The year’s big event is over, and now the season’s big series is about to wind down. The Diamond League v blouses tomorrow and next week with meets in Zurich and Brussels. In the chase for Diamond League points and bonus money, these two competitions will offer some of the last opportunities to see big names and big match ups for the season – and Zurich has some good ones.
Take the men’s 400 hurdles where five of the year’s six sub 48 hurdlers will be going toe to toe: Felix Sanchez, Angelo Taylor, Javier Culson, Jehue Gordon and Michael Tinsley. Taylor is fresh off a season’s best in the flat 400. Tinsley has been running very well recently. And Sanchez seems to have found the fountain of youth. This should be an exciting and fast race.
Moving up a notch to the 800, there’s David Rudisha coming off a sterling WR run in London. Now I’m curious as to what he can do in a one off after a bit of rest! He’ll get a push (as much as he gets pushed) by bronze medalist Timothy Kitum, and Olympic finalists Mohammed Aman and Andrew Osagie. As weird as it sounds I expect "at least" something close to 1:42.00 and wouldn’t be surprised to see his new WR scared. Rudisha has a way of running at new levels with regularity once he gets there.
There will new another hour women’s 100 with gold and silver medalists Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce and Carmelita Jeter going at it for the third meet in a row. SAFP took the Olympics while Jeter has won in Lausanne and Birmingham. Can Jeter make it three in a row? By the way, also in the race will be London 200 champion Allyson Felix and US Trials 4th placer Jeneba Tarmoh – they of the dead heat! This will be their first head to head since the Trials – or as I prefer to say, "the run off". So watch this race within the race!
The men’s 100 will not be run as a Diamond League event until Brussels, but is on the docket tomorrow with an outstanding field. Yohan Blake will be running his first race since his PB 9.69. He’ll be going against Tyson Gay, Ryan Bailey, Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Christophe Lemaitre. It should take at least 9.7 high to win this race. Watch the start, and the Blake / Gay battle.
Keep an eye on the women’s 100 hurdles. No Sally Pearson, but Dawn Harper had been working on making us forget about Sally. She’s up against Kellie Wells and Virginia Crawford, both of whom are also running well. This race should go 12.4 even without Sally – with a possible 12.3 if the conditions are right.
Also, look for a swift 5000 from a loaded field that includes John Kiphoech, Isaiah Koech, Bernard Lagat, Tariku Bekele, Thomas Longowisa and Galen Rupp. This "should" be a fast race. Let’s see if these guys just go out and run!
Zurich is always a good meet. It’s one of those competitions like Penn and Pre whet athletes show up intent on putting on a show. So this should be must see computer – won’t be on TV here in the states.