Stuart Weir, our senior European editor, is in Zurich, covering the finals of the 2021 Diamond League. This is his first story.
Zurich Diamond League
This year the Diamond League finals were, unusually, held in Zurich over two days. In 2020 there were no finals and previously they were split between Zurich and Brussels. Wednesday night featured 7 finals, both 5000m, long jump, shot put, and the women’s high jump.
The field events were held in a lakeside city square where temporary stands were erected. The 5000m races were just under 9 laps of a 560m track which went around the field event arena and the Zurich Opera House. In addition, there were three youth races. The two shot-put competitions took place simultaneously with men and women throwing together. Tomas Walsh was a bit too enthusiastic, breaking the circle! More on that later.
The women’s high jump was the event of the evening with the three medallists from Tokyo going head-to-head again. Racing on a 560m track confused the athletes somewhat with Hellen Obiri saying that she had been unsure when to kick for home.
All the athletes I spoke to applauded the decision to take the sport to the people rather than expecting the spectators to come to the stadium. The athletes also said that the atmosphere was great and that they loved competing in front of a crowd again.