Rome Diamond League – Everything you need to know

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Sprinting sensation Noah Lyles aims to stop the impressive return of Andre de Grasse. (MV4R Photography).

The stars will be shining brighter than a million diamonds on Thursday, as Rome’s Golden Gala meeting boasts a multitude of top athletes for the fourth Diamond League meet.

A mixture of the sport’s past, present and future will be making the trip to Rome, with figures such as 200m trophy winner Noah Lyles looking to make it business as usual, while former Olympic pole vault champion Jennifer Suhr continues her big return to form.

It will certainly prove an exciting mix of clashes, promising plenty of twists and turns as the road to the final continues.

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How to watch

The event will be broadcast live from 19:00pm BST until 21:00pm on Eurosport 2, with coverage starting at the non-scoring men’s 400m hurdles event, while the women’s 400m hurdles kicks off the Diamond League track action.

The BBC will also broadcast their usual one hour highlights programme running on Saturday 8th June from 1pm-2pm BST.

As always, instant updates from the event can be followed on the official Diamond League twitter account @Diamond_League with highlights also available on their official Youtube channel.

Who to Watch

Track

Sprint sensation Noah Lyles is once again back in action for the men’s 200m. The Diamond Trophy winner’s confidence will be sky-high after his impressive 100m victory in Shanghai, but he will be up against a host of world medallist such as Ramil Guliyev, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake and Jereem Richards.

Youngster Michael Norman may also give his fellow American some things to think about, but there is no doubt that Lyles remains the favourite heading into the Golden Gala.

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Meanwhile, despite winning the opening women’s 100m in Shanghai, Aleia Hobbs has a tough night ahead of her in Rome, with the visit of multiple world medallist Marie-Josee Ta Lou and an incredibly in-form Dina Asher-Smith promising a feisty sprint battle.

The men’s 110m hurdles kicked off in superb but also heartbreaking style in Shanghai after Omar McLeod stormed to the win just the day after his aunt’s death.

This time however it is the likes of Olympic medallist Orlando Ortega and trophy holder Sergey Shubenkov who do battle in another fierce encounter, while world and European indoor champion Andy Pozzi will also look to get in and amongst it, along with African champion Antonio Alkana and South American champion Gabriel Constantino.

The women’s 1500m sees a first Diamond race this year for Trophy holder Laura Muir, who renews her rivalry with world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, while multiple world medallist Jenny Simpson, African champion Winny Chebet and world leader Gudaf Tsegay also feature in an impressive lineup.

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After just losing out in Shanghai, Diamond Trophy winner Selemon Barega prepares to go again in the men’s 5000m, along with his close Ethiopian rival Hagos Gebrhiwet and Ethiopian-born Bahrain athlete Birhanu Balew.

The dominant Dalilah Muhammad continues the defence of her 400m hurdles crown as the one to beat, with American rival Kori Carter looking to pick up some form after a slow start to the season.

As always, the men’s 800m is a tough one to call, as current world leader Nijel Amos takes on the always-dangerous Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich as well as Donavan Brazier and Jonathan Kitilit, with barely a second separating all their season’s bests.

Shericka Jackson will be hoping to upset the odds in the women’s 400m against favourite Salwa Eid Naser, after the Continental Cup winner made a winning start to her Diamond Trophy defence in Shanghai.

Field

A huge return to form sees former Olympic champion Jennifer Suhr enter the women’s pole vault as the world leader and a real threat to the likes of Diamond Trophy holder Katerina Stefanidi and world indoor champion Sandi Morris. Stefanidi’s fellow Grecian Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou and Asian record holder Li Ling however will also be hoping to once again be in and amongst the top competitors after their close battle in Shanghai.

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The women’s long jump will be yet another clash of the very best in the sport, as last year’s double Diamond trophy winner Caterine Ibarguen faces world indoor champion Ivana Spanovic and world outdoor champion Brittney Reese and European champion Malaika Mihambo. British duo Shara Proctor and Lorraine Ugen definitely not be underestimated however, while world leader Chantel Malone could also be capable of putting a spanner in the works.

The first men’s triple jump competition of the year boasts the Diamond Trophy winner Pedro Pablo Pichardo as he begins his search for a first ever world gold this year. The Cuban will be a huge favourite to pick up another victory, but it certainly won’t be easy against world leader Omar Craddock and fellow Cuban Andy Diaz.

After an impressive win on home soil, China’s Lyu Huihui once again looks to come out on top in the women’s javelin, while last year’s Diamond Trophy winner Tatsiana Khaladovich aims to bounce back from her disappointing opener in Shanghai.

The men’s shot put looks set to be very close, with Continental Cup winner Darlan Romani taking on European champion Michal Haratyk and African champion Chukwuebuka Enekwechi. Only six centimetres separates their season’s bests, with all of them still yet to win a Diamond League meet so far in their careers.

It is very much another tight encounter in the men’s high jump as well, which sees Asian champion Majd enter with the highest season’s best, but with Django Lovett, Takashi Eto and Diamond Trophy holder Brandon Starc for close company.

Full start-lists and results from the meeting can all be found here, as well as timings for each event.

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First published on: 6 June, 2019 7:56 am

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