This weekend, the world’s finest athletes will be at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene for the Wanda Diamond League Final.
The season finale of athletics’ premier one-day series is the last chance to win an international outdoor title in 2023, and the climactic moment of a season-long battle for the prestigious Diamond Trophy.
Most participants have qualified by earning points in the 13 series meetings, which took place across four different continents between May and September.
Yet a handful of athletes are also able to qualify for the final via the global and national wild card system.
Explained: National wild cards
In each discipline, the host meeting of the Diamond League Final may invite one national wild card from the host country, providing they are of an adequate standard.
In 2023, that means that a US athlete who has not earned enough points to qualify can still be nominated by the meeting organisers in Eugene.
The national wild card can still apply even if other athletes of the same nationality have qualified via the points system.
In case of victory, the national wild card will receive the full prize money, but will not receive the Diamond Trophy or be crowned Wanda Diamond League champion.
Explained: Global wild cards
Meeting organisers can also invite up to four global wild card athletes (two men, two women) to compete at the Wanda Diamond League Final.
A global wild card athlete must have competed in at least one Diamond League meeting in the course of the season, and must fulfil at least one of the following criteria in their chosen discipline:
- World record holder
- Reigning world, Olympic or Diamond League champion
- Top 5 in the World Athletics rankings of their event
- Top 20 in the overall World Athletics rankings
No competition which already contains a national wild card athlete can also contain a global wild card athlete.
In case of victory, the global wild card athlete will be crowned Diamond League champion and receive the Diamond Trophy, but will not receive full prize money.
For more detailed information on national and global wild cards, please refer to the World Athletics Diamond League meetings regulations.