Diamond League Distance Preview: Is a WR in the 1500 Possible? How Fast Will Jakob Ingebrigtsen Go & More

By LetsRun.com
September 7, 2022

Few races in track & field offer the rewards of the Diamond League final. There’s the prize money ($30,000), the sweet Diamond Trophy, and the knowledge that your spot at next year’s World Championships is secure. Of course, even the chance to win $30,000 isn’t enough of a carrot for some of the sport’s biggest stars with high six figure or even seven figure endorsement deals (Athing Mu, Sydney McLaughlin) to keep their season going into September.

But many of the world’s top runners will be in Zurich for the DL final. The 2022 Weltklasse Zürich begins on Wednesday with a street portion and concludes on Thursday with a special three-hour stadium session where 26 Diamond League champions will be crowned.

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In the sprints, Noah Lyles will try to close out an undefeated season at 200 meters, world champs Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson square off over 100 meters in a race also featuring Sha’Carri Richardson (Jackson is doubling back for the 200), world record holder Tobi Amusan faces Olympic champ Jasmine Camacho-Quinn in the 100 hurdles, and Grant Holloway tackles Lausanne winner Rasheed Broadbell in the 110 hurdles.Additionally,  Trayvon Bromell (100), Alison Dos Santos (400 hurdles), and Femke Bol (400 hurdles) will all be favored to win their respective events. You can read more about that and the field events in the World Athletics previews (sprint preview, field preview) but we want to get you ready for the distance races.

Below, we’ve previewed the distance events in order of our excitement level, starting with the race we’re most excited for.

Women’s 1500 (1:59 p.m. ET): A world record in the women’s 1500?

The women’s 1500 is loaded and we can’t wait to watch it. The top four women from Worlds are all in this one led by the greatest 1500 woman on the planet Faith Kipyegon. In her last race, the two-time Olympic and World champ just missed Genzebe Dibaba’s 3:50.07 world record when she ran 3:50.37. Afterwards, Kipyegon said she wanted to break the record and this would be the perfect chance to do it as silver medallist Gudaf Tsegay is great at pushing the pace and always tries to run fast so she might help keep the pace hot in the middle.

The problem is meet organizers have published the pace guidelines for rabbit Allie Wilson of the US – who also rabbited in Monaco – as being as follows: 400m – 1:01, 800m – 2:05, 1k – 2:37.

2:37 is way off WR pace. 3:50 comes out to 2:33.33 per 1k.

So it doesn’t look like it’s being set up as a WR attempt but we aren’t ruling out it given what Kipyegon ran in her last race and the fact that Tsegay is in the field as well. We know what some of you are thinking, “The DL final may not be the best place to go for the WR as you might blow up and lose the race and $30,000.” That’s true but you don’t lose all of the $30,000 as second place still pays out $12,000.

It will be interesting to see how everyone else in this race not named Kipyegon and Tsegay perform. Ireland’s Ciara Mageean just broke 4:00 for the first time with a massive 3:56.63 pb in Lausanne and took down bronze medallist Laura Muir. Can she stay hot? From an American perspective, will Heather MacLean – who wasn’t at Worlds – be able to compete with this even though her pb is 3:58.76? Can Cory McGee (4:00.34) finally break 4:00?

Full Field

RankPosNatNameTimeSBPB
1ETHEMBAYE Axumawit 3:58.803:58.80
2USAMcGEE Cory Ann 4:00.344:00.34
3ETHMESHESHA Hirut 3:57.303:57.30
4ETHHAILU Freweyni 3:56.943:56.28
5USAMACLEAN Heather 3:58.763:58.76
6ETHWELTEJI Diribe 3:56.913:56.91
7IRLMAGEEAN Ciara 3:56.633:56.63
8GBRMUIR Laura 3:55.283:54.50
9ETHTSEGAY Gudaf 3:54.213:54.01
10KENKIPYEGON Faith 3:50.373:50.37
11USAWILSON Allie400m – 1:01 min, 800m – 2:05 min, 1k – 2:37 min 4:04.024:04.02

Men’s 1500 (2:10 p.m. ET) – The Jakob Ingebrigtsen show

In this race, there are two storylines for us. First, how fast does Jakob Ingebrigtsen run? Next, who wins the battle for second and how fast does he run?

Ingebrigtsen who won WC silver in the 1500 and gold in the 5000, is nearly unbeatable in rabbitted races on the circuit. But given his loss to Jake Wightman at Worlds in a quick race (3:29.23 winning time), we’d like to see him run 3:28 or 3:27 here to prove he really is going to be fit enough to run away from Wightman (and everyone else) from the front next year at Worlds in Budapest. Plus Ingebrigtsen hasn’t PR’d this year and if no one runs 3:28 it will be the first year since 2016 that the world leader wasn’t under 3:29.

As for the rest of the field, nearly everyone else has been inconsistent this year. Does anyone rise up and hang with Ingebrigtsen? No one else in this field got a medal at Worlds but if they end their season with a sub-3:30 clocking and PB, it will make them feel a lot differently about their season.

Full field

RankPosNatNameTimeSBPB
1LUXGRETHEN Charles 3:34.333:32.86
2MARSADIKI Abdellatif 3:33.933:33.59
3POLROZMYS Michal 3:32.433:32.43
4AUSMcSWEYN Stewart 3:30.183:29.51
5AUSHOARE Oliver 3:30.123:30.12
6GBRHEYWARD Jake 3:31.083:31.08
7GBRKERR Josh 3:30.603:29.05
8KENKIPSANG Abel 3:29.933:29.56
9KENCHERUIYOT Timothy 3:30.213:28.28
10NORINGEBRIGTSEN Jakob 3:29.053:28.32
11AUSRAMSDEN Matthew400m – 55.5 sec, 800m – 1:51 min, 1k – 2:19 min 3:36.383:34.08

Men’s 800 (3:31 p.m. ET): Emmanuel Korir vs Jake Wightman II

The men’s 800 in Brussels was a good one as world 1500 champ Jake Wightman got the best of Olympic and world 800 champ Emmanuel Korir with Wightman running a Scottish record of 1:43.65. Can he do it again? Can he PR again?

We imagine most of the guys will be focused on the win and $30k so it will be interesting to note what the winning time is. If it’s not faster than the current world leader of 1:43.52 (Max Burgin), it will be the first time in 15 years that the world-leading 800 time was over 1:43.50. In 2007, South Africa’s Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who went on to win the 2009 world title before tragically dying in a car crash in 2014, was #1 in the world at 1:43.74 with Alan Webb second in 1:43.84

Full Field

REPORTS

RankLaneNatNameTimeSBPB
1USAHOPPEL Bryce 1:44.601:43.23
2SWEKRAMER Andreas 1:44.591:44.47
3KENKISASY Wyclife Kinyamal 1:43.541:43.12
4FRAROBERT Benjamin 1:43.751:43.75
5GBRWIGHTMAN Jake 1:43.651:43.65
6CANAROP Marco 1:43.611:43.26
7KENKORIR Emmanuel Kipkurui 1:43.711:42.05
8FRATUAL Gabriel 1:44.231:44.23
8POLSIERADZKI Patryk400m – 49.5 sec 1:45.131:45.13

Women’s 800 (3:19 p.m. ET): Moraa vs Hodgkinson one more time

There’s been a lot of talk about Athing Mu vs. Keely Hodgkinson as the next great rivalry in the women’s 800 meters, and their duel down the home straight in Eugene was one of the most exciting finishes of this year’s World Championships. There’s only one problem: Hodgkinson hasn’t won yet. You can’t have a truly great rivalry until both sides win at least once.

No such problem for Hodgkinson vs. Mary Moraa. They’re the second and third-best 800 runners on Earth, and this year alone, they’ve raced three times. Hodgkinson prevailed in the most important one, taking silver at Worlds to Moraa’s bronze, but Moraa won their most recent matchup, an insane first-to-last-to-first victory at the Commonwealth Games – on English soil, no less – that may still sting a month later.

Both Hodgkinson (20) and Moraa (22) are young stars and Moraa is coming off a 400m pb of 50.67 last week in Brussels. Hodgkinson hasn’t raced since winning the European title on August 20 but will be eager to avenge that Commonwealth defeat in Birmingham and successfully defend her Diamond League title.

Sage Hurta is the lone US entrant and has been on a tear since finishing 7th at USAs. She was 2nd in her last two Diamond Leagues in Silesia (1:58.40) and Monaco (1:57.85) and won the 800 in Lucerne last week. The top two will be tough to take down, but third is within her range of possibilities with a great race.

Full Field

RankLaneNatNameTimeSBPB
1SLOHORVAT Anita 1:58.961:58.96
2UGANAKAAYI Halimah 1:58.681:58.03
3JAMGOULE Natoya 1:56.981:56.15
4USAHURTA Sage 1:57.851:57.85
5KENMORAA Mary 1:56.711:56.71
6FRALAMOTE Rénelle 1:57.841:57.84
6ITABELLÒ Elena 1:58.971:58.97
7GBRHODGKINSON Keely 1:56.381:55.88
8SUIHOFFMANN Lore 1:59.651:58.50
8USABAKER Olivia400m – 57.5 sec 1:58.051:58.05

Men’s Steeplechase (2:31 pm ET): El Bakkali tries to erase last year’s bitter memories

World and Olympic champ Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco is very good at the steeplechase and should win this event, especially since neither the silver medallist (Lamecha Girma) or bronze medallist from Worlds (Conseslus Kipruto) are entered. El Bakkali has only lost one steeple since finishing 3rd at the 2019 Worlds and it came last year in the tactical Diamond League final as Olympic bronze medallist Benjamin Kigen upset him in 8:17.

American Hillary Bor qualified for the final as he raced three Diamond Leagues early in the year but he isn’t here as he shut his season down after finishing 8th at Worlds.

Full Field

1KENKIPSANG Lawrence Kemboi 8:26.708:11.26
2JPNMIURA Ryuji 8:13.068:09.92
3KENBETT Leonard Kipkemoi 8:12.088:08.61
4KENSEREM Amos 8:09.938:09.93
5ETHWALE Getnet 8:06.748:05.21
6KENKIBIWOT Abraham 8:06.738:05.72
7ETHAMARE Hailemariyam 8:06.298:06.29
8MAREL BAKKALI Soufiane 7:58.287:58.15
9KENKONES Wilberforce Chemiat1k – 2:40 min 8:23.738:21.42
10MARBOUASSEL Abderrafia2k – 5:22 min 8:27.008:27.00

Women’s steeplechase (1:33 p.m. ET): Where has Jeruto gone?

World champ Norah Jeruto hasn’t raced since Worlds, and in her absence it seemed as if Werkuha Getachew of Ethiopia, who ran a 13-second pb of 8:54 to take silver at Worlds, would take over the event. Getachew did win in Monaco, but she was only third last week in Brussels as 18-year-old Jackline Chepkoech, the Commonwealth champ and last year’s World U20 champ, ran her most impressive race to date, a seven-second pb of 9:02 to take the win.

If you’re wondering whether a teenager has ever broken 9:00, the answer is yes: Celliphine Chespol set the world U20 record of 8:58.78 at the 2017 Pre Classic when she was 18 years old. 2022 is Chepkoech’s last year as a U20 athlete (she turns 19 in October), so if she wants the world U20 race, this is her last chance to break it.

There is one American in the field – Emma Coburn. What version of Coburn will we get? After a disappointing 8th place finish at Worlds, she rebounded for a 4th place 9:07.93 showing in Monaco a month later but regressed to a 9:14.43 8th-place showing in Brussels last week. Coburn later revealed that she developed a back injury mid-race in Brussels but was hopeful that with a few days to recover she will feel better in Zurich.

Full Field

RankPosNatNameTimeSBPB
1UKRSTREBKOVA Nataliya 9:24.549:24.54
2KAZJEPKEMEI Daisy 9:15.779:06.66
3SUISCHERRER Chiara 9:20.289:20.28
4KENCHEROTICH Faith 9:09.639:09.63
5ETHALMAYEW Sembo 9:09.199:09.19
6ETHWONDEMAGEGN Zerfe 9:06.639:06.63
7USACOBURN Emma 9:07.939:02.35
8KENCHEPKOECH Jackline 9:02.439:02.43
9BRNYAVI Winfred Mutile 8:56.558:56.55
10ETHGETACHEW Werkuha 8:54.618:54.61
11KENNYAMBURA Virginia1k – 3:00 min 9:38.559:13.85
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