Zürich Diamond League Men’s Reports

Karsten Warholm’s 46.92 led the way as 2 men broke 47 in the 400H for the first time ever. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI/IMAGE OF SPORT)

ZÜRICH, SWITZERLAND, August 24—In a spectacular evening of track highlighted by an historic 400 hurdles duel, half of 2019’s men’s Diamond League winners were chosen at the always-great Weltklasse meet. The other half will be tabbed in Brussels on September 06. Prize money was given to places 1–8: $50,000 (plus the Diamond Trophy), $20,000, $10,000, $5000, $4000, $3000, $2000. Here’s how each event played out:

100: Lyles Dominates Gatlin, Others

Noah Lyles rules the roost at 200m, of that there’s no doubt, but though he won’t be in the World Champs 100 field, his midterm project is claiming the summit in both sprints. Here the challenge was getting past Justin Gatlin, whose 37-year-old reserves, he has said, are husbanded toward defending his world title in Doha. Four others came in with sub-10 seasonal bests. Still, in Christian Coleman’s absence, eyes were on the pair with 9.86 (Lyles) and 9.87 (Gatlin) year bests. Gatlin in lane 3 got out close to even with Lyles (4), Yohan Blake (2) and Akani Simbine (5), led over the first 50 but succumbed to Lyles’ long, relentless stride around 80m. Lyles, 15 years Gatlin’s junior, extended his lead with a smoothly unfurled lean to win in 9.98 (wind -0.4). Gatlin, his steps choppy on the run-in, lost 2 more spots at the very end, as Zhenye Xie (10.04) and Blake (10.07) relegated him to 4th in 10.08.

“I followed my race plan, my execution was great,” Lyles said, with his next move a vocal duet with Sandi Morris scheduled for meet’s end. “I feel pretty good. The race was not as fast as I wanted. To be honest, I do not remember much of the race. I only remember the start and there was an ending. That is all. This victory was very important. Now Sandi and me will rock the stadium in a few moments. I am taking one challenge at a time, race first and then perform.” Then, in a week’s time in Brussels, a race to defend his DL 200 crown.

RESULTS (wind –0.4)

1. Noah Lyles (US) 9.98; 2. Zhenye Xie (Chn) 10.04; 3. Yohan Blake (Jam) 10.07; 4. Justin Gatlin (US) 10.08; 5. Akani Simbine (SA) 10.10; 6. Zharnel Hughes (GB) 10.15; 7. Adam Gemili (GB) 10.15; 8. Mike Rodgers (US) 10.16; 9. Alex Wilson (Swi) 10.40.

800: Brazier Scares American Record

With 6 of the 10 fastest this season in the field, list leader Nijel Amos opted to make the others chase. American Donavan Brazier didn’t bite on the spicy early tempo but struck when it mattered for the win and self-elevation to No. 2 American all-time in the event. Amos, silver medalist in the storied ’12 Olympic race, blistered the first lap in 48.4 behind pacemaker Harun Abda (48.23), who stepped off immediately thereafter. Former UTEP star Emmanuel Korir, apparently not too worse for wear after a car accident this summer, pressed behind him with 3 others, but into the penultimate curve Botswanan Amos opened a gap. The U.S. duo of Clayton Murphy (50.6) and Brazier (50.8) trailed, gapped, in 7th and 8th.

Amos, his early tactic catching up with him, led Korir by 5m at 600 (1:14.5) as Brazier in 6th resolutely attacked a 20m chasm to the front. Entering the homestretch Amos’s form went from labored to bog-mired. Brazier passed Brandon McBride into 2nd off the curve and collared Amos, now topped up to his rolling eyeballs with lactic acid, 40m out to win with a 1:42.70 PR from the frontrunner’s 1:42.98. His halves were 50.8 and 51.9, with a final 200 of 25.7.

“I was just nervous and was thinking what my coach told me, get a good position and do all my best,” said the winner, whose time jumped him from 1:43.55 past 7 men, including Murphy, on the U.S. all-time list to within 0.10 of Johnny Gray’s set 34 years ago. “I´m quite amazed about my result, I just did my job and gave everything I had to [win].”


800: 1. Donavan Brazier (US) 1:42.70 (AL) (2, 3 A) (25.2, 25.6 [50.8], 26.2 [1:17.0], 25.7) (50.8/51.9) (12.7);

2. Nijel Amos (Bot) 1:42.98 (1:14.43) (23.6, 24.8 [48.4], 26.1 [1:14.5], 28.5) (48.4/54.6) (15.0); 3. Brandon McBride (Can) 1:43.51 ((23.8, 25.7 [49.5], 26.7 [1:16.2], 27.3) (49.5/54.0) (13.4); 4. Emmanuel Korir (Ken) 1:43.69 (23.7, 25.1 [48.8], 26.4 [1:15.2], 28.5) (48.8/54.9) (14.7); 5. Clayton Murphy (US) 1:43.94 (24.6, 26.0 [50.6], 26.9 [1:17.5], 26.4) (50.6/53.3) (13.1); 6. Amel Tuka (Bos) 1:43.99; 7. Ferguson Rotich (Ken) 1:45.28; 8. Wycliffe Kinyamal (Ken) 1:47.59;… rabbit—Harun Abda (US) (48.23).

5000: Cheptegei Slips Away Early

Four stepped to the line with sub-13 seasonal bests. Joshua Cheptegei was not among them, though he had won the Pre Classic 2M with a long drive that held up against Paul Chelimo’s last-lap blast. Perhaps next time opponents won’t let the Ugandan steal a gap on them as he did by 3000 here (7:51.8) with season leader Telahun Haile (7:53.5) heading the chase train. With a lap left, Cheptegei led by 30m from a formidable phalanx of Hagos Gebrhiwet, Haile, Selemon Barega and Yomif Kejelcha. Three of the four had DL wins this season and they had pushed to catch the leader from 800 out. Too late. Cheptegei’s 29.6, 59.3 closing figures brought him home in a PR 12:57.41 as London DL winner Gebrhiwet’s kick (28.4, 55.6) brought him in 5m in arrears at 12:58.15.

“If I go fast, I go fast. On the last lap I thought that I can win the race. I was expecting to win,” said the 22-year-old winner. Cheptegei evinced a desire to trade up from his ’17 World Championships 10,000 silver after a planned training stint in the mountains of his homeland. “I believe in myself and this victory gives me even more confidence. In Doha I will not compete in the 5K but the 10K.”


1. Joshua Cheptegei (Uga) 12:57.41 PR (10:26.70) (29.6, 59.3, 2:00.1, 4:03.1); 2. Hagos Gebrhiwet (Eth) 12:58.15 (28.4, 55.6, 1:55.4, 3:59.4); 3. Nicholas Kimeli (Ken) 12:59.05; 4. Telahun Bekele (Eth) 12:59.09; 5. Selemon Barega (Eth) 12:59.66; 6. Yomif Kejelcha (Eth) 13:01.38; 7. Stanley Mburu (Ken) 13:06.29; 8. Paul Chelimo (US) 13:14.18; 9. Ben True (US) 13:18.27; 10. Birhanu Balew (Bhr) 13:21.13; 11. Andrew Butchart (GB) 13:24.46; 12. Henrik Ingebrigtsen (Nor) 13:30.78; 13. Stewart McSweyn (Aus) 13:32.33; 14. Julien Wanders (Swi) 13:45.18;… rabbits—Ryan Gregson (Aus) (2:35.27, 5:13.38), Patrick Tiernan (Aus) (7:51.35).

400H: Warholm Wins Sub-47 Battle

A month ahead of the World Championships, the first-ever meeting between Rai Benjamin, age 22, and Karsten Warholm, 23, dazzlingly exceeded its promise. Between them they had won every DL race this year save Shanghai 3-plus months ago, when Abderrahmane Samba prevailed over Benjamin. Injured in the interim, the Qatari remains a hometown threat for Doha, but he wasn’t here. Thus not among those present in history’s first 2-men-under-47 race. Warholm, flying majestically from the start in his preferred lane, lucky No. 7, roared around the oval to the event’s No. 2 all-time clocking, 46.92, the numbers on the clock provoking collective amazement from the Letzigrund onlookers who had just watched Benjamin press him down the straight with a 46.98 PR of his own.

From the gun, the Norwegian led the American. Warholm’s attack was fierce. He cleared hurdle 2 before Benjamin’s takeoff for the barrier in his lane, 5. In lane 6 Kyron McMaster ran even with Benjamin. Halfway through the race at hurdle 5, Warholm led by 3 or 4 meters. Benjamin pulled to within a meter at hurdle 8, and a fight down the stretch was on. But Benjamin could not get past. Warholm glided over barrier 10 and when Benjamin took off for it inches too close and had to ride high to clear the matter was settled if it hadn’t been already. Warholm claimed the run-in and the race.

One for the ages and an appetizer for Doha. “It was crazy,” Warholm declared. “I knew that I will do a good time but this race and with this new PB it´s just amazing, and still the best will come. I just pushed during the race and it was quiet tough and the finish was hard. It´s an incredibly good feeling with my time. Now focusing for Doha and doing the same as usual—Hard training. ln a way, I´d like to say, ‘Goodbye and see you next season,’ but it´s the World Champs, the biggest thing this year. This race was so close it could have gone both ways. I push him and he pushes me, it´s amazing.”


1. Karsten Warholm (Nor) 46.92 NR (WL) (2, 2 W); 2. Rai Benjamin (US) 46.98 (AL) (=3, =3 W; 2, 2 A);

3. Kyron McMaster (BVI) 48.58; 4. Yasmani Copello (Tur) 48.58; 5. David Kendziera (US) 48.98; 6. Thomas Barr (Ire) 49.17; 7. TJ Holmes (US) 50.00; 8. Kariem Hussein (Swi) 50.04.

High Jump: Protsenko Bounces Back

Defending champ Brandon Starc started out in fine fashion, clearing the first 5 heights of the day on first attempt, so when the bar was done at 7-6½ (2.30) he was in the lead, with only Andriy Protsenko (who had had a miss at 7-4¼/2.24) and Tihomir Ivanov (5 misses total) for company. In a year in which gravity hasn’t been kind to high jumpers, the 7-6½ setting had represented a seasonal best for Protsenko and equal-seasonal best for the other two. Protsenko, a 31-year-old Ukrainian vet, bounded over 7-7¼ (2.32) on first attempt to take the win, as the other two couldn’t handle the height. Said Protsenko, who hadn’t jumped that high since ’15, “This result give me good motivation for the rest of this season until the World Championships.”


1. Andriy Protsenko (Ukr) 7-7¼ (2.32) (7-1, 7-2½, 7-4¼, 7-5¼, 7-6½, 7-7¼, 7-8 [xxx]) (2.16, 2.20, 2.24, 2.27, 2.30, 2.32, 2.34 [xxx]); 2. Brandon Starc (Aus) 7-6½ (2.30); 3. Tihomir Ivanov (Bul) 7-6½; 4. Michael Mason (Can) 7-5¼ (2.27); 5. tie, Ilya Ivanyuk (Rus) & Naoto Tobe (Jpn) 7-5¼; 7. Jeron Robinson (US) 7-4¼ (2.24); 8. Maksim Nedasekau (Blr) 7-4¼; 9. Yu Wang (Chn) 7-4¼; 10. tie, Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qat) & Majed El Dein Ghazal (Syr) 7-2½ (2.20); 12. Mateusz Przybylko (Ger) 7-2½.

Pole Vault: Kendricks Breaks Tie With Duplantis

Given their age differential of 7 years, it’s no surprise that Sam Kendricks came into this season with a 10–1 lifetime edge over prodigy Mondo Duplantis. The young Swede has been making great strides this year, however, splitting his 4 seasonal meetings with the American, 2–2. And now it’s 3–2 for Kendricks in their 5 DL meetings in ’19. Four vaulters cleared 19-1½ (5.83), Mondo with a perfect record to lead Kendricks, with Piotr Lisek and Cole Walsh (a PR) tied for 3rd. With the bar raised to 19-5½ (5.93), there were 11 straight misses—Duplantis very close on his last—until Kendricks came up for the final one. He sailed over cleanly and embarked on an animated victory celebration. Declining to vault any higher, he analyzed, “Right now, before the World Championships, everyone is at his strongest. So no prediction for Doha. It will be decided at the last moment.”


1. Sam Kendricks (US) 19-5½ (5.93) (17-9¾, 18-3¾, 18-9½ [2], 19-1½, 19-5½ [3]) (5.43, 5.58, 5.73 [2], 5.83, 5.93 [3]); 2. Mondo Duplantis (Swe) 19-1½ (5.83) (18-3¾, 18-9½, 19-1½, 19-5½ [xxx]) (5.58, 5.73, 5.83, 5.93 [xxx]); 3. tie, Piotr Lisek (Pol) 19-1½ (5.83) (17-9¾, 18-3¾, 18-9½ [x], 19-1½ [2], 19-5½ [xxx]) (5.43, 5.58, 5.73 [x], 5.83 [2], 5.93 [xxx]) & Cole Walsh (US) 19-1½ PR (17-9¾ [2], 18-3¾, 18-9½, 19-1½ [2], 19-5½ [3]) (5.43 [2], 5.58, 5.73, 5.83 [2], 5.93 [xxx]);

5. tie, Renaud Lavillenie (Fra), Chris Nilsen (US) & Paweł Wojciechowski (Pol) 18-9½ (5.73); 8. Thiago Braz (Bra) 18-3¾ (5.58); 9. Ernest Obiena (Phi) 18-3¾; 10. Dominik Alberto (Swi) 18-3¾ PR; 11. Seito Yamamoto (Jpn) 18-3¾; 12. Valentin Lavillenie (Fra) 17-9¾ (5.43); 13. Emmanouíl Karalís (Gre) 17-9¾.

Long Jump: World Leader
For Echevarría

Juan Miguel Echevarría has been troubled with hamstring problems this summer, but you wouldn’t know it here. The young Cuban, just past his 21st birthday, obliterated the competition in the first round, an 0.5 headwind not troubling him as he sailed out to a world-leading 28-4½ (8.65). And that was about it, as he passed his second attempt, fouled his third, passed his fourth & fifth and fouled his sixth. The battle for the runner-up spot was interesting, with only a single centimeter separating 2nd from 4th. Ruswahl Samaai of South Africa and Tajay Gayle of Jamaica both jumped 26-11 (8.20), Samaai taking 2nd on the countback, with countryman Luvo Manyonga taking 4th at 26-10½ (8.19). The confident Echevarría forecast big things for Doha, saying, “Everything is possible, even a record.”


1. Juan Miguel Echevarría (Cub) 28-4½ (8.65) (WL) (28-4½, p, f, p, p, f) (8.65, p, f, p, p, f);

2. Ruswahl Samaai (SA) 26-11 (8.20); 3. Tajay Gayle (Jam) 26-11; 4. Luvo Manyonga (SA) 26-10½ (8.19); 5. Miltiádis Tentóglou (Gre) 26-7 (8.10); 6. Jianan Wang (Chn) 26-5½ (8.06); 7. Thobias Montler (Swe) 25-7¼ (7.80); 8. Zarck Visser (SA) 24-11¼ (7.60).

Back from injury, Juan Miguel Echevarría uncorked the year’s first 28-footer in the long jump. (JIRO MOCHIZUJKI/IMAGE OF SPORT)

Javelin: Lefty At The Right Time

If Chao-Tsun Cheng hadn’t beaten most of the event’s big names with his 287-10 (87.75) win in Birmingham some 10 days earlier, it would have been a shocker to see him in the lead after 5 rounds here. But there he was, Taiwan’s biggest star having opened at 292-2 (89.05), the second-farthest throw of his life. As the final round began, yearly leader Magnus Kirt was only 4th, his 281-1 (85.68) trailing not only Cheng, but also Germany’s Andreas Hofmann (287-0/87.49) and Poland’s Marcin Krukowski (281-3/85.72). Kirt, the left-handed WR holder in the event, zipped down the runway one last time. As always the bearded Estonian ended up landing headfirst, arms skidding towards the line. His spear came down close to the 90m arc, and when it was measured his 292-5 (89.13) had given him the closest of victories.


1. Magnus Kirt (Est) 292-5 (89.13) (254-5, 279-9, 274-6, 281-1, 280-3, 292-5) (77.54, 85.26, 83.66, 85.68, 85.42, 89.13); 2. Chao-Tsun Cheng (Tai) 292-2 (89.05) (292-2, f, f, f, 260-11, f) (89.05, f, f, f, 79.53, f); 3. Andreas Hofmann (Ger) 287-0 (87.49); 4. Marcin Krukowski (Pol) 281-3 (85.72); 5. Johannes Vetter (Ger) 277-1 (84.46); 6. Jakub Vadlejch (CzR) 276-1 (84.17); 7. Thomas Röhler (Ger) 272-0 (82.91); 8. Bernhard Seifert (Ger) 248-11 (75.88); 9. Simon Wieland (Swi) 243-11 (74.36).

Non-Diamond League Event

Zürich also featured a single men’s event that wasn’t part of the DL structure.

110H RESULTS (wind –0.8)

1. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (Fra) 13.51; 2. David King (GB) 13.58; 3. Cameron Fillery (GB) 13.74; 4. Michael O’Hara (Jam) 13.79; 5. Hassane Fofana (Ita) 13.90.

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