The Diamond Race trophy (© Getty Images)
On Thursday 28 August, Zurich will host the first of two finals for the 2014 IAAF Diamond League series as 16 Diamond Race winners will be crowned.
The Diamond Race champions in some events have already been decided, but athletes must compete in the IAAF Diamond League final for their discipline to secure the USD$40,000 bonus and the Diamond Race trophy.
A first-place finish at an IAAF Diamond League meeting is worth four points, with two points going to the second-place finisher and one to the third-place finisher. But at the IAAF Diamond League finals, those points are doubled.
If, at the end of the series, athletes are tied on points, then the Diamond Race goes to the athlete with most victories. If athletes are still tied, then the title will go to whichever athlete performed better at their event’s Diamond Race final.
In Zurich, two athletes – discus thrower Sandra Perkovic and 400m runner LaShawn Merritt – need only to line up for their events to secure their Diamond Race victories.
But the Diamond Race for 14 other disciplines in Zurich is still undecided, so a victory in the Swiss city will take on extra significance.
The closest battles will come in the men’s 400m hurdles and triple jump. Michael Tinsley currently leads the 400m hurdles Diamond Race by just two points from Javier Culson. Essentially, whoever finishes ahead of the other in Zurich will secure the overall title.
Will Claye leads the triple jump Diamond Race by just two points from US compatriot Christian Taylor. A win from Taylor would be enough to snatch the title, but Claye simply needs to finish ahead of Taylor to hold on to his lead.
Conversely, some events in Zurich – two in particular – are wide open. Any one of eight men could potentially win the Diamond Race in the 800m, while seven men are still in contention to win the Diamond Race in the javelin.
World record-holder David Rudisha currently leads the 800m Diamond Race, so victory in Zurich will give him the trophy. But if Nijel Amos wins on Thursday, he will beat Rudisha to the overall title. And if Rudisha finishes third or lower, it potentially opens up the race to several other contenders.
Three throwers – Ihab Abdelrahman, Tero Pitkamaki and Vitezslav Vesely – are currently tied at the top of the Diamond Race standings in the javelin. A victory from either of those three – or even from Thomas Rohler or Antti Ruuskanen – in Zurich will be enough to take the Diamond Race trophy.
The Diamond Race finals for the other 16 disciplines will be contested at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Brussels on September 5.
Diamond Race statistics for the 16 Zurich finals can be downloaded as a PDF from the right-hand side of the page.