2023 Silesia DL Preview: Are You Ready for Sha’Carri vs Shericka SHOWDOWN? + Jakob vs The Clock

After a two-week break for national championships around the globe, the Diamond League is back for the final run-in to the World Championships in Budapest, which begin on August 19. Over the next 10 days we’ll get Diamond League meets in Silesia (July 16), Monaco (July 21), and London (July 23), all of which should feature some big-time matchups — it’s the middle of July which means that the biggest stars are nearing top shape as Worlds approaches.

The first of those meets, the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial, will be held on Sunday in the Polish city of Chorzów (Silesia is the region in which Chorzów is located) and it is full of talent. Sprint-wise, it is highlighted by two incredible matchups. The #1 and #2 female sprinters in the world this year, the US and Jamaican champs Sha’Carri Richardson and Shericka Jackson, are set for a 100m showdown in the women’s 100 that will conclude the meet as the #1 event of the night. In the men’s 100, world champ Fred Kerley will race US champ Cravont Charleston. The men’s 400 is interesting as 400m hurdles world champion Alison dos Santos will make his season debut against Wayde van Niekerk

Distance-wise, world champ Soufiane El Bakkali headlines the men’s steeple. The men’s 1500 should be fantastic as Jakob Ingebrigtsen is in the race, where he is rumored to be targeting an even faster time than his 3:27.95 European record last month in Oslo. He’ll also face two teen sensations who may challenge him in the years to come.

Meet details below, followed by a preview of the top events. We also have a preview of the other meets going on this weekend here:

Article continues below player.

Track & Field Weekend (7/14-7/16) Viewing Guide: Burns Goes for High School 5000m Record, McGorty, Waskom Chase Worlds Standards, Silesia Diamond League Caps It Off on Sunday

Meet details
What: 2023 Kamila Skolimowska Memorial
When: Sunday, July 16. Broadcast window 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET.
LetsRun.com Live Post-Meet Reaction Show at 12:10 p.m. ET. Watch the meet, take a bathroom break, grab a soft drink/beer and listen to our analysis. Supporters Club members can get it on-demand as a podcast.
Where: Silesian Stadium, Chorzów, Poland
*TV/streaming information *Schedule, entries, & results

Women’s 1500 (9:34 a.m. ET): Which Ethiopian youngster takes it?

Ethiopians own spots #2, #5, #6, #7, and #8 on the 2023 world list in the women’s 1500 meters. All have run 3:57 or faster this year, and three of them are entered in Silesia. Ids this basically the Ethiopian Trials? With Faith Kipyegon sitting this one out, chances are one of them wins this race.

Diribe Welteji (#5), Hirut Meshesha (#7), and Birke Haylom (#8) all raced two weeks ago in Stockholm. This was the result:

2. 4:02.79 Diribe Welteji
3. 4:03.01 Hirut Meshesha
7. 4:05.21 Birke Haylom

That order may not be that helpful, though as there hasn’t been much to choose between them this year. Haylom (4:17 mile in Oslo) and Welteji (3:57 1500 in Ostrava) both have major European victories this season. The question is whether one of them can separate from the pack. 3:57 is a great time, but it may not be enough to medal — last year, it took 3:55 to get on the podium in Eugene, and though bronze medalist Laura Muir has been inconsistent this year following coach Andy Young‘s departure, Sifan Hassan may be returning to the event in Budapest.

Men’s 100 (10:16 a.m. ET): US champ vs world champ

For over a year now, Fred Kerley has owned the men’s 100 meters. Since his win at the Rome Diamond League on June 9, 2022, Kerley has lined up for six 100m finals and won them all. And in a year when even the top guys have struggled break 10.00, Kerley has been a model of consistency, running 9.88-9.91-9.94-9.94 across his four races in 2023.

Fill out the BetterRunningShoes.com shoe survey and we will enter you into a drawing a free pair of shoes.

But when you’re #1, you have a target on your back, and in this race there will be a number of guys lining up to take their shot at Kerley, who hasn’t run a 100 since his 9.94 in Florence on June 2. Kerley, of course, will be plenty motivated too: not just to stay at #1 in the 100, but to avenge his defeat in the 200 at USAs, where he finished 4th and missed the Worlds team after running a poor turn.

Crayont Charleston at USAs (Kevin Morris Photo) Cravont Charleston at USAs (Kevin Morris photo)

First in line to challenge Kerley is US champ Cravont Charleston, one of the hottest sprinters in the world right now who will be running just the second Diamond League of his life (he was 3rd behind Kerley in Rome last year). Will Charleston have a new singlet on his chest after repping Tracksmith at USAs?

The two young Jamaicans in the field will be extra motivated for this one since neither of them will get a shot at Kerley in Budapest. 21-year-old Ackeem Blake was 4th at the Jamaican champs but ran 9.89 to win the LA Grand Prix and 9.93 to finish 2nd behind Zharnel Hughes in New York. The other Jamaican, 22-year-old Kishane Thompson, exploded by dropping his pb from 10.18 to 9.91 in the prelims at the Jamaican champs, but did not run the semis or final. Why? His coach Stephen Francis told SportsMax that because Thompson has struggled with injuries in the past, he will not be running more than one round in any meet in 2023.

(Random editor’s update by Rojo: Speaking of the Jamaican champs, I don’t think enough has been made of the fact that the men’s 100 was won by Rohan Watson. The 21-year-old is three months younger than Blake and came into year with a 10.41 pb. He ran 10.32 in April, then 10.31 and 10.12 in May. At the Jamaican champs, he ran 9.98 in round 1 and 9.91 in the final where his close was unreal. Watch it here.)

South Africa’s Akani Simbine also enters in good form as he has won his last three races, most recently the Stockholm Diamond League on July 2.

Who wins the men's 100m?

Your vote has been counted. Thank you!

Women’s 3000 (10:26 a.m. ET): Battle of the Hailus

Meet organizers hinted that this race could include the gold and silver medalists from last year’s Worlds — Gudaf Tsegay and Beatrice Chebet — but it turns out neither of them are running. Instead, we get a matchup betweeen Lemlem Hailu, the reigning World Indoor champ at 3000, and Ethiopian countrywoman Freweyni Hailu, the 4th placer at last year’s Worlds in the 1500. I’ll give the edge to Lemlem but Freweyni is in good form, having won the 1500 at the Stockholm DL two weeks ago.

Men’s 3000 steeple (10:57 a.m. ET): El Bakkali tries to extend win streak

Soufiane El Bakkali has been the king of the steeple for so long that when I tried to remember the last time he lost a steeple, I couldn’t come up with an answer. He’s two-for-two in 2023 — a 7:56 pb in Rabat, a casual 8:09 in Stockholm — and won all five of his steeples in 2022. Turns out his last defeat came in the 2021 Diamond League final in Zurich to Benjamin Kigen, which means El Bakkali’s win streak sits at eight entering Sunday’s meet. Right now, the only man with a realistic shot to end that streak is world record holder Lamecha Girma, who is not running Silesia. Expect El Bakkali to make it nine straight.

Men’s 400 (11:16 a.m. ET): dos Santos returns against van Niekerk

Embed from Getty Images

When news broke in February that reigning 400m hurdles world champion Alison dos Santos injured his meniscus and would require surgery, many assumed he would be done for the year — a huge loss for the sport given dos Santos’ talent and charisma. But whether it was because he is a quick healer or something was lost in the Portuguese translation, dos Santos will be competing just five months later, making his season debut in the flat 400 on Sunday. He’ll be up against a guy who knows plenty about coming back from knee surgery — 400 world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, who, at 30, has been having his best season since going under the knife in 2017. WVN has won all three of his races this year, none slower than 44.38. He’s the favorite, but Bryce Deadmon, who just ran a pb of 44.22 to win USAs, and world leader Muzala Samukonga of Zambia will be looking to take him down.

Women’s 800 (11:27 a.m. ET): Moraa tries to stay hot

World Championship bronze medalist Mary Moraa has been in fine form recently, taking down Keely Hodgkinson in Lausanne before ripping a pb of 50.38 in the 400 to win the Kenyan championships last weekend. With the other two members of the Big Three — Hodgkinson and Athing Mu — sitting this one out, Moraa will be favored here with Natoya Goule and 2019 world champ Halimah Nakaayi her biggest rivals.

Men’s 1500 (11:38 a.m. ET): Ingebrigtsen ready for a fast one

Ingebrigtsen’s 3:27 in Oslo was the fastest time in the world since 2015 (Thomas Windestam for Diamond League AG)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen wants it all. He wants to win the 1500/5000 double at Worlds (and has mulled a triple in the past), he wants to win a lot of Diamond Leagues, and he wants to run fast every time out. Ingebrigtsen has already won the first three Diamond League 1500s of 2023 in Rabat, Oslo, and Lausanne, and will be trying to make it four-for-four on Sunday in Silesia. That would bring him halfway to a Diamond League season sweep with 1500s still to come in London, Zurich, Brussels, and the final in Eugene.

It’s reminiscent of the Golden League in the 2000s when athletes would try to win their event at every single meet to claim the $1 million jackpot. Except there is no jackpot for Ingebrigtsen. The dude just likes to win and run fast.

Already in 2023, Ingebrigtsen has broken 3:29 twice — the first man to do that since Hicham El Guerrouj in 2002 (appropriate, since El Guerrouj won the Golden League jackpot four times). And the word is, after running 3:27.95 in Oslo and 3:28.72 in Lausanne, Ingebrigtsen is looking to go even faster in Silesia: according to the Norwegian podcast In the Long Run, Ingebrigtsen is looking to get Australia’s 3:29 man Stewart McSweyn to pace him for a fast one in this race. Ingebrigtsen is still almost two seconds away from the world record, but it would not be a shock to see him crack the world all-time top four by the end of this season:

All-time men’s 1500 list

Rank Time Athlete Country Year Location
1 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj Morocco 1998 Rome
2 3:26.34 Bernard Lagat Kenya 2001 Brussels
3 3:26.69 Asbel Kiprop Kenya 2015 Monaco
4 3:27.37 Noureddine Morceli Algeria 1995 Nice
5 3:27.64 Silas Kiplagat Kenya 2014 Monaco
6 3:27.95 Jakob Ingebrigtsen Norway 2023 Oslo

Ingebrigtsen is a near-lock for victory but there are other guys who can run fast and this race could provide us a good look at two guys who potentially could challenge Ingebrigtsen in the years to come.

Notably, world U20 champ Reynold Kikporir Cheruiyot of Kenya was not in that super fast 1500 in Oslo. The 18-year-old, who was third at the Kenyan Trials last week, has already tied or broken his pb four times in 2023, most recently a 3:31.60 in Tomblaine on June 18 and could be dragged to a fast time here (though he has to be careful if Ingebrigtsen is running 3:27 pace). New Zealand’s Sam Tanner, who was shut out of Oslo, will also be looking to lower his 3:31.34 pb.

Embed from Getty Images

This race also features Aussie phenom Cameron Myers, who will debut on the Diamond League at the age of 17 years, 37 days (Ingebrigtsen was 16 years, 272 days when he debuted in an A race on the DL circuit). After a terrific Australian summer that included a 3:38.02 pb to take 2nd at the Aussie champs, Myers has been even better on his first European tour. He began with a two-second pb of 3:36.10 in Pfungstadt on June 21 and followed that with a 3:36.47 in Ostrava, 3:35.88 pb in Troyes, and 3:35.01 pb in Decines-Charpieu. That pushed Myers to #6 on the all-time world U18 list. The record stands at 3:33.72, set by Kenya’s Nicholas Kemboi in 2006 just two months after Myers was born. Given how much he has improved this year, it would not be a shock to see Myers challenge it but no matter how it ends, Myers’ 2023 campaign has already been an extraordinary success.

How fast will Jakob run?

Your vote has been counted. Thank you!

Women’s 100 (11:53 a.m. ET): Richardson vs Jackson

What a treat: US champ Sha’Carri Richardson vs Jamaican champ Shericka Jackson in what should be a preview of the women’s 100m final at Worlds on August 21. Richardson and Jackson have already met once this season, Richardson winning in 10.76 to Jackson’s 10.85 in Doha on May 5. This matchup in Silesia has taken on added significance as both women have run personal bests since then (Richardson 10.71 at USAs, Jackson 10.65 at the Jamaican champs) and have emerged as the leading candidates for gold in Budapest (add Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce to that conversation if she can get healthy).

This is the sort of head-to-head matchup the sport needs and it is a perfect way to end Sunday’s meet — on Jackson’s 29th birthday, no less.

Who wins the women's 100?

Your vote has been counted. Thank you!

Discuss the meet on our messageboard: Diamond League: Silesia start lists are out

More: We also have a preview of the other meets going on this weekend here:

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free LetsRun.com Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards