Diamond League champions set to be crowned at 2021 Final in Zurich

The top tier of the global athletics tour comes to a conclusion in the Swiss city on 8-9 September, with champions crowned in 32 events and eyes on Thompson-Herah and Duplantis.

Picture by 2017 Getty Images

The 2021 Diamond League athletics season comes to an end this week in Switzerland at the Weltklasse Zürich, serving as the single meet for the Diamond League Final where 32 athletes will be crowned champions for the season, on Wednesday and Thursday (8–9 September).

It is the first time since the series moved to a championship final format in 2017 that the final is held in a single city, with the 2017–2019 finals having been held over two weeks in Zurich and Brussels.

Olympic champions and medallists from Tokyo 2020 will be on show in 30 of the 32 finals, with the result in each discipline on each of the two days – rather than standings over the season – deciding the winners of the Diamond Trophy.

At least 18 champions from Tokyo have been confirmed for the meet in their own event, while in six events all three Tokyo medallists will be in action. Other Tokyo gold medallists, including Selemon Barega (competing in 5000m in Zurich) and Sifan Hassan (1500m), are also due to take part in finals not corresponding to their Olympic gold medals.

Elaine Thompson-Herah (women's 1500m), Karsten Warholm (men's 400m hurdles), and Jakob Ingebrigtsen (men's 5000m, men's 1500m) all return after sitting out the Brussels meet last week.

In a twist, the competitions on Wednesday will be held in a different venue from those on Thursday. The Sechseläutenplatz, a square on the eastern bank of Lake Zurich, will host "city events" in shot put, long jump, women's high jump, and for the first time in the Final, track races in the 5000m. Those finals will be run on a temporary 560m-long track.

Letzigrund Stadium, the traditional site of the Weltklasse Zürich, will hold the rest of the events on Thursday. Additionally, the 'Final 3' format will not be used, with six attempts for all finalists in the throws, long jump, and triple jump.

Diamond League Final 2021 in Zurich: Who's involved?

Here are some of the stars to watch for in Zurich.

1. Will world records fall to Elaine Thompson-Herah or Mondo Duplantis?

With so many big stars involved, there will be a sense of eagerness to find out if any of them will break world records.

This is especially true of women's 100m favourite Thompson-Herah of Jamaica, the two-time Olympic champion in the event who has already threatened Florence Griffith Joyner's 1988 mark of 10.49 numerous times this season.

Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis is already the record-holder in the men's pole vault, both outdoors at 6.15m and outright at 6.18m. He has attempted to clear 6.19m multiple times this season and come close – notably at both the Olympic final and last time out in Brussels – so could Zurich finally be where he improves his world best?

2. Andre de Grasse, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, and Fred Kerley look to create more history

Canada's Andre de Grasse, who won Olympic gold in the 200m and bronze in the 100m, comes into the final on a high after having won the 200m in a Continental Tour Gold meeting in Poland on Sunday.

Olympic 1500m champion Ingebrigtsen, meanwhile, will hope to be fully recovered from the fatigue that saw him miss the Memorial Van Damme in Brussels last week, as the Norwegian runs in both Wednesday's 5000m and Thursday's 1500m races.

Both men have the chance to create more history, and join an exclusive list of only seven athletes to have won two different Diamond Trophies in the same year.

Additionally, Fred Kerley – the American Olympic silver medallist over 100m who in Brussels became the first man to win Diamond League races over 100m, 200m, and 400m – will also run in both the 100m and 200m finals.

To date, only one man – USA's Noah Lyles, who won the 100m and 200m Diamond League titles in 2019 – is on that list along with six women (Allyson Felix in 2010, Carmelita Jeter in 2011, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 2013, Shaunae Miller-Uibo in 2017, Caterine Ibargüen in 2018, and Sifan Hassan in 2019).

3. Christine Mboma and Francine Niyonsaba starring in new disciplines

Switching to two different disciplines from their favoured women's 400m and 800m respectively was not easy for Namibia's Christine Mboma and Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba, who are both affected by World Athletics' regulations on female athletes with Differences in Sexual Development, or DSD.

Mboma and teammate Beatrice Masilingi were both prevented from running the 400m at Tokyo 2020 by World Athletics due to high testosterone levels, but qualified for the women's 200m final where Mboma won silver, and both will again be in action in Zurich over the shorter distance.

The Namibians will go in among the favourites with the likes of world champion Dina Asher-Smith, Jamaica's Olympic medallist Shericka Jackson, and Côte d'Ivoire legend Marie-Josée Ta Lou.

At the other end of the spectrum, Niyonsaba – the Rio 2016 silver medallist over 800 – has successfully moved up to the 5000m, in a way her South African rival Caster Semenya has not quite been able to.

The Burundian set world lead times and new national records at the Paris (3000m) and Brussels (5000m) Diamond League meets, and comes into the Final on a high.

Standing in her way is Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri of Kenya, although Olympic champ Hassan is not running the distance in Switzerland.

4. Record-breakers Yulimar Rojas, Karsten Warholm return

Two of the three athletes who set new world records in Tokyo are back at the Diamond League Final, with only USA's Sydney McLaughlin (women's 400m hurdles) not involved.

Yulimar Rojas, who leaped 15.67m in the women's triple jump in the Japanese capital to smash the old world record, followed that up with a 15.52m second-best legal jump of all time at the Lausanne Diamond League.

The Venezuelan has only competed in Lausanne since Tokyo, and returns to Switzerland looking for another huge mark.

Also in action will be Norway's Warholm after he skipped last week's meet in Brussels.

The only man to have run a sub-46 400m hurdles with his Tokyo 45.94 will not have Olympic silver medallist Rai Benjamin to push him this time, but still faces strong competition from Tokyo bronze medallist Alison dos Santos of Brazil and British Virgin Islands hurdler Kyron McMaster, who was fourth in Japan.

Diamond League Final Zurich 2021 schedule

All times are local time (CEST, 2 hours ahead of UTC)

Wednesday 8 September

Sechseläutenplatz square, Zurich

4:55pm Women's shot put

4:55pm Men's shot put

5:35pm Women's 5000m

5:50pm Women's high jump

6:00pm Men's long jump

6:00pm Women's long jump

7:10pm Men's 5000m

Thursday 9 September

Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich

6:15pm Women's pole vault

6:20pm Women's discus

6:20pm Men's discus

6:40pm Women's triple jump

6:40pm Men's triple jump

7:04pm Women's 400m

7:15pm Men's 400m

7:26pm Women's 3000m steeplechase

7:46pm Women's 100m hurdles

7:58pm Men's 110m hurdles

8:06pm Women's 1500m

8:17pm Men's 1500m

8:21pm Men's pole vault

8:22pm Men's javelin

8:22pm Women's javelin

8:25pm Men's high jump

8:29pm Women's 100m

8:38pm Men's 100m

8:46pm Men's 3000m steeplechase

9:03pm Women's 800m

9:13pm Men's 800m

9:25pm Women's 400m hurdles

9:35pm Men's 400m hurdles

9:44pm Women's 200m

9:52pm Men's 200m

How to watch the Zurich Diamond League Final 2021

The Diamond League Final 2021 in Zurich will be streamed live in a number of countries on the Diamond League YouTube page.

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