Two days, two venues, one city
The Diamond League Final will take place in one city for the first time in the series’ history in 2021, with all 32 Wanda Diamond League champions to be crowned in Zurich on September 8th and 9th. The bumper season finale will take place across two days in two different venues. The shot put, long jump, 5000m and women’s high jump finals will be held at the Sechseläutenplatz square on the shores of Lake Zurich on the Wednesday evening, and all other events will be on show at the Letzigrund Stadium the following night. While the city event is new ground, the Letzigrund is familiar terrain: it has co-hosted every single Diamond League Final since the series began in 2010.
Some of the biggest superstars in world athletics will be battling it out for the Diamond League title in Zurich, but none of them are in on name alone. All of them have earned their place in the final with consistent performances throughout the course of the Wanda Diamond League season. Since the season opener in Gateshead back in May, athletes have competed for qualification points over the course of 11 series meetings. In each discipline, the athletes with the most points at the end of the season qualify for the final. In the 100m, sprint hurdles and 800m, it is the top eight who qualify, while in the 200m and one-lap races it is the top seven. Some fields will be more compact than in previous years, with the top six qualifying in the technical disciplines and the top 10 qualifying in the middle and long distance races.
After a season-long struggle, it is all or nothing in the final. The winners of each discipline in Zurich will be crowned Wanda Diamond League champion and awarded US$30,000 in prize money. Even more importantly, they will each get to take home the coveted Diamond Trophy. A 4.8 kilogram, 35 centimetre high masterpiece designed and produced by Swiss jeweller Beyer, the trophy is one of the most recognisable in world sport. The middle section represents the track, while the cut-glass “diamond” on top stands for the brilliance of the champions.
Most Consistent Athlete
2021 will also see the introduction of a new award for “Most Consistent Athlete”, to honour those who delivered consistently excellent performances throughout the Wanda Diamond League season. Ten athletes will receive the award, with a male and female winner respectively in the sprints, hurdles, distance events, jumps and throws. Each winner will receive US$20,000 in prize money.
Innovations and classic formats
While city events are nothing new in the field disciplines, Zurich 2021 will be the first time that a track race has taken place outside the stadium in a Diamond League Final. The 5000m finals on Wednesday evening will take place on a 560-metre long, temporary track on Sechseläutenplatz. In the throws and horizontal jumps, meanwhile, athletes will compete using the classic format. The Final 3 format, which had been trialled throughout the season, will not be used in the Wanda Diamond League Final.
Diamond League Legends
Some athletes, such as Olympic pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis, will be hoping to claim their first Diamond League title in 2021. Others already have several Diamond Trophies on their mantlepiece. The two most successful athletes in the series’ history are US triple jumper Christian Taylor and French pole vault star Renaud Lavillenie, both of whom have a whopping seven titles to their name. Only a handful of athletes, including Allyson Felix, Caterine Ibargüen and Noah Lyles, have ever won the Diamond Trophy in two different disciplines in the same year.