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the diamond league explained

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David Rudisha

We are now over half way through this year’s Diamond league race, and this weekend’s Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix (11-12 July) is the ninth stop on the worldwide tour. As the race hits the mid-way point, we are going to look at how the diamond race works, and which big names are in pole position to win this year’s illustrious competition.

The Diamond league race consists of 14 meetings across the world. It started in Doha in May and it will continue until September when the final events will take place in Zurich on the 28th August and in Brussels on the 5th September.

Each discipline is included in seven of the events throughout the year, so there are plenty of opportunities for athletes to gain valuable Diamond league points.

The scoring system per event is 4 points for the winner, 2 points for second and 1 point for third. These will double for the final event which will be held at both Zurich and Brussels. So the winner will get 8 points, second place 4 points, and third place, 2 points.

These points add up across the seven meetings. The athlete with the highest number of points will win ‘The Diamond Race’. In case of a tie, the number of victories at the Diamond League races will decide the winner. If there is still a tie, then the better result at the final event will decide the winner. To win the Diamond race, the athlete must compete in the final event at Zurich or Brussels.

The winners will receive a Diamond trophy and a cash prize. In an event that spreads across five months, the victory will reflect season long consistency to earn the unchallenged honour of being the world’s number one in their discipline.

There is the added incentive for the Diamond race winner who will receive a wildcard into the IAAF World championships in Beijing in 2015, should the incumbent IAAF World Champion not come from the same country.

Athletes will have a chance to strengthen their positions in the Diamond race at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix this weekend. It is held across two days (11-12 July) but this will only count as one meeting. It is an important point in the Diamond league series, as the potential Diamond League winners are beginning to emerge and the mid-way point.

David Rudisha could make a big move in the Diamond race in the 800m, similarly to Yenew Alamirew who could go a long way to deciding the 5000m title in Glasgow.

Javier Culson, currently leading the Diamond race in the 400m hurdles will go head to head with the American, Michael Tinsley who is narrowly second in the race. It is guaranteed to be a close race at Hampden Park.

Yohan Blake and Richard Thompson will both have the chance to catch up with diamond race leader Justin Gatlin in the 100m Diamond race, as they compete in the Scottish city in Gatlin’s absence.

The Nigerian, Blessing Okagbare who currently heads the diamond race in the 200m after three events, will take on Allyson Felix. The multiple Olympic and World champion is closely behind Okagbare in the rankings and could make a huge move towards the Diamond league crown. There is British interest in the women’s 200m, where Jodie Williams currently stands in joint fourth place after her second place finish at the Oslo Diamond league. The race is a very tight call and Williams could make a huge move in the diamond race, as she sits only four points behind Okagbare.

Sandra Perkovic is running away with the discus title in the Diamond race, and Glasgow could be the meeting where the Croatian takes a decisive victory. The Cuban pole vaulter, Yarisley Silva, can also continue her fine form in the pole vault at Diamond league competitions and extend her lead in the Diamond race.

The British interest continues in the women’s 400m hurdles where Eilidh Child currently sits third in the rankings. The event is non-scoring event at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix but Child will still be aiming for victory on the Hampden Park track.  

The Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix will signal the mid-way point in the Diamond League for the majority of the disciplines. With only a few events left to earn valuable points, it is a great opportunity for the leading competitors to make big strides in the Diamond race overall.

Tickets to watch two days of world class athletics are still on sale here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/