09 August, 2019

Sprints - What's At Stake In Birmingham And Paris?

  • © Jean-Pierre Durand

With just two more meetings to go until the IAAF Diamond League Finals are upon us, the next few weeks will decide which athletes make the final cut and earn themselves a shot at the Diamond Trophy in either Zurich or Brussels at the end of the season. Some are already qualified, while others still need to pick up more points in Paris and Birmingham to secure their final spot.

The Road To The Final lands in Birmingham on August 18 before heading to Paris six days later. Big name stars and top performances will be a given at both meetings, but at the business end of the season, there is more at stake than just pride and personal bests. 

Birmingham and Paris also represent the last chance for athletes to pick up points in their bid to earn a place in the IAAF Diamond League Final. 

With 32 disciplines in total, it can be tough to keep track of who needs what and who has already qualified, so we have put together a quick, discipline-by-discipline guide to what has happened so far and what that means in the race for qualification. 

First up, it's the sprints. 

Birmingham

Birmingham will see the final round of women's 200m as well as the men's 100m and 400m.

Christian Coleman will be the headline act in the men's 100m, but the American can take it easy. Victories in Oslo and Eugene mean that he tops the standings and has long since wrapped up qualification. South Africa's Akani Simbine als has his place in the final locked down after victory in London. 

Of the chasing pack, a place in the final looks relatively secure for Michael Rodgers, Justin Gatlin, Noah Lyles and British star Zharnel Hughes. China's Zhenye Xie and Japan's Yuki Koike will be looking over their shoulders in the next few weeks, though. In seventh and eighth, they are just a few points away from dropping out of the qualification places, with big names such as Asafa Powell and Reece Prescod among those breathing down their necks. 

The men's 100m Diamond League Final will take place in Zurich on August 29.

In the women's 200m, there are just three places left up for grabs. A double victory for Dina Asher-Smith at the start of the season means she tops the rankings alongside Dafne Schippers, who won in Oslo. Jenna Prandini and Elaine Thompson have also secured qualification thanks to regular podium finishes throughout the season. 

The remaining three places are currently occupied by Blessing Okagbare, Jamile Samuel and Crystal Emanuel, but the 200m remains on a knife-edge. Kyra Jefferson is just a point of qualifying, while Diamond Trophy holder Shaunae Miller-Uibo is just two points short after her victory in Monaco. 

The women's 200m Diamond League Final will take place in Zurich on August 29. 

The men's 400m is one of the few disciplines in which everybody is still to yet to qualify for the Diamond League Final. After his two victories in Stockholm and Eugene, Michael Norman looks well set at the top of the standings, while the likes of Michael Cherry, Nathan Strother and Jonathan Jones have also amassed a strong points total despite not winning any races. 

There are, however, several big names who are still lurking outside the qualifying places. Steven Gardiner and Akeem Bloomfield have both won one race this season, but currently sit three points short of qualification. Abderrahman Samba is also within touching distance of the Final. 

The men's 400m Diamond League Final will take place in Brussels on September 6.

Paris

Paris will host the final round of the women's 100m and 400m and the men's 200m. 

The women's 100m has been a wide open affair from the very beginning, with four different winners from five different meetings so far. Of those, only Blessing Okagbare has already secured her place in the final, while Aleia Hobbs, Elaine Thompson and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce all still have work to do. 

Fraser-Pryce in particular looks dead set to qualify after her triumphant victories in Lausanne and London, while Dina Asher-Smith and Marie Josée Ta Lou can already rest easy. Despite not having won a race, both of them have already secured enough points to guarantee their place in the final. 

As things stand, Dafne Schippers and Jenna Prandini are both outside the qualification spots, and will need a few more points if they are to sneak into the final at the last minute. 

The women's 100m Diamond League Final will take place in Brussels on September 6.

Even more unpredictable than the women's 100m has been the men's 200m. Five different winners from five different meetings mean that picking an overall winner is a tough ask at the moment. Alex Quinonez, Ramil Guliyev and Aaron Brown have all nailed down their place in the final already, while victories in Rabat and Lausanne for Andre De Grasse and Noah Lyles mean they are both well-placed to qualify. 

Michael Norman, on the other hand, may still be biting his nails. Despite victory in Rome, he sits just three points clear of the non-qualifying places in eighth, and could still be caught by several athletes, including multiple Diamond Trophy winner Alonso Edward. 

The men's 200m Diamond League Final will take place in Brussels on September 6.

Salwa Eid Naser is the odds-on favourite for the Diamond Trophy in the women's 400m, having once again stormed through the season with four wins out of five meetings so far. She tops the standings with 32 points, and has qualified alongside second placed former Diamond Trophy winner Stephenie Ann Mcpherson.

Shericka Jackson's win in London means she is sitting pretty on 16 points, but there is still the potential for some movement at the bottom end of the standings. Jessica Beard, Lisanne De Witte, Sydney McLaughlin and Phyllis Francis are all just a few points off qualification, and could yet sneak into the final. 

The women's 400m Diamond League Final will take place in Zurich on August 29.