With the first 12 meetings of the IAAF Diamond League now concluded, fields are beginning take shape for the series' two eagerly anticipated finals, the Weltklasse in Zurich on 30 August and the AG Memorial Van Damme in Brussels on 31 August, where the 2018 Diamond League champions will be decided in a dramatic championships-style winner-take-all format.
After accumulating points over the course of the dozen meetings leading up to the two finals, the top seven athletes in the 200m, 400m and 400m hurdles, the top eight in the 100m, 100/110m hurdles, long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus and javelin, and the top 12 in the middle and long distances, high jump and pole vault have all earned invitations to compete in their respective finals where they'll battle for the coveted Diamond Trophy and a US$50,000 winner's cash prize. [See the top ranked athletes in each discipline's standings.]
While fields are still being finalised, organisers have already confirmed several mouth-watering match-ups.
The men's 200m final in Zurich will feature Noah Lyles of the USA, the world leader this season at 19.65, taking on world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey who clocked 19.76 10 days ago to take the European title.
On the women's side, Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast and Dina Asher-Smith of Great Britain, the recently crowned African and European champions double sprint champions respectively, will face off in the Zurich 100m.
Zurich will also host the men's shot put final, a showdown between freshly-minted European champion Michal Haratyk of Poland, world champion Tomas Walsh of New Zealand, and Olympic champion Ryan Crouser of the USA. All three have thrown beyond 22 metres this season, Walsh 22.67m, Crouser 22.53m and Haratyk 22.08m.
Likewise, the season's three 90-metre javelin throwers, Olympic and European champion Thomas Röhler, world champion Johannes Vetter and European silver medallist Andreas Hofmann, will all line-up again at Zurich's Letzigrund Stadium alongside Czech Jakub Vadlejch, the defending Diamond League champion.
Zurich will witness Mariya Lasitskene, the twice world and freshly-minted European high jump champion, bidding for a successful title defence. The field will also include Bulgaria's Mirela Demireva who put a halt to Lasitskene's 45-meeting win streak in Rabat last month.
Ekaterina Stefanidi, the world, Olympic and European champion in the pole vault, will defend her Diamond League title in another head-to-head battle with long-time rival Sandi Morris, the world leader at 4.95m and winner in Birmingham on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Brussels will witness teen-aged sensation Armand Duplantis back in action in the pole vault less than three weeks after the 18-year-old's stunning 6.05m clearance to capture the European title. He'll take on seven-time Diamond League champion Renaud Lavillenie and authorised neutral athlete Timur Morgunov, who also topped 6.00m for the first time to take European silver.
US$100,000 will be at stake in each of the 16 Diamond Trophy disciplines in both Zurich and Brussels for a total combined prize purse of $3.2 million. Prize money will be paid as follows: