Sha’Carri vs. Kipyegon & Shericka: Diamond League Final

Photo of Sha'Carri Richardson

Sha’Carri Richardson & Jackson Make a Comeback

Over the past five months, thirteen Diamond League competitions have taken place worldwide, ranging from Stockholm to Doha. As the outdoor season progressed, athletes gradually accrued points to secure positions in the top eight of the rankings, ensuring their qualification for the Eugene event.

This weekend marks a historic milestone as the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene hosts the Diamond League final on U.S. soil for the first time since its inception in 2010. The event brings together more than a dozen world champions to conclude the outdoor season in Oregon.

Among the 16 women’s events at the Prefontaine Classic, all except one will showcase their respective world champions.

The single exception is the 5,000m race, where the 2023 gold medalist won’t be competing. This is primarily because Faith Kipyegon, the world record holder, is already scheduled to participate in the 1,500m on Saturday.

This two-day “winner-takes-all” championship weekend promises numerous captivating storylines. Notably, winners of their respective Diamond League finals have the chance to earn a combined payout of $30,000.

Sha’Carri Richardson, the reigning champion in the U.S. and the world for the 100-meter sprint, and Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson, who garnered attention with their outstanding performances in Budapest, are back for one final showdown, this time on Richardson’s home turf.

In their recent appearances in Eugene, both athletes accomplished their objectives. Sha’Carri Richardson secured the U.S. 100m title in June and earned her place in the 200m event. Jackson, on the other hand, claimed her inaugural 200m world title with a lightning-fast time of 21.45, the second-quickest time ever recorded.

This time, Sha’Carri Richardson is dedicating her efforts solely to the 100m, aiming to sustain her impressive form. Nevertheless, Jackson, along with the two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah, presents formidable competition and won’t give in easily.

In the 200m, Jackson will compete the day after her 100m race. She may have her sights on breaking the long-standing world record of 21.34, established by Florence Griffith-Joyner in 1988. Jackson has often been queried about this record but remains tight-lipped, recognizing it as the ultimate milestone to surpass.

In Budapest, she came remarkably close with a time of 21.41, the second-fastest ever recorded. With Marie-Josée Ta Lou, the African record holder, as a rival and favorable wind conditions, Jackson might have the perfect circumstances to etch her name into the annals of history.”

Moraa vs. Hodgkinson vs. Mu

In an unexpected twist, the Olympic and 2022 World champion, Athing Mu, found herself not securing the top spot in an international final for the first time in a while.

Instead, it was Mary Moraa, a 23-year-old athlete hailing from Kenya, who capped off an impressive summer by clinching her first world championship victory in August. Keely Hodgkinson from Great Britain, on the other hand, secured the silver medal for the third consecutive year, while the reigning champion, Mu, settled for a bronze.

To the surprise of many, all three medalists from Budapest will have one more showdown this season at the Diamond League final. Mu received a wild card entry after the release of the entry lists on Tuesday evening. None of these three athletes have competed since their last encounter, but each of these young talents has presented strong arguments for why they could emerge victorious in Eugene.

Moraa managed to outperform both of her rivals in Budapest, while Hodgkinson has consistently proven herself as a formidable contender alongside the other two athletes over the past two years. As for Mu, no one has run faster than her since she set the American record in 2021. With determination in her heart and the backing of the crowd, she might finally conclude her season on her own terms.

Kipyegon Takes on Time

An extraordinary summer, marked by three world records and a global championship, has solidified Faith Kipyegon’s status as a Kenyan star in the world of athletics. The upcoming Prefontaine Classic offers her yet another chance to make her mark in the record books. After her impressive double triumph in the 1,500m and 5,000m events in Budapest, Kipyegon is back on the track with the opportunity to claim her fifth Diamond League title.

Kipyegon’s track record in Eugene is outstanding; her last visit to TrackTown USA resulted in a world title. Astonishingly, she has not faced a defeat there since 2015. This Saturday, she’ll encounter fierce competition, including Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji, who secured a silver medal just last month. The remaining field consists of ten other women including Sha’Carri Richardson who showed his performance and determination at Budapest, all of whom have clocked sub-four-minute times this season.

Moon & Kennedy Pole Vault Rematch

At the World Championships, Australian contender Nina Kennedy and American athlete Katie Moon decided to share the world title after a tough competition that required numerous attempts. Kennedy made an impressive 12 jumps, while Moon made 11. Moon’s rationale for the joint victory was clear as she highlighted the challenges and risks associated with pole vaulting on fatigued legs.

Just a little over a week later, the two athletes met again at the Weltklasse Diamond League event in Zurich. In this rematch for the gold medal, Kennedy emerged as the victor by clearing a height of 4.91 meters.

In Eugene, these two accomplished athletes will face each other for the third time in the past month. It’s evident that both Moon and Kennedy are in exceptional form as they approach the season finale. They will also contend with a strong competitor, American record-holder Sandi Morris, who finished seventh in Budapest and secured third place in Zurich behind the two champions.

US Female Athletes Competing on Home Soil

Just under a month after causing a significant upset in her debut at the world championships, world champion Laulauga Tausaga-Collins is eager to leverage the momentum she gained in Budapest.

Nevertheless, she faces a formidable challenge from the current world leader, Valarie Allman, who outperformed Tausaga-Collins by more than two meters at the U.S. Championships in Hayward last July. On one hand, the reigning world champion can take pride in her personal best throw of 69.49m, a mark that secured her a world title, and all that momentum is in Tausaga-Collins’ favor. However, Allman is returning to a familiar venue and recently achieved a throw of 70.47m earlier this month, still the only mark surpassing 70 meters this year.

Joining Tausaga-Collins and Allman in the competition are Croatia’s Sandra Perković (67.71m) and Dutch standout Jorinde Van Klinken (67.20m), both of whom boast lifetime bests exceeding 70 meters. They are expected to be formidable adversaries on Sunday.

Other gold medalists from Budapest who are contending for the Diamond League title include:

  • Haruka Kitaguchi (JPN) in the Javelin
  • Winfred Mutile Yavi (BRN) in the 3000m Steeplechase
  • Yulimar Rojas (VEN) in the Triple Jump
  • Chase Ealey (USA) in Shot Put
  • Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR) in High Jump
  • Femke Bol (NED) in the 400mH
  • Marileidy Paulino (DOM) in the 400m
  • Ivana Vuleta (SRB) in Long Jump
  • Danielle Willilams (JAM) in the 100mH


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