IAAF Diamond League season so far

Six meetings have taken place so far this year with a further six to come before the series reaches its climax at the finals in Zurich and Brussels at the end of August.

One of the biggest stories to emerge from this year’s series is in the men’s 400m hurdles, where Abderrahman Samba broke the IAAF Diamond League record with 47.57 seconds in Doha, the first meeting of this year’s series.

Chased by world champion Karsten Warholm in his next three IAAF Diamond League appearances, Samba won in Rome (47.48 seconds), Oslo (47.60 seconds) and Stockholm (47.41 seconds), twice improving on the mark he set in Doha and taking down the Asian record in the process.

Sandra Perkovic is another athlete who got off to a great start in the IAAF Diamond League, with the Croatian discus thrower producing an IAAF Diamond League record of 71.38m in Doha to win by almost five metres.

IAAF Athlete of the Year Mutaz Essa Barshim set a world-leading 2.40m in Doha; the Qatari high jumper won in Eugene and Oslo, but world indoor champion Danil Lysenko is getting closer to Barshim with each meeting.

In Eugene Noah Lyles blazed to victory in the men’s 200m in a world-leading 19.69 seconds and Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo won the women’s 400m in 49.52 seconds.

The shot put rivalry between Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and world champion Tom Walsh has been another highlight so far. Crouser won in Eugene with 22.53m, just three centimetres short of the IAAF Diamond League record, but Walsh gained revenge in Oslo with 22.29m as both men threw beyond 22 metres.

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League came in Stockholm when Cuba’s Juan Miguel Echevarria jumped out to 8.83m in the long jump. At 2.1m/s, the tailwind was just a fraction over the allowable limit, but it confirmed that the teenager’s victory at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 was not a fluke.

Echevarria isn’t the only new star to emerge this year. Armand Duplantis has continued his rise in the pole vault and won in front of his home crowd in Stockholm. British sprinter Reece Prescod, Kenyan 800m runner Wyclife Kinyamal and US middle-distance runner Shelby Houlihan have also notched up surprise victories in this year’s series.

So far in 2018, athletes have set four IAAF Diamond League records, 24 meeting records, 19 national records, six area records and 34 world-leading marks.

Following a brief mid-season pause after Stockholm, the IAAF Diamond League continues in Paris this Saturday, 30th June before heading to Lausanne, Rabat, Monaco and London in July. Birmingham will host the last of the ‘qualifying’ IAAF Diamond League meetings in August with the 2018 champions being decided at the finals in Zurich and Brussels.

There will be coverage from IAAF Diamond League in Paris on Eurosport this weekend.

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