Four days after Beijing’s 2015 World Athletics Championships, first of the two Diamond League finals was staged at Zurich on September 03, 2015. It was a short time for many athletes, who suffered from World Championship hangover and arrived in Zurich with jet-lags. This could have affected their performances somewhat but with lot of cash at stake, they all came. Zurich’s 13th DL meeting resulted in the crowning of 16 DL champions and 16 more were crowned 8 days later in the second final in Brussels on September 11, 2015. The next DL season will begin in Doha next March. Here is a brief summary of Zurich and Brussels Events.
In men’s 1500m, Kenyan Asbel Kiprop ran beautifully just as he had done at Beijing. He did the last lap in 53.4 and won in 3:35.79 to win the DL title. His compatriot Elijah Manangoi was second in 3:36.01. In men’s 3000m steeplechase, another Kenyan 33-year-old Paul Koech registered his victory in three years but the DL title was taken by 2014 winner Jairus Birech, who finished second in 8:15.64 behind Koech.
In women’s 800m, Kenyan Eunice Sum got unlucky at Beijing despite her dominance during the year. In Zurich, however, she bounced back to win in 1:59.14 and took the DL title as well. GBR’s Lynsey Sharp was second and Germany’s Fabienne Kohlmann third. In women’s 3000m, Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana defeated compatriot and favorite Genzebe Dibaba for the second time in five days. She had done that in the 5000m at Beijing’s World Championship. Dibaba couldn’t extract her revenge but she had the honor of taking the DL title for her superior show in previous DL events.
In men’s 200m, Panama’s Alonso Edward maintained his previous DL performance and walked away with another DL title by winning in 20.03. Jamaican Rasheed Dwyer was second and South African Anaso Jobodwana third. USA’s LaShawn Merritt won men’s 400m in 44.20 but it was Kirani James of Granada, who won the DL title on overall performance. In men’s 110m hurdles, Sergey Shubenkov of Russia won the race but USA’s David Oliver took the DL title for best DL performance in the season.
Women’s 100m was won by Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who also took the DL title for her great performance throughout the year. She clocked 10.93 to Nigeria’s second-placed Blessing Okagbare’s 10.98. Czech Republic’s World champion Zuzana Hejnova won women’s 400m hurdles and also the DL title in 54.47 ahead of Sara Slott Petersen of Denmark.
In Men’s Discus, Poland’s Robert Urbanek won the event but compatriot Piotr Malachowski took the DL title. In men’s high jump, Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim left his world championships blues behind to leap 2.32m and take the 2015 DL title. His closest rival, Bohdan Bonderenko of Ukraine was second. Britain’s Greg Rutherford Won the long jump with 8.32m and clinched the DL title as well. Similarly Germany’s World Champion Christina Schwanitz won the shot put for women as well as the DL title.
In women’s long jump, USA’s world champion Tianna Bartoletta finished second to Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic but the American still won the DL title based on previous performances. In women’s Pole Vault, Greek Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou took the DL title by clearaning 4.77m. Brazil’s Fabiana Murer was second and Cuba’s Yarisley third. In women’s javelin, Czech Barbora Spotakova, who met with disappointment in Beijing, won the DL title with a throw of 64.31m. Elizabeth Gleadle of Canada was second while Beijing winner Kathrina Molitor was third.
In season’s concluding DL meeting and the second final, women’s 200m was keenly awaited. Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers repeated her Beijing feat to beat USA’s Olympic champion Allyson Felix. The American had not run the 200m at Beijing because she wanted to concentrate on 400m, which she duly won. In Zurich, however, Felix challenged Schippers but couldn’t beat the rejuvenated Dutch, who won in 22.12 against Felix’s 22.22.
In Men’s 100m, Justin Gatlin’s DL title was already a foregone conclusion. Gatlin allowed the race to develop into a trail-blazing finish winning in 9.98 seconds. Second-placed Qatari Femi Ogunode was also finished in 9.98 while Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut was third in 9.99. In women’s mile, Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon recorded the fastest time of 4:16.71 in last 19 years and won the race ahead of Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan and US duo of Shannon Rowbury and Jenny Simpson. Men’s 5,000m had a new DL winner in 18-year old Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha, who took the field in 12:53.98 with his compatriot Hagos Gebrhiwet finishing second in 12:54.70. Celebrated American runners; Ben True, Ryan Hill and Galen Rupp fell way behind.
In women’s 3000m steeplechase, Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi clocked 9:05.36 to become the third-fastest female steeplechaser of all time. USA’s Emma Coburn was eighth. After Zurich’s non-DL 800m, Poland’s Adam Kszczot won the event once again but the DL title went to Botswana’s Nijel Amos because Mohammad Aman couldn’t win. Just as in Beijing, the 800m field was quite strong despite David Rudisha abstaining for reasons of fatherhood during the week. In women’s Triple Jump, Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen continued her top status and registered her 31st straight victory with a jump of 14.60. Israel’s Knyazyeva-Minenko was second in 14.42.
After his disappointing finish at Beijing, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie reigned supreme yet again and won men’s pole vault DL title with 5.95m clearance. Over the decade, Lavillenie has dominated the world scene in pole vault and it was his sixth DL title. Canada’s world champion Shawn Barber was second. In men’s 400m hurdles, Bahamas’ Jeffery Gibson finished first but the DL title went to USA’s Bershawn Jackson for better season’s performance. In men’s javelin, Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki won his first DL title by finishing first. Germany’s Thomas Rohler was second.
Expectedly, men’s triple jump turned out to be a tussle between USA’s Christian Taylor and Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo. Taylor finished first with a jump of 17.59 and took the 2015 DL title. In women’s 100m hurdles, USA’s Dawn Harper-Nelson topped the race in 12.63 and won the DL crown. The first three hurdlers were Americans with Sharika Nelvis finishing second and Jasmin Stowers third. In a crucial race, in which the top three were tied at 10 points apiece, the Brussels race decided the DL winner. USA’s Francena McCorory won the women’s 400m DL title despite finishing second to Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller. In women’s high jump, Russia’s Maria Kuchina leapt over 2 meters to win the event and also collected the DL title. In women’s discus, Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic won another event with DL title already in her bag. It was Perkovic’s fourth straight DL win though she disappointed in the world championships in Beijing.
In men’s shot put, New Zealand’s Tom Walsh threw 21.39 meters to win the event ahead of Jamaica’s O’Dayne Richards but behind them, the DL title was fought between Germany’s David Storl and USA’s Joe Kovacs, both of whom were tied at 14 points before Brussels. However, with Kovacs hurling the put at 21.35 to Storl’s best attempt of 21.09, American took the DL title.