31 July, 2019

Road To The Final So Far: Part One

  • © Jiro Mochizuki

The IAAF Diamond League will enter the climactic phase of the season when the Road to the Final resumes in Birmingham on August 18, but before that, it is time to look back at what has happened so far in 2019. In the first of a two-part series, relive the twists and turns of the early season in Doha, Shanghai, Stockholm, Rome and Oslo.

Doha - May 3

The Road to the Final began with a bang in Doha, as the season opener moved out of the Qatar Sports Club for the first time, and into the altogether more shiny surroundings of the Khalifa International Stadium. 

Nijel Amos' dramatic victory over Emmanuel Korir in the men's 800m caught the eye on opening night, and Daniel Stahl's impressive performance set the tone for his dominance in the men's discus this year. Dina Asher-Smith kickstarted what has been a rip-roaring year in the women's sprints with victory in the 200m

Shanghai - May 18

Noah Lyles and Christian Coleman went head to head in Shanghai, and ended up neck and neck at the finish line in the men's 100m, with Lyles edging victory by the finest of margins. 

There was also a high-profile clash in the men's 400m hurdles as Abderrahman Samba held off young pretender Rai Benjamin. In the sprint hurdles, Omar McLeod made it four wins in four straight seasons at the Shanghai Diamond League, and dedicated an emotional victory to his late aunt. 

Stockholm - May 30

Benjamin was back in action on the 400m flat against fellow rising star Mike Norman in Stockholm, while there was a shock defeat elsewhere for experienced campaigner and multiple Diamond Trophy winner Hellen Obiri, who took a tumble in the 5000m. 

The Swedish crowd, though, will remember the evening mostly for the exploits of homegrown talent Thobias Montler, who shocked a star-studded field in the men's long jump. 

Rome - June 6

There was more sprinting drama in Rome as Lyles and Norman provided another photo finish in the men's 200m, Norman just holding off his friend and compatriot to snatch victory at the line. 

In the women's long jump, Malaika Mihambo cleared the seven-metre mark to assert herself as the frontrunner in the race for the Diamond Trophy, while Konrad Bukowiecki's meeting record throw in the men's shot put assured that he is well placed for a place in the Final. 

Oslo - June 13

It was all about the 400m hurdles in the Norwegian capital. In the women's event, Dalilah Muhammad's iron grip on the Diamond Trophy appeared to loosen for the first time in years as she suffered defeat to rising star Sydney McLaughlin. In the men's event, it was none other than local hero Karsten Warholm who grabbed the headlines with a jawdropping European record in front of an adoring home crowd.