Friday, 13 June 2014

PREVIEW: IAAF New York Diamond League & adidas Grand Prix

The sixth leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League travels to New York on Saturday as the finest track and field athletes from around the globe gather to compete in the adidas Grand Prix. Below is a summary of the headline acts to look out for in the US city…

BMW Women’s 100m -

America’s Tori Bowie starts as the favourite following her breakthrough performances on the IAAF Diamond League circuit in recent weeks.

The 23-year-old is yet to compete in a major international championship but caused a surprise from lane one of the 200m in Eugene with a 22.18 world lead, then consolidated her fine form with another victory – this time over 100m – in Rome last week, with a 10.5 lifetime best.

Her opposition will come in the form of Jamaican duo, Samantha Henry-Robinson and Kerron Stewart.

The former sped to a 11.00 clocking in Florida back in April, whilst Stewart – the 2008 Olympic silver medallist – placed third in Doha and was the runner-up in Rome.

adidas Men’s 200m –

2009 world silver medallist, Alsonso Edward leads the men’s half-lap field, courtesy of his 20.00 season’s best and win in Rome.

The 24-year-old from Panama will face global fourth placer, Nickel Ashmead of Jamaica who took the honours in Doha and his countryman, Warren Weir – the Olympic bronze medallist and world runner-up who took second place in Doha.

Women’s 400m –

Francena McCorory improved from fourth in Shanghai to second in Eugene, and the 25-year-old world indoor champion goes up against Stephenie Ann-McPherson of Jamaica.

The world fourth placer finished third in the same two meetings and the contest will additionally welcome the one-lap season debut of world champion, Christine Ohuruogu.

Great Britain’s 2008 Olympic champion has been in under-par form of late but should never be discounted.

adidas Men’s 800m –

Following a lengthy injury lay-off in 2013, Olympic champion and world record-holder, David Rudisha continues his return to competition.

The 25-year-old lead for much of the race in Eugene before languishing to seventh spot but the Kenyan has had a fortnight to work on his finishing speed.

Others expected to feature highly in the two-lap competition include America’s Olympic fourth placer, Duane Solomon who finished fourth in Rome and Polish pair, Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski – who were fifth and sixth in Eugene, as Lewandowski progressed to third in Rome.

Women’s 1500m –

Sweden’s world indoor and outdoor champion, Abebe Aregawi is expected to cross the line first in the metric mile.

The 23-year-old won in Shanghai and placed second in Eugene, and she faces Ethiopia’s 17-year-old Dawit Seyaum, who scorched to a 3:59.53 world junior lead and national junior record in Marrakech last weekend.

The world youth championships runner-up will be joined by the USA’s world silver medallist, Jenny Simpson who finished one and two places, respectively, behind Aregawi earlier in the season.

Women’s 3,000m –

World 5,000m runner-up, Mercy Cherono of Kenya should be the one to beat, following a two-mile victory in Eugene for the 23-year-old.

Also second in Doha and fourth in Rome, she will do battle against her team-mate, the Olympic 10,000m silver medallist, Sally Kipyego and Bahrain's 2010 world indoor 1500m champion, Kalkidan Gezahegne.

Women’s 3,000m Steeplechase –

Following a 9:11.39 world lead in Eugene, Olympic and world bronze medallist, Sofia Assefa of Ethiopia starts as the favourite over the barriers.

The 26-year-old will be joined by her countrywoman, Hiwot Ayalew who placed third in Shanghai and runner-up in Eugene, and Kenya’s Purity Kirui.

Women’s 100m Hurdles –

2008 Olympic champion and 2012 Olympic silver medallist, Dawn Harper-Nelson is the odds-on favourite following the 30-year-old American’s runner-up position in Rome.

Her team-mate, Queen Harrison – fifth in the world championships last summer – finished one place behind in the Italian capital, and Great Britain’s world indoor and outdoor bronze medallist, Tiffany Porter is another athlete to watch out for.

Men’s 400m Hurdles –

30-year-old Olympic runner-up, Michael Tinsley of the USA is the current world-leader with a swift 48.57 clocking and the Shanghai winner will be challenged by Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson and the USA’s Bershawn Jackson.

Culson – the Olympic bronze medallist – won in Hengelo, whilst 2005 world champion, Jackson placed third in Shanghai.

Men’s High Jump –

The top three from Rome will do battle once again in one of the most eagerly-anticipated events on the programme.

Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Bogdan Bondarenko of Ukraine will renew their rivalry after their thrilling clash, which result in Barshim narrowly capturing the win via a 2.41m world-leading leap.

The 22-year-old world indoor champion will be up against the threat of world champion, Bondarenko as well as the USA’s 2012 Olympic silver medallist, Erik Kynard – who placed second in Doha earlier on in the summer.

Men’s Long Jump –

Greece’s world indoor fourth placer, Louis Tsatoumas starts as the favourite in this event.

The 32-year-old arrives off the back of victory in Doha and Hengelo, and he will compete against China’s world indoor runner-up, Li Jinzhe and the USA’s Jeff Henderson.

Women’s Pole Vault –

Cuba’s Yarisley Silva holds the current world lead with a 4.70m mark en route to victory in Rome, and the 27-year-old world indoor champion will clash with Olympic champion, Jenn Suhr.

The American world silver medallist will be joined by Germany’s Lisa Ryzih was finished runner-up in Rome.

Women’s Triple Jump –

Kimberly Williams of Jamaica should have it her own way following third and second place in Doha and Hengelo, respectively.

The 25-year-old world indoor bronze medallist is joined in the field by Russia's world finalist, Anna Pyatykh and Australia’s Linda Leverton.

Women’s Shot Put –

After recent wins in Doha, Rome and Marrakech, shot put supremo, Valerie Adams will be seeking an outstanding fiftieth consecutive record.

The 29-year-old Olympic, world and world indoor champion from New Zealand looks set to grab another victory, and is the only woman on the start list who has thrown over
20-meters this season.

Adams’ nearest challenger may be Russia’s Olympic runner-up Yevgeniya Kolodko, who was fourth in Rome and Trinidad and Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel.

Men’s Discus Throw –

Two giants of the discus throwing world, Germany’s Robert Harting and Piotr Malachowski of Poland will once again face off in what is set to be a tense battle.

Harting - the 29-year-old Olympic, world and European champion – took the top spot in Rome and Hengelo from his fierce rival but Malachowski holds the world lead at

Women’s Javelin -

The only woman in the field who has thrown in excess of 64-meters this year is Australia’s Kathryn Mitchell, owner of a 66.10m effort this summer and therefore the a clear favourite.

The athlete most likely to halt the 32-year-old world fifth placer’s ambitions could be Germany’s Linda Stahl – the Olympic bronze medallist and world fourth placer who was fifth in Doha.

Non-Diamond League events:

BMW Men’s 100m –

Jamaica’s Olympic 100m and 200m silver medallist, Yohan Blake is matched up against his compatriot, Nesta Carter in what should be a tight race.

The pair share the same 10.02 season’s best and Carter – the world bronze medallist – could potentially cause an upset following his second place finishes in Shanghai and Rome.

Battling for the third spot is likely to be Zambia’s world indoor 60m fifth placer, Gerald Phiri, Zambia.

Women’s 200m –

World indoor 400m bronze medallist, Shaunae Miller goes up against 2009 world fifth placer, Anneisha McLaughlin of Jamaica, whilst the USA’s Shalonda Solomon also contests.

Men’s 400m –

LaShawn Merritt has notched up victories in Doha, Eugene and Rome and co-owns the current world-lead with an impressive 43.74.

The 27-year-old American world champion will face Olympic silver and world bronze medallist, Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic and Saudi Arabia’s Yousef Masrahi.

Women’s 800m –

US teen sensation, Mary Cain goes in the two-lap event and the 18-year-old world finalist’s opposition includes Canada’s Kate Van Buskirk and Jamaica’s Natoya Goule.

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