What to watch out for in the distance events at the Zurich Diamond League meeting

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Semenya_Caster800FH1-WorCH17.jpgCaster Semenya, can anyone challenge her? photo by PhotoRun.net

What to watch out for in the distance events at the Zurich Diamond League meeting

Every athlete who will toe the start line at the Zurich Diamond League event will have an equal chance to win the trophy. For the first time in the history of the Diamond League meetings, the final races that will happen in Zurich and that which will happen in Brussels look more like a world championship, or an Olympic's final race. Regardless of the points that qualified one to reach the final race, the first athlete to cross the line will take the trophy, unlike in the previous editions where the winner would be declared by the number of points that they had accummulated throughout the season. Some athletes would even win trophies even before the final race of the season was run. But, here, all the athletes stand a chance and the races will have quality fields.

Below are some of what will make the Zurich Diamond League meeting interesting to watch, and worth not missing.

1. Will the newly crowned world champions go ahead and become the diamond league winners? Among the reigning world champions who will be running in Zurich include Muktar Edris in the men's 5000m, Emman Coburn in the women 3000m steeplechase, Elijah Manangoi in the men's 1500m and Caster Semenya in the women 800m. Semenya and Manangoi seem to have the better chances to win the trophies in their respective events, but Coburn and Muktar will be up against very tough competitions in the women's 3000m steeplechase and the men's 5000m races.

2. Did Mo Farah made a mistake in the men's 5000m final at the world championships in London, or will Edris confirm that he indeed is able to beat him? This will be Farah's chance to amend what happened in London. Paul Chelimo will also be there, which makes it interesting given that all the three medalists will be there in this race. If Farah beats Muktar Edris, it probably will make him feel better retiring from track running. But, if Muktar beats him again, perhaps he might consider extending his career on the track a bit in order to end it well.

3. Will Emma Coburn beat the East Africans again in the women's 3000m Steeplechase? Coburn surprised the world by leading her compatriot to a US 1-2 finish at the world championships in London beating the race favorites that included the world record holder, Ruth Jebet and the defending champion, Hyvin Kiyeng. She now has the confidence, but at the same time, the Kenyans are now aware of her.

4. Will anyone break the new dominance of Kenyans in the men's 1500m race? Looking at the start list alone, there are nine Kenyans and five athletes from the rest of the world. Elijah Manangoi will be the athlete to watch here, his form peaked just at the right time for the world championships and he is definitely the clear favorite to win the trophy. Timothy Cheruiyot from Kenya is the other strong Kenyan here having gone 1-2 with Manangoi at the world championships.

5. Will we see any surprises in the women 800m? Can Caster Semenya be beaten? The only missing medalist from London in this event will be Ajee Wilson of USA and if the results from the championships will be anything to go by, then Francine Niyonsaba remains to be the athlete with the better chances to beat Semenya here.

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