Marcell Jacobs, Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell race in Monaco (© AFP / Getty Images)
Italy’s Olympic 100m champion Marcell Jacobs will renew his rivalry with US sprinters Fred Kerley and Trayvon Bromell at the Pietro Mennea Golden Gala on 9 June, while Dalilah Muhammad heads a loaded women’s 400m hurdles field at the Müller Birmingham Diamond League on 21 May.
With just over a week until the first meeting of the 2022 Wanda Diamond League season in Doha, more names have been announced for the Rome and Birmingham legs of the premier elite one-day circuit, as well as the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, where Olympic discus champion Valarie Allman will again go head-to-head with silver medallist Kristin Pudenz.
Rome 100m thriller
Jacobs stormed to the 100m title in Tokyo last year, clocking a European record of 9.80 to pip Kerley by 0.04. The 27-year-old Italian, who trains in Rome, was fourth the last time he competed at the Golden Gala meeting in 2020 but since then he has also become the world indoor 60m champion and formed part of Italy’s winning 4x100m team at the Olympics in Japan.
The versatile Kerley, meanwhile, won last year’s Diamond League 100m title and was victorious the last time he raced in Rome, winning the 400m in 2018. This season he has already run 9.99 for 100m in Florida, as well as 19.80 for 200m at the World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting in California.
The pair have clashed over 100m twice before, with Jacobs having won on both occasions. Before Rome, they will also meet at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi on 7 May and the Diamond League meeting in Eugene on 28 May.
Bromell was the world 100m leader last year thanks to the 9.76 he ran in Nairobi and he has already gone quicker than that in 2022, running a marginally wind-assisted 9.75 (2.1m/s) in Florida last month. The last time the 26-year-old competed in Rome was in 2016, a few months after he won the world indoor 60m title.
Olympic finalists in 400m hurdles
Five finalists from the Tokyo Olympic Games women’s 400m hurdles, including USA’s silver medallist Muhammad, will clash when the Diamond League returns to the recently redeveloped Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
Muhammad set a world record of 52.16 when winning the world title in Doha in 2019 and then secured silver at the Olympic Games in Tokyo behind her compatriot Sydney McLaughlin, who improved the record to 51.46, just ahead of Muhammad’s 51.58 for second place.
As she did in the final in Tokyo, Muhammad will line up alongside Jamaica’s fourth-place finisher Janieve Russell, Ukraine’s Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk, and Panama’s Gianna Woodruff in Birmingham. They will also be joined by Britain’s Jessie Knight, who reached the semifinals of the 400m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and her compatriots Lina Nielsen and Jessica Turner.
Discus clash in Eugene
The top two in the Olympic women’s discus final will go up against two-time Olympic and world champion Sandra Perkovic when the women’s discus returns to the Prefontaine Classic for the first time in six years on 28 May.
USA’s Allman won Olympic gold in Tokyo and then became the Diamond League champion in Zurich. She carried that momentum through to 2022 and threw 71.46m last month to break her own North American discus record in her second competition of the year.
Germany’s Pudenz got silver in Tokyo, throwing a PB of 66.86m to finish runner-up to Allman’s 68.98m, while Perkovic finished fourth after her gold medal wins in London and Rio. The Croatian discus great will look to win her fourth consecutive Pre Classic this year after capturing victories in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Joining them will be another four Tokyo Olympians: Portugal’s Liliana Ca, Jamaica’s Shadae Lawrence, Italy’s Daisy Osakue USA’s Rachel Dincoff. Also in the field are Britain’s Jade Lally and USA’s Laulauga Tausaga.
Organisers for World Athletics