After a short break in June, the 2021 Wanda Diamond League season continued in early July with the two Scandinavian meetings. Oslo's Bislett Games took place as a full meeting for the first time since 2019, before focus turned from Norway to Sweden with Stockholm's BAUHAUS Galan three days later. Monaco's Meeting Herculis and a return to Gateshead gave athletes a last chance to compete at the highest level of international competition before heading to Tokyo for the Olympic Games.
Oslo - July 1st
It seemed only a matter of time before Karsten Warholm would break the 400m hurdles world record, and the time, when it came, was 46.70. In his first Wanda Diamond League appearance of the season, the Norwegian superstar ended Kevin Young's 29-year reign at the top of the all-time list with a barnstorming run in his home stadium. He would go even faster in the Olympic final in Tokyo, but breaking the world record on home soil remained a special moment in an extraordinary summer for Warholm, and just the first triumph in a season littered with records and titles. On a night where Warholm overshadowed everyone, there were also victories for fellow hurdler Femke Bol and Kenyan distance legend Hellen Obiri, while Mondo Duplantis picked up his first Diamond League win of the season and a meeting record of 6.01m in the men's pole vault.
Stockholm - July 4th
Having attempted to break his own world record in Oslo, Duplantis had another go in Stockholm, but in the end even home advantage was not enough to propel the Swede over 6.19m. Duplantis still walked away from his home meet with a meeting record, making him the star performer alongside Femke Bol, who broke a Diamond League record and claimed the third of four successive wins with 52.36 in the 400m hurdles. In the women's high jump, rising Ukrainian star Yaroslava Mahuchikh laid down the gauntlet to absent Diamond League champion Mariya Lasitskene with a world lead of 2.03m.
Monaco - July 9th
It was all about the middle distance events in Monaco, and all about two Kenyan superstars in particular. In the women's 1500m, Faith Kipyegon went head-to-head in another nail-biting clash with Dutch star Sifan Hassan, who had beaten her by a whisker in Florence just a month earlier. This time, it was Kipyegon who triumphed, staying on Hassan's tail before dashing past her on the final straight. In the men's event, reigning Diamond League champion Timothy Cheruiyot shook off the troubles of a difficult season to beat the likes of Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Mohammed Katir and clock a personal best of 3:28.28. In the sprints, Trayvon Bromell's long-awaited Diamond League debut ended in disappointment as the rising US star finished only fifth to suffer his first defeat since 2019.
Gateshead II - July 14th
Bromell bounced back with a bang a few days later, however, as the series returned to an altogether sunnier Gateshead than the one which had hosted the season opener two months earlier. Bromell's 9.98 was enough to give him a first ever win on the Diamond League circuit and reestablish himself as one to watch ahead of the Olympics. Katir, meanwhile, picked up his second win of the season on his return to Gateshead, setting a new meeting record of 7:27.64 in the men's 3000m. While it flew slightly under the radar at the time, the last meeting before the Olympics also coincided with a first Diamond League win of the season for Elaine Thompson-Herah. 22.43 was enough for a comfortable victory in the women's 200m, in what would be just the start of a jaw-dropping late summer for the Jamaican.