is a short preview of one of the final Diamond League meetings of 2015.


Look very closely at the photo. Cooly, the mascot is pole vaulting. Photo by Stuart Weir.

Today is Thursday so it must be Zurich.

Today is Thursday so it must be Zurich. The great athletics juggernaut thunders on. The World Championship ended on Sunday. Athletes largely flew out on Monday, probably reaching Zurich on Tuesday with 2 days to get over the jet-lag and be ready to function on Thursday.

The Weltklasse at Zürich's Letzigrund is always a great meet. That it comes immediately after the World Championships changes it in some ways. There are newly crowned (surprise) World Champions like Shawn Barber (pole vault). There are people coming from a disappointing World Championships with a point to prove (Mikel Thomas in the 110 hurdles is a good example). There are others like Chanelle Price, who surprisingly did not make the US team for Beijing who have also a point to prove.

For European, Commonwealth, Olympic and World Champion Greg Rutherford, it is business as usual. Rutherford seeks to add the Diamond race to his impressive list of successes with his greatest rival, Marquis Dendy, as well as World Champion in Triple Jump, Christian Taylor, in the field. Another Diamond race leader, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will be keen to confirm her season's title. Whether the World Championship green hair survives, we wait to see.

There are events - women's long jump and 400 metres hurdles for example - which look like a repeat of the World Championship final in Beijing.

An intriguing race is the women's 3,000 metres featuring several outstanding athletes in different mindsets. Jenny Simpson who lost her shoe and her chance of winning the 1500 in Beijing steps up in distance. Vivian Cheruiyot, World Champion at 10,000 in 2011 and 2015 - with a baby in between - goes in a much shorter distance than usual. Mercy Cherono after a successful 2014, disappointed with fifth in Beijing, comes here to make a point. It could be a cracking race.

Then there is Cooly, the mascot who entertained us or drove us mad at last year's European Championships with his prowess at many of the disciplines. He is expected to be full flight again this evening. We should be in for a lot of fun.

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