Diamond League athletics 2022 season: How to watch and top things to know

Reigning Olympic and world champions will feature in many of the events during the top tier World Athletics competitions in 2022, which get underway with the Diamond League meet in Doha on May 13.

By Evelyn Watta
Picture by Getty Images

The first of 13 Diamond League meetings for 2022 takes place in Doha on Friday (13 May), just over 70 days before the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

The premier series will play host to several thrilling rematches from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in 2021, with the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, on 28 May expected to provide some of the key highlights before the worlds.

It’s not only bragging rights at stake. The 2022 Wanda Diamond League season will continue being a platform for some phenomenal performances including a multitude of world record attempts.

Here are the top things you need to know about the stars to watch out for, what to expect from this season’s events, how to follow the action, the schedule, and more.

The Olympic rematches in Diamond League 2022 begin in Doha

The first stop of the series, Diamond League Doha on May 13, will see a huge men's 200m, as reigning Olympic gold medallist Andre De Grasse lines up against reigning world champion Noah Lyles, who had to settled for bronze at the last Games, and versatile runner Fred Kerley, the 100m silver medallist from Tokyo.

“To win my first Olympic gold medal last year was really special,” said the 27-year-old Canadian, a six-time Olympic sprint medallist who is looking to peak at July’s world championships.

“In Rio 2016 and the Worlds in 2019, I felt I’d come up short, in spite of consistent podium performances. I work hard and I want to be the best. Winning gold in Tokyo has given me confidence that I can deliver another championship-winning performance this summer, and I’m looking forward to kicking off my season in Doha as I build towards that goal in Eugene.”

His teammate Aaron Brown, sixth in the 200m in Tokyo, and Filippo Tortu, who took 4x100m relay gold with Italy, are also part of a star-studded list for the race in the Qatari capital.

Two podium finishers from the record-breaking men's 400m hurdles race in Tokyo will also be on parade at the Qatar Sports Club in Doha.

Rai Benjamin, second behind Karsten Warholm who broke the world record when he took gold in 45.94 seconds, and Olympic bronze medallist Alison Dos Santos will be joined by Qatari star Abderrahaman Samba, fifth in the Olympic final.

Local fans will have a lot more to cheer about as their most medalled track and field star Mutaz Barshim reunites with Gianmarco Tamberi for the first time in competition since sharing the high jump Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.

“We made history with our Olympic gold, but my focus is now entirely on defending my world title in Eugene later this summer,” the 30-year-old Qatari told the organisers.

“I celebrated the best moment of my life so far with Mutaz in Tokyo,” added the Italian champion.

“But it’s important to move on from that and focus on the new goals I’ve set myself for the World and European Championships this summer.”

The two will also be among the headline matchups at the Golden Gala in Rome on June 9.

Sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah in Birmingham

The next stop of the Diamond League series in Birmingham, England, on 21st May, will be all about five-time Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah in the women’s 100m. The first woman to defend the 100m and 200m Olympic titles has her focus on the worlds and bettering her personal best of 10.54.

"I’m obviously very proud of what I’ve achieved in my career so far, but there are more goals I want to achieve in the sport, so I’m now motivated to work even harder,” said the second fastest woman of all-time behind Florence Griffith-Joyner.

Thompson-Herah took the 2021 Diamond League overall title. The Jamaican’s compatriot Shericka Jackson, the bronze medallist in the Olympic 100m last year, and the British pair of Dina-Asher Smith and Daryll Neita, the Olympic relay bronze medallists, should provide stiff competition.

A loaded men's 100m in Eugene at Prefontaine Classic

Reigning sprint champions Marcell Jacobs and De Grasse are set to face off in an eagerly anticipated clash the world’s fastest men at Hayward field, the venue that will also host the worlds.

“It’s going to be my first race in the U.S. since the Tokyo Olympics and the adrenaline is already pumping. Can’t wait to feel the track beneath my feet!” said Jacobs ahead of one of the ‘deepest fields’ ever assembled at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on 28th May.

American Kerley will be back on the start list alongside compatriots Christian Coleman, the reigning world champion, Tokyo Olympic finalists Ronnie Baker, Olympic silver medallist Kenny Bednarek and Noah Lyles for an event being promoted as a world championships prequel.

Jacobs, Kerley and two time Olympian Trayvon Bromell are expected to light up the Golden Gala in Rome on June 9.

Double Olympic champion Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon will also be looking to find her form early in the season when she heads the 1500m field that will include Scottish Laura Muir, who finished second in the Tokyo final and the 5000m bronze medallist Gudaf Tsegay, the Ethiopian who is the 1500m world indoor record holder.

Another hyped event will be the men’s Bowerman Mile. Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen of Norway, the silver medallist in the 1500m final Timothy Cheruiyot and his fellow Kenyan Vincent Kibet, 2021 world U20 1500m champion, are all confirmed for the Mile run.

Burundi’s Olympic silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba hopes to build on a strong 2021 season when she attempts to lower the world two-mile best.

Also keep an eye on women’s discus, where American Valarie Allman, the reigning Olympic gold medallist, will face off against a field that includes two-time Olympic champ Sandra Perkovic, and Olympic silver medallist Kristin Pudenz.

Top stars to watch in Diamond League record attempts

How high can world record holder Mondo Duplantis go in the pole vault? That will be the focus when the Swede, who broke his world record twice in March this year, starts his season in Doha.

After winning the Olympic title with a clearance of 6.02m, he took the world indoor title with an amazing jump of 6.20m.

In a season where he also bids for a first world title, the 22-year-old will be keen to better his highest clearance outdoor of 6.15m from the Diamond League in Rome in 2020.

There’s bound to be more history made when Triple jumper Yulimar Rojas competes this season. The Venezuelan star is fresh from breaking her world record in Belgrade with a leap of 15.74m.

After his outstanding Olympic moment at the Tokyo Games, wherever Karsten Warholm chooses to mark his Diamond League series debut will be one of the pre-worlds highlights.

The distance record breakers Joshua Cheptegei and Letesenbet Gidey will take centre stage in the U.S. meet. The Ugandan wants to lower his own 5000m world record of 12:35.36 at the Prefontaine Classic, the same venue where Ethiopian double world-record holder Gidey will attempt to go the distance in the one hour run [18,930m].

The return of Dutch all-rounder Sifan Hassan who won two gold and a bronze in Tokyo should be another key moment on track.

New Diamond League schedule for 2022 and events

The series this year has been restructured to exclude the Chinese meetings due to their cancellation amid Covid concerns. The Kamila Skolimowska Memorial in Chorzow, Poland, will evolve into a Diamond League to replace Shanghai on July 30.

China’s other Diamond League meeting in Shenzhen scheduled for August 6 will not take place this year.

These changes were necessitated due to travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements currently in place for entry into China to contain the coronavirus.

The athlete with the best record in each event at the end of the season is crowned Diamond League champion.

New 2022 Diamond League Schedule

13 May – Doha (QAT)

21 May – Birmingham (GBR)

28 May – Eugene (USA)

5 June – Rabat (MAR)

9 June – Rome (ITA)

16 June – Oslo (NOR)

18 June – Paris (FRA)

30 June – Stockholm (SWE)

6 August – Silesia (POL)

10 August – Monaco (MON)

26 August – Lausanne (SUI)

2 September – Brussels (BEL)

7-8 September – Zurich (SUI) - Diamond League Final

How to watch the 2022 Diamond League Series

The Diamond League will be streamed live in several countries on the Diamond League YouTube page.

In other territories, local rights-holding broadcasters will show either live coverage or highlights of the action.

Each meeting will be broadcast globally in a live two-hour programme covering at least 13 diamond disciplines. The full list of events for each Diamond League meeting can be found here.

Diamond League winners trophy
Picture by 2010 Getty Images

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