The Wanda Diamond League hit new heights in 2023, with seven world records and 12 first-time champions crowning what was arguably the greatest season in the series' history. In the fifth and final part of our season review, we recap the record-breaking drama of the series final at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.
Season review part five: Champions crowned in Eugene
There were one or two surprises on the first day of the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene, as the likes of Noah Lyles and Karsten Warholm both failed to add another Diamond Trophy to their 2023 world title wins. Lyles was beaten by compatriot Christian Coleman, while Norway's Warholm was felled by his long-time US rival Rai Benjamin in the 400m hurdles. Benjamin's astonishing 46.39 was one of two Diamond League records on the opening day, with Jakob Ingebrigtsen also cruising to an impressive 3:43.73 in the mile to defend his title and claim a second Diamond Trophy of his career. Benjamin, by contrast, had never won the Diamond League title before, and was one of 12 athletes who were crowned series champion for the first time in Eugene. Among the other first-time winners on the opening day was pole vault star Katie Moon, who bounced back from defeat in Zurich with an impressive meeting record of 4.86m. "The Diamond League trophy is one that evaded me for a while, so this was top of my list to win and I’m just so ecstatic that I could do it in Eugene," said Moon.
Back in 2018, Caterine Ibargüen made Diamond League history when she claimed the triple and long jump titles on successive days in Zurich and Brussels. It was a feat which had never been managed before and - until day two of the 2023 final - no athlete had managed since. Step forward Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Shericka Jackson, both of whom emulated Ibargüens heroics by claiming their second title in two days in Eugene. While Ingebrigtsen followed up his mile victory with a series record of 7:23.63 in the 3000m, Jackson clocked a meeting record of 21.57 to add the 200m Diamond Trophy to the 100m title she had won the previous day. "Funnily enough, last year one of my goals was to win two trophies. I didn't get them last year, so I set it as a goal for this season too. I got it and I’m grateful," said Jackson. Yet even those historic achievements were overshadowed later in the day, as both Mondo Duplantis and Gudaf Tsegay both broke world records in the pole vault and women's 5000m. Duplantis' jaw-dropping first-time clearance at 6.23m prompted wild celebrations at the pole vault runway, while Tsegay's 14:00.21 in the 5000m will go down as one of the most sensational world records in history. Just months after Faith Kipyegon had broken the same world record in Paris, the Ethiopian shaved a further five seconds off the mark, coming within a whisker of breaking the 14-minute barrier for the first time in history.