Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diamond Dash: "Olympics in a Day" in Zurich Thursday

Cheruyiots of Fire
Only a few days after the completion of the 2011 IAAF Track and Field World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, the always exciting Weltklasse Z├╝rich Diamond League meet kicks off at 2pm eastern Thursday (on

The distance action gets started at 2:15pm with the Women's 5000. Vivian Cheruiyot, coming off a very strong 5000/10,000 double at Daegu, leads a very strong field, including Daegu 5000 Silver Medalist, Sylvia Kibet, 10,000 Silver Medalist, Sally Kipyego and American, Shalane Flanagan. Flanagan's coming off an average 10,000 in Daegu and will look to bounce back and once again take aim at Molly Huddle's American 5000 Record; one that she's come within a second or two of breaking multiple times this summer.

The Women's 800 is the next distance event on tap at 2:50pm. This field is stacked with Daegu winner, Mariya Savinova, Silver Medalist, Caster Semenya and Bronze Medalist, Janeth Jepkosgei. It also has a hungy Jenny Meadows, who missed the finals in Daegu in being outkicked by Maggie Vessey in the semis. Alysia Montano will be ready to go as well after narrowly missing the Bronze by .06 seconds. Finally, Morgan Uceny will look to rebound after being tripped with 500 to go in the 1500 finals, only to watch fellow American, Jenny Simpson, take the Gold.

The Men's 1500 is the penultimate distance event in Zurich at 3:10pm, with Olympic and World Championship Gold Medalist, Asbel Kiprop, leading the way. His countryman and Daegu Silver Medalist, Silas Kiplagat, will look for revenge in front of the sold out (in advance) Zurich crowd. Another exciting entry will be 800 meter Silver Medalist, Abubaker Kaki. Kaki ran an excellent 3:31 earlier in the season and has mentioned doubling in the 800 and 1500 in London. This will be a great field to test himself against. Finally, there are two Americans in the field, but both are pacemakers. Old reliable, David Krummenacker, will be there along with 800 meter national champ, Nick Symmonds. It will be interesting to see how Symmonds handles pacing a 3:30-ish race (and how long he goes. My guess 1000 meters max).

The last distance event of the day is the Men's Steeplechase, which goes off at 3:35pm. Will Daegu dancing star (and Gold Medalist), Ezekiel Kemboi, be there? Yes, indeed. Paul Koech, who was left off Kenya's Daegu roster, will be there to challenge. The field is a little down beyond that, as Brimin Kipruto and the two frenchies (Tahri and Mekhissi-Benabbad) won't be there. American Ben Bruce will have his hands full and will look to improve on his breakthrough 8:19.10 personal best (that he set earlier this year).

There will be plenty of excellent sprint and field events going on as well as Zurich always gets the best talent. Watch live on or later on Universal Sports television.

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