With just 19 days to go to the Tokyo Olympics, stars from the world of athletics assemble in Stockholm for the next round of the Diamond League as they refine their performances ready the big one. We preview all the main action right here.
The biggest star of this Diamond League meet is undoubtedly, Mondo Duplantis. In his second competition in a week, the Swedish Pole Vault World Record holder will once again look to break the world record on his home soil; just as Karsten Warholm did a few days ago at the Bislett Games. Mondo has been in scintillating form all season and once again went over 6m in Norway. With over 5000 allowed into the stadium, the support is bound to be electric. He’ll be up against his great rivals, Sam Kendricks and, veteran, Renauld Lavillenie. In the press conference, Duplantis said; “If we go out there and we get good conditions, in front of a home crowd, I hope to go out there and try to do something special in front of everybody.”
On the track, all eyes will be on World 1500m Champion Timothy Cheruiyot, who shocked the track and field by failing to qualify for the Olympics, placing 4th in the Kenyan Olympic Trials. He’ll be looking to make a mends, in a strong field in which he’s unlikely to have it all his own way. He’s the standout favourite but Adam Ali Musab (3:32.41), Bethwell Birgen and Ignacio Fontes will likely compete hard.
Men’s and women’s 800m
Fresh off her astonishing 1:57 in Oslo just 4 days ago, Kate Grace returns in what is a competitive 800m, including British superstar and two-time British champion, Keely Hodgkinson who ran 1:58.89 in Ostrava in May and will be looking to build on her win at the British Championships. Is this the race we see Keely go sub 1:58 and really stamp her mark as a medal contender in Tokyo? The race also includes Jamaican national champion, Natoya Goule who won the national title in 1:57.84. The favourite, though, might be well Cuba’s Rose Mary Almanza who’s PB 1:56.42, ran last month, is the fastest on paper.
The men’s 800m will have a British feel to it, with Elliot Giles, fresh off winning the British 800m Championship, alongside Jamie Webb who placed 4th in that event but recently beat Giles in a sprint finish down the home straight. They’ll be battling it out against experienced and world-class Kenyan, Ferguson Rotich and world-silver medallist Amel Tuka.
Men’s and women’s 400m Hurdles
We’re being spoilt for world-class 400m hurdle races at the moment and Stockholm is no different. Although we’re unlikely to see any world records fall this time, the women’s in particular looks set to be a thrilling race. With in-form, European indoor champion Femke Bol who ran 53.33 in Oslo, lining up against former world silver medallist Shamier Little who despite running 53:12 this season was destroyed by Sydney McLaughlin in the US Olympic Trials. Ahead of the race, Bol said, “I am really happy about my season so far. I am getting a PB in almost every race…So I am really excited about Tokyo.”
Alison dos Santos, fresh off running a 47.38 in Oslo behind world record holder Karsten Warholm and breaking a South American record in the process, will go again in the men’s event.
Other standout events
Aside from all this action, there’s also men’s and women’s 400m events which includes Kirani James, and Commonwealth champion Isaac Makwala. The women’s 200m which includes Olympic 400m medallist Shericka Jackson and Marie-Josee Ta Lou and the men’s 100m has Ronnie Baker and Marvin Bracy who have both run 9.85 whilst Andy Pozzi goes against Jamaican Ronald Levy and Elmo Lakka in the men’s 110m hurdles.
When is it on?
All the action gets underway at 13:00 UK time, with the first track event, the non-Diamond League 800m going ahead 54 minutes later at 13:54 (subtract by 5 hours for West USA time). You can check out the full schedule, here.
How can I watch?
Fans can watch live on the Diamond League YouTube channel.
For fans in the UK, you can watch the action on BBC Two, the BBC iPlayer or the BBC sport app from 1500 (UK time).