The jewels of Diamond League athletics meet in Eugene

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Eugene (United States) (AFP) – Thompson-Herah, Coleman, Richardson, Crouser… The Diamond League will bear its name well in Eugene: with rare exceptions, the current jewels of athletics, particularly in the 100-meter dash, will attend the meeting in Oregon on Saturday, where the Worlds also take place in July.

Aside from Italian Olympic gold medalist Marcell Jacobs, Paket, the straight at Hayward Field will be five stars, with fellow Tokyo medalists American Fred Kerley (silver) and Canadian Andre De Grasse (bronze).

Also reigning world champion Christian Coleman, author of Timid Return (10sec 09), will be in Tokyo on May 8 in his first race over the distance since his 18-month ban for breaching his reporting requirements.

Erriyon Knighton, who earlier this month in Baton Rouge became the fourth fastest man in 200m history at just 18 (19sec, 49/100), could become the first high school student to run under 10 seconds.

And also entered Trayvon Bromell, who ran 9.75 in Florida on May 1st. However, his time was disallowed due to slightly too favorable winds (2.1m/s), preventing him from displacing best of the year Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala (9sec 85). But it can only be a respite…

Top form for Thompson-Herah?

The women’s 100m will look great too, with two-time Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah the favourite. The Jamaican remains on course for a win in Kingston last Saturday after withdrawing from the Diamond League stage scheduled for the same day in Birmingham due to a shoulder injury.

Also plagued by pain in an Achilles tendon and not yet at the top — her reference time this year (10.89) is far from her standards — Thompson-Herah still needs to “reach her peak form in Oregon,” her trainer and husband Derron Herah warned to the Sportsmax Media.

Canadian André de Grasse (g), American Noah Lyles (c) and American Fred Kerley during the 200m at the Doha meet, May 13, 2022 KARIM JAAFAR AFP/Archives

Her main rival will be American Sha’Carri Richardson, also looking for her best form. The 22-year-old sprinter caused quite a stir at last year’s American Olympic Trials when he ran in 10.64 (with the help of the wind) in the semifinals before winning the final. But she had been banned from the Tokyo games for smoking cannabis.

The other Jamaican sprint star, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, who achieved the ERA on the straight (10.67), will run the 200m. Will she assess herself with a view to doubling in two months time at the same distance where she is set to defend her world 100m title?

“I did it last year, it was tough,” she said on Friday. “It all depends on how I’m feeling because some mornings I feel really good and the next morning I feel like I’m 35.”

Duplantis wins

Ryan Crouser, reigning two-time Olympic champion and world record holder in shot put, American Rai Benjamin, silver medalist in Tokyo in the 400-meter hurdles, or even Michael Norman, 4.

In the women’s event, Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, reigning Olympic champion, and American Kendra Harrison, silver medalist, will duel in the 100m hurdles.

Gold medalist Armand Duplantis of Sweden poses during the podium ceremony for the pole vault final during the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships at Stark Arena, Belgrade, March 20, 2022
Gold medalist Armand Duplantis of Sweden poses during the podium ceremony for the pole vault final during the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Championships at Stark Arena, Belgrade, March 20, 2022 pedja milosavljevic AFP/Archive

In the 800m, American Athing Mu, Briton Keely Hodgkinson and American Raevyn Rogers, who stood on the Olympic podium in Tokyo, compete.

As rain is expected on Saturday, some events have been brought forward to Friday evening.

Armand Duplantis, world record holder and reigning Olympic champion, won the pole vault competition with a beam of 5.91 m.

The world record holder (6.20 m indoors) beat the USA’s Christopher Nilsen (5.81 m), who continues to be the owner of the year’s best outdoor world performance (6 m), as the Swede then three times with 6.07 failed.

American Valari Allman, the reigning Olympic discus champion, won with a throw of 68.35 m.

Kenyan Joshua Cheptegei, reigning Olympic champion and world record holder, set the best time of the year (12:57.99) over 5,000 m.

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