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UK Athletics

rutherford chasing diamond success

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Greg Rutherford
3 September 2015

After a marvellous IAAF World Championships in Beijing last week, the Zurich IAAF Diamond League represents a celebration of the newly crowned world medallists, with Olympic, European, Commonwealth and now world long jump champion Greg Rutherford (coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) looking to add his first Diamond Race title to his ever-growing collection.

After joining the elite club of athletes who hold all four global titles simultaneously, Rutherford will be targeting another big jump to finish his season with the overall Diamond trophy. He has enjoyed a successful season on the Diamond League circuit and currently leads the way on 13 points after victories in Birmingham, Oslo and Stockholm this summer.

The 2012 Olympic champion will face the most serious threat to this title from American’s Mike Hartfield and Marquis Dendy, but watch out for the world medallists from Beijing, Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre and China’s Jianan Wang.

In the women’s equivalent, world long jump silver medallist Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) is also in with a chance of challenging for the Diamond trophy. She jumped a magnificent British record in the final in Beijing, her 7.07m mark only bettered by America’s Tianna Bartoletta, who currently leads the way in the standings on 16 points, with Proctor on seven. With double points on offer in the grand final event, the event is still wide open.

Proctor will be joined by world championships fifth placer Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson) and Commonwealth silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill) at Weltklasse Zurich.

Two of Britain’s breakthrough stars of last week’s Championships were Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams) and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Ayo Falola), and both will be back on the big stage tonight.

Yousif was involved in one of the stand out finals in Beijing and will take on the likes of world 400m champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa who is also seeking Diamond Race success. Oskan-Clarke on the other hand will be joined by fellow Briton Lynsey Sharp (Rana Reider) against a high quality women’s 800m field.

World finalists Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson), Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) and Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) will line-up in the women’s pole vault, women’s 400m hurdles and men’s 1500m respectively. Child, who won a bronze as part of the 4x400m relay last Sunday, will take on double world champion Zuzana Hejnova in the hurdles event.

Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) starts in the 200m whilst Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin) goes in the non-diamond league men’s 400m hurdles. David Weir (Jenny Archer) will compete against home favourite Marcel Hug in a 3000m wheelchair event.

26 new world champions are set to compete in Switzerland this evening with the likes of David Rudisha, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Genzebe Dibaba and Derek Drouin all featuring at the first of two grand finals of the IAAF Diamond League season. With double points on offer (1st = 16 points, 2nd = 8 points and 3rd = 4 points), it promises to be a thrilling finale to an enjoyable series with part two taking place on Friday 11 September in Brussels.

Live coverage of the Zurich IAAF Diamond League can be found on British Eurosport 2 on Thursday 3 September from 19:00 till 21:00. Follow @BritAthletics for all the details on the British athletes in action tonight.