Stockholm Diamond League preview

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Valerie Adams will be favourite for the win in Stockholm

Less than one week after the World Championships, some of the worlds top athletes will contest in the Stockholm Diamond League tomorrow evening.

The men’s discuss will be the first event to grace the arena. Minus the champion, Robert Harting, all of the top seven in the World Championships final will meet again.

Piotr Malachowski and Gerd Kanter finished second and third in Moscow, and as the only two athletes in the field to have thrown over 70 metres, will surely be the main contenders.

Just over one metre separated third and seventh position last week though, so the competition is still relatively open.

The women’s triple jump boasts World Champion Caterine Ibargüen, who will no doubt be brimming with confidence. With her closest rival in Moscow absent, Ibargüen will be optimistic she can come out on top again.

Ukraine’s bronze medallist, Olha Saladukha, will pose stiff competition no doubt. The 30-year-old was 20 centimetres adrift in Moscow, but matches both Ibargüen’s seasons and personal best.

New Zealand’s golden girl, Valerie Adams, will be the overwhelming favourite in the shot put. Adams collected her fourth World gold medal in Moscow, and possesses form far superior to the rest of her opponents.

Seven out of the eight contenders competed in last weeks final, so the battle for second and third should be interesting.

With the absence of Yelena Isinbaeva, the battle for pole vault victory looks to be against Olympic champion, and World silver medallist Jennifer Suhr, and Silva Yarisley. The two came out with an equal height of 4.82 metres in Moscow, but Suhr stole silver on count back.

Suhr and Yarisley are head and shoulders above the rest of the field in terms of height this season, resulting in what is expected to be a two way battle for pole position.

Zuzana Hejnová: Photo by Rega Photography via Flickr  There’s no doubt about the favourite in the women’s 400 metres hurdles. Zuzana Hejnová decimated her opponents in Moscow with a personal best, and world leading time of 52.83 seconds.

Hejnová dominated the event before Moscow winning five diamond league meets, unarguably earning her spot as the current world number one.

With their phenomenal best clockings, an in form Natalya Antyukh and Kaliese Spencer could challenge Hejnová, but unfortunately the pair have not shown that sort of shape this year.

The women’s high jump competition hosts reigning Olympic champion, Anna Chicherova, World champion, Svetlana Shkolina, and World and Olympic silver medallist, Brigetta Barrett. Needless to say, a thrilling encounter is anticipated.

Chicherova was favourite for the title in Moscow, but a sub-standard performance, by her own standards, left her joint third. The Russian is top overall in the diamond league with 11 points, and will surely be eager to get back to winning ways.

Barrett and Shkolina will be hot on Chicherova’s heels however, making for an extremely tight contest.

Ayanieh Souleiman tops the men’s 1500 metres so far with 10 points, but with the supreme force that is Asbel Kiprop present, the Djiboutian athlete is unlikely to maximise on points tomorrow.

Kiprop, the two time World Champion, has mastered the event, and has this year ran his personal best of three minutes 27.72 seconds, notching him up to the fourth fastest 1500 metre runner of all time. The Kenyan is the outstanding favourite for tomorrows meet.

Moscow’s three long jump medal winners will come head to head in Stockholm, as Aleksandr Menkov aims to extend his diamond league dominance.

The Russian boasts 14 point so far, a hefty 10 points ahead of his closest contenders. Menkov leaped to a personal best in Moscow, with his fifth round jump of 8.56 metres, and is clearly in form this season.

Menkov is the only athlete to exceed 8.50 metres this year, and will head into tomorrows competition as clear first choice for the win.

A fairly week women’s 100 metre line-up will see Kerron Stewart edge in as favourtie, succeeding her fifth place in the World Championships final.

America’s Alexandria Anderson is the only other athlete in the field to have featured in last weeks final, but a strong seasons best of 10.85 seconds from compatriot Barbara Pierre, puts her right in the mix too.

Christina Obergföll: Photo by az1172 via Flickr  The women’s javelin competition looks set to be another two way battle. Newly crowned world champion, Christina Obergföll, will take on bronze medallist Mariya Abakumova of Russia.

The two medallists are the only throwers in the field to challenge the 70 metre mark this season. With 20 diamond league point and the World title to her name, Obergföll will not surrender victory easily.

As expected, Kenya dominate the 3,000 metre steeplechase field, with nine athletes in the line-up. But as is customary, the three time World, and twice Olympic champion, Ezekiel Kemboi, will be favoured for the victory.

Conseslus Kipruto made Kemboi work hard for his victory last week, with just 0.36 seconds differing the two, so although it will be a race between the Kenyan’s, it should be a close one at least.

The men’s 200 metres is missing some of the big names, leaving America’s Curtis Mitchell at the fore of field, following his World Championship bronze at the distance.

Norway’s Jaysuma Saidy Ndure made it to Moscow’s final, but came away in last position, evidently lacking the form he is capable of this season.

Mitchell’s team mate, Isiah Young, has run a personal best of 19.86 seconds this season, and should be right up there challenging his compatriot for glory.

The men’s 110 metre hurdles will be one of the most hotly contested track races of the night, with the top five World Championship finishers lining up.

David Oliver is the only man in the field to have hit the 13 second mark this season, and fresh from his World gold, will be oozing confidence. The four athletes that finished below him in Moscow should not be counted out though, and as we know, anything can happen in the hurdles.

Without her team mate, Tirunesh Diababa, on the start line, Meseret Defar should have no troubles in seeing of the 3,000 metre field. The well decorated Ethiopian is yet to run over the distance this season, but the 29-year-old is in a class of her own.

Although challenging for victory is unlikely, America’s trio, Shannon Rowbury, Gabriele Anderson and Jordan Hasay, will have a good opportunity to work together for the proceeding positions.

LaShawn Merritt: Photo by david_shankbone via Flickr  Another overwhelming favourite will be LaShawn Merritt, in the 400 metres. Merritt’s main challenger of the season, Kirani James, shocked spectators when he finished down in seventh position in Moscow, but with no James, Merritt will be confident for the win.

Hot on Merritt’s heels though, will be silver and bronze medallists Tony McQuay, and Dominican Republic youngster Luguelín Santos. 

The final event of the meet will see Kenyan’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum, the World Champion, take on four of her follow finalists.

America’s Alysia Montaño went of incredibly fast in Moscow and burned out in the latter stages, but can she time it right in Stockholm to steal the win?

Sweden ‘s World 1,500 metre champion, Abeba Aregawi, will be making an appearance at the distance too. If Monatño does go out quick, Aregawi ‘s endurance could put her right in the mix.

All of the athletes are relatively close on paper, hopefully making for a close race. 

Coverage of the event will start at 7pm, on BBC3.