The Wanda Diamond League returns this Sunday as the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial Meeting in Poland makes its second ever appearance on the circuit and its first since joining as a full member meeting in late 2022. With a spectacular array of athletics superstars and some enthralling head-to-heads expected, here are five things to look out for at the Silesia Diamond League.
Silesia: Five things to look out for
The reigning Wanda Diamond League champion over 200m, Jamaican sprinter Shericka Jackson is one of a few athletes who may have their eyes on a Diamond League double this season. As well as an impressive 200m victory and meeting record in Rabat, she has also soared to second in the 100m standings with podium finishes in Doha and Oslo this season. Her first 100m win of the campaign may not be too far away, with Jackson hitting brilliant form over the shorter distance in recent weeks. She clocked a world lead and personal best of 10.65 at the Jamaican championships last week, and will head to Silesia in good spirits as she prepares to take on the likes of Sha'Carri Richardson and Daryll Neita.
Having already bagged the world, Olympic and Diamond League titles in the last few years, Morocco's Soufiane El Bakkali has been saying for months that he is now setting his sights on breaking the world record in the 3000m steeplechase. That dream took an unexpected turn last month when his Ethiopian rival Lamecha Girma beat him to the punch at the Paris Diamond League, running 7:52.11 to break a record which had stood for 19 years. El Bakkali remains unbowed, insisting ahead of Stockholm that he still thinks he can beat Girma's mark, and though he was unable to do in tricky conditions in Sweden, Silesia may yet be the next step on the road to the record.
400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk made a winning return to Diamond League action in Oslo last month, claiming victory over one lap in his first appearance on the circuit since 2017. After years of injury struggles, the South African is continuing to make strides towards a return to the top and he will hope to add another victory to his comeback tour in Silesia on Sunday. As he eases his way back into the elite, it may be a little while yet before the 28-year-old can start to dream of a new world record, but the world and Diamond League titles are very much on the cards this year. He has never won the latter, and a win on Sunday would put him within touching distance of a place in this year's final.
When she won her first Diamond Trophy last September, it looked as though Yaroslava Mahuchikh might be about to launch an era of dominance in the women's high jump. But even for someone of Mahuchikh's class, it can be tough at the top. The Ukrainian star remains the world number one and began her title defence with a comfortable victory in Rabat, but she has run into trouble since then as Australian rival Nicola Olyslagers has hit her stride and surged to the top of the qualification standings. After a win in Paris, Olyslagers went one better by beating Mahucikh herself in Lausanne and will feel confident as the two face off once again in Poland on Sunday.
Let's face it, there is almost nobody who can get close to Mondo Duplantis in the men's pole vault at the moment, and while KC Lightfoot, Chris Nilsen and co. will give it a good go in Silesia, anything but another win for the Swedish sensation would be a shock as he edges closer to a third successive Diamond Trophy this season. The real question, as always, is how high Duplantis can go. After braving miserable conditions to make a game attempt at a new world record of 6.23m n front of his home crowd in Stockholm, the 23-year-old will be hoping for better weather in Poland as he sets his sights on his own meeting record of 6.10m, set in the Slaski Stadion last year.