This is Stuart Weir’s story on Zurich Diamond League meeting, Day 1.
Wanda Diamond League final part 1
The Wanda Diamond League final part 1 took place on Thursday, 7 September, in a temporary arena in the center of Zurich, right in front of the Zurich Opera House. The two-and-a-half-hour program comprised six Diamond League finals as well as two children’s 1000m races and two wheelchair races. Spectators sat in two temporary stands or stood in the Opera House grounds or on the Opera House steps for a better view.
There were two 5000m races on a 563m track around the Opera House and the field event arena. The flaw with this novel event, I think each year, is that spectators can see very little of the track – no matter where you are seated or standing. Taking the event to the fans seems a good idea – less so if you cannot actually see most of the race except on the big screen.
The women’s race was won by Beatrice Chebet (14:31.03) from Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi in a Kenyan 1-2. Gudaf Tsegay was third. Sifan Hassan, arguably a favorite, was never really in the race and finished fifth.
The men’s race was won by Nicholas Kipkorir (Kenya) in 12:59.05, just 0.35 ahead of South Sudan’s Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu, with USA’s Grant Fisher third in 13:00.56.
In the women’s pole vault Australia’s Nina Kennedy continued her excellent season form. Having taken bronze in Oregon and won the Commonwealth Games title, she ended her season with the Diamond Trophy. She cleared 4.81 m with Sandi Morris second with 4.76m.
The men’s high jump was an epic battle with Gianmarco Tamberi and JuVaughan Harrison each clearing 2.34m, with Tamberi – who got married last week – winning on countback. At the pre-event press conference, Mutaz Essa Barshim had told his friend that he had made the first mistake in his married life by postponing his honeymoon for a high jump competition! Tamberi replied that Barshim was only saying that because it would be easier for him to win if Tamberi was absent!
Barshim was strangely out of sorts failing at 2.24m, passing but following that with two failures to finish last of six. Tamberi said of his win: “I am very happy with my performance, a season’s best in the last meeting of the season.”
Chase Ealey and Joe Kovacs won the shot-put competitions. See separate report.