Fred Kerley, Grant Holloway, Shericka Jackson, Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Krjstian Ceh are the top names at the International Meeting Mohamed VI in Rabat, the second leg of the Wanda Diamond League
Men’s 100 metres:
World champion Fred Kerley will not clash against Olympic champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs, as the Italian sprinter has pulled out of the first 100m showdown due to a sciatica back pain.
Marcell Jacobs: “The challenge has been postponed. I am not injured and the problem should be solved soon. Technically I feel in shape and I am ready for a good outdoor season”.
Kerley won the Olympic silver medal in 9.84 in Tokyo and the world gold medal in 9.86 in Eugene.
Kerley claimed the Diamond League final in the 100 metres in Zurich in 2021 in 9.87 and started the 2023 season with a win in the 200 metres in 19.92 ahead of Kenny Bednarek. Last weekend he ran in 9.88 in the heats and 9.91 In the final at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Yokohama.
The line-up also features reigning Diamond League champion Trayvon Bromell, African 100m record Ferdinand Omanyala from Kenya, world 100m under 20 champion Letsile Tebogo from Botswana, Olympic and world finalist Akani Simbine from South Africa and former 100m world champion Yohan Blake.
Bromell won the world bronze medal in the 100m in Eugene 2022 in 9.88 and in the Diamond League final in Zurich in 9.94 last September.
Omanyala set the African record clocking 9.77 in the 100 metres in Nairobi 2021 and won the African and Commonwealth Games titles in 2022. The Kenyan sprinter started his season with a wind-assisted 9.78 in Gaborone last April and set the world leading time of 9.84 into a headwind of -0.5 m/s.
Simbine set the African record with 9.84 in Szezesfehrvar in July 2021 and held it for two months until Omanyala clocked 9.77 in Nairobi. The South African record holder qualified for two Olympic finals (fifth in Rio 2016 in 9.94 and fourth in Tokyo in 9.93) and three world finals (fourth in Doha 2019 in 9.93 and fifth in London 2017 and Eugene 2022). This season Simbine ran 9.92 in the semifinal of the South African Championships in Potchefstroom.
Tebogo won his second consecutive world under 20 gold medal in Cali 2022 in a world under 20 record of 9.91. This year the Botswanan sprinter clocked a wind-assisted 9.91 in the 100m and a PB of 19.87 in the 200m at the Botswanan Grand Prix in Gaborone showing that he is ready to test himself against the best sprinters in the world.
Reece Prescod showed his good form last Wednesday winning the 100 metres in a wind-assisted 9.94 in Savona. Prescod won the silver medal in the 100m in Berlin 2018 in 9.96 and the world bronze medal in the 4x100 relay in 37.83 in Eugene 2022.
The line-up is completed by Yohan Blake, world champion in Daegu 2011 and Olympic silver medal in the 100m and 200m in London 2012, and Frenchman Mouhamadou Fall, fifth at the European Championships in Munich 2022.
Men’s 110 metres hurdles:
Reigning Wanda Diamond League champion Grant Holloway will start his title defence in the 110 metres hurdles in Rabat.
Holloway clinched his first Diamond League trophy after winning the final in Zurich in 13.02. The US hurdler ran his fastest time last time in Monaco clocking 12.99. He set the second fastest time in history with 12.81 in the semifinal of the US Olympic Trials missing Aries Merrit’s world record by one hundredth of a second and won two consecutive world outdoor titles in Doha 2019 and Eugene 2022. He broke Colin Jackson’s world indoor record in the 60 metres hurdles with 7.29 in Madrid in 2021 and equalled this time in the semifinal of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in 2022 before winning the final in 7.39. This year Holloway clocked 13.03 in Gainesville and a world leading time of 13.01 in Atlanta.
Holloway will go head-to-head against Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment, who beat the US hurdler to win the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. Parchment also won the Olympic bronze medal in London 2012 and two silver medals at both the World Championships in Beijing 2015 and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018. Parchment won four Diamond League races in his career in Eugene in 2013 in 13.05, in Paris in 2014 in his PB of 12.94 and 2021 in 13.03 and Birmingham 2022 in 13.09.
The other Jamaican hurdler to watch is Rasheed Broadbell, who won his first Diamond League race in Lausanne setting his PB of 12.99 and the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 13.08. Broadbell clocked 13.12 in Gainesville and 13.10 in Freeport this year.
Three-time US champion Devon Allen returns to the Diamond League for the first time since last June, when he won two back-back races in Oslo and Paris. Allen returns from a stint in the National Football League playing as a wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles in time for this year’s outdoor season. Allen reached two Olympic finals in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021 and ranks third in the world all-time list with his PB of 12.84 set in New York in 2022.
The other top names in the line-up are USA’s Freddie Crittenden, reigning US indoor champion in 2023 in the 60 metres in 7.49, Pascal Martinot Lagarde from France, world bronze medallist in Doha 2019 and European silver in Munich 2022, and Rafael Pereira from Brazil, who holds the South American record with 13.17.
Women’s 200 metres:
Jamaican sprint star Sherika Jackson will run her first 200 metres race in the Diamond League this season. Jackson set the second fastest time in history when she won the world title in 21.45 in Eugene. Only Florence Griffith Joyner ran faster with her world record of 21.34 at the Olympic Games in Seoul 1988.
Jackson won the Diamond League final in Zurich in 21.80. She opened her Diamond League campaign this season with a second place in the 100m in 10.85. Last weekend she tested her form with a win in 22.25 in Kingston.
Jackson will take on US Tamari Davis, who won the 100 metres in 10.91 at the Bermuda Grand Prix in Devonshire and finished second in the 200 metres in 22.31 in Miramar, Anthonique Strachan from the Bahamas, world under 20 champion in the 100m and 200m in Barcelona 2012, Anna Kielbasinska from Poland, European bronze medallist in the 400 metres in Munich last year, Kayla White, NCAA indoor champion in the 200 metres in 22.68, Bassant Hemida from Egypt, national record holder with 11.02 in the 100 metres and 22.47m in the 200 metres, and Gina Bass from Gambia, sixth in the 200 metres final at the World Championships in Doha 2019.
Men’s 1500 metres:
Reigning 1500 metres Olympic and European champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will run his first 1500 metres race of the outdoor season. The Norwegian star will be aiming to win his second consecutive Diamond League title this season after his triumph in the Diamond League final in Zurich in a world seasonal best of 3:29.02 last September. Ingebrigtsen won the Olympic 1500m gold medal setting the Olympic record with 3:28.32, the world 5000m title in Eugene, two European gold medals in the 1500m and 5000 metres in Munich 2022 and another double in the 1500m and 3000m at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul in 2023. Jakob’s elder brother Filip Ingebrigtsen, European champion in Amsterdam 2016, will be also in the line-up.
US middle distance runner Yared Nuguse is looking to continue his good period of form after a great indoor season in which he broke the North American indoor record in the 3000 metres with 7:28.94 in Boston and set the second fastest time over the mile distance in history with 3:47.38 at the Millrose Games in New York.
The other top athletes to watch are Australia’s Oliver Hoare, reigning Commonwealth Games champion in Birmingham in his PB of 3:30.12 last August, Abel Kipsang, fourth in the Olympic final in Tokyo in his PB of 3:29.56 and second placer in his first 1500m race of the season in Nairobi, Mario Garcia from Spain, European bronze medallist in Munich in 3:34.88, Charles Simotwo from Kenya, who set PBs of 3:30.30 in the 1500m in Monaco and 3:49.40 in Oslo in 2021.
Men’s discus throw:
World champion Krjstian Ceh will return to Rabat, where he took the win with 69.68m in last year’s edition of this meeting. Ceh won last year’s Diamond League title with four more victories in Birmingham with 71.27m, Rome (70.72m), Stockolm (70.02m) and Zurich (67.10m. The Slovenian thrower started his defense of the Diamond League title with a win in the opening meeting in Doha with 70.89m.
Ceh will renew his rivalry against Olympic champion Daniel Stahl, who set the meeting record with 69.94m in 2019 a few months before winning the world gold medal in Doha. Stahl is currently ranked fourth in the world seasonal list with his seasonal best of 69.01m set in Norkoeping. He finished fourth in the Doha Diamond League meeting with 67.14m.
The line-up also features Andrius Gudzius from Lithuania, world champion in London 2017, Simon Petterson from Sweden, Olympic silver medallist in Tokyo, Lawrence Okoye, European bronze medallist in Munich, Alin Alexandru Firfirica from Romania, fourth at the World Championships in London 2017.
Women’s high jump:
Yaroslava Mahuchik will be seeking her second consecutive win at the Rabat Diamond League meeting after her victory with 1.96m. Mahuchik started the 2023 season with her second consecutive European Indoor gold medal in Istanbul last March with 1.98m and cleared a world leading mark of 2.00m at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi on 13 May.
Last year Mahuchik won four more Diamond League competitions in Eugene (2.00m), Paris (2.01m), Brussels with her outdoor PB of 2.05m and at the Final in Zurich with 2.03m claiming her first Diamond Trophy. In last year’s major championships she won the world indoor gold medal in Belgrade, her second consecutive world outdoor silver medal in Eugene and the European outdoor gold medal in Munich.
Mahuchik will take on her compatriot Iryna Geraschenko and Italy’s Elena Vallortigara.
Geraschenko won the European indoor silver medal in Torun 2021 and finished fourth at both the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 1.98m and the World Championships in Eugene with 2.00m. She finished second to Mahuchik with 1.93m in last year’s edition of the Rabat meeting.
Vallortigara won the bronze medal in Eugene with 2.00m beating Geraschenko on countback. The Italian jumper set her PB of 2.02m at the Diamond League meeting in London in 2018. She will make her second appearance at the Rabat meeting after finishing sixth with 1.90m last year. Last winter she cleared a seasonal best of 1.95m in Banska Bystrika and won her fifth Italian Indoor title in Ancona.
Two rising stars to watch are Angelina Topic from Serbia and Karmen Bruus from Estonia. Topic, the daughter of 1990 European champion Dragurtin Topic and 2009 world triple jump gold medallist Biljana Topic, won the European under 18 bronze medal in Jerusalem and the European bronze medal in Munich last summer. Bruus finished seventh at the World Championships in Eugene with 1.94m at the age of 17 and won the world under 20 gold medal in Cali last August.
The line-up also features Nadezhda Dubovitskaya from Kazakhsan, world indoor bronze medallist with 2.00m in Belgrade 2022, Morgan Laake from Great Britain, British record holder with 1.99m in Hustopece, and Yuliya Levchenko, world silver medallist in London 2017.
Men’s 400 metres:
Olympic champion Steven Gardiner started his season with 44.42 at the Bermuda Grand Prix in his first race since 2022. Gardiner also clocked 20.14 in the 200m in Gainesville and the 300m in 31.59 in the 300 metres. He set his PB of 43.48 when he won the world title in Doha 2019.
Gardiner will face Matthew Hudson Smith and Alex Haydock Wilson, who finished first and third at the European Championships in Munich 2022, Bayapo Ndori from Botswana, Olympic bronze medallist in the 4x400 relay in Tokyo, Olympic 4x00 champion Vernon Norwood, who clocked a seasonal best of 44.68 in Nairobi, and Zakhiti Nene from South Africa, who set his PB of 44.74 in the Diamond League in Zurich last year.
Men’s 3000 steeplechase:
Olympic and world champion Soufiane El Bakkali will be seeking his second consecutive win in the men’s 3000 steeplechase in front of his home fans. Last year the Moroccan star set the world seasonal best with 7:58.28. With this time he broke the meeting record held by Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto with 8:02.77 since 2016.
El Bakkali has remained unbeaten since 2022. He won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021, the world title in Eugene and the Diamond League final in Zurich.
El Bakkali will face Conseslus Kipruto, Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and two-time world champion in London 2017 and Doha 2019, Abraham Kibiwot, gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 2022, Benjamin Kigen, Olympic bronze medallist in Tokyo and Diamond League champion in Zurich in 2021, Getnet Wale from Ethiopia, fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and winner at the Diamond League in 2019, Amos Serem from Kenya, world under 20 gold medallist in Nairobi 2021, Leonard Bett, world under 20 silver medallist in Tampere 2018, Osama Zoghlami from Italy, European bronze medallist in Munich 2022, and Avinash Sable from India, who set two national records clocking 8:12.48 in Rabat and 8:11.20 at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where he won the silver medal.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay will compete for the second time in her career in Rabat four years after finishing third in 2019 in the 1500 metres in 3:57.40.
Tsegay won the Olympic bronze medal in the 5000 metres, the world title over the same distance in Eugene 2022, the world indoor title in the 1500 metres in Belgrade 2022 and set the world indoor record with 3:53.09 in Liévin in 2021.
She will face her compatriots Lemlem Hailu, world indoor champion in the 3000 metres in Belgrade 2022, Freweyni Hailu, world indoor silver medallist in the 800 metres and fourth in the 1500 metres at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 3:57.60, 17-year-old Birke Haylom, world under 20 champion in the 1500 metres, and Australia’s Linden Hall, sixth in the Olympic 1500m final in 3:59.01.
Men’s 800 metres:
Reigning Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir from Kenya will go head-to-head against his compatriots Wycliffe Kinyamal and Emmanuel Wanyony. Korir won the gold medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and at the World Championships in Eugene and two consecutive editions of the Diamond League in 2021 and 2022.
Wanyonyi won the world under 20 gold medal in Nairobi 2021 in 1:43.76 and claimed his first Diamond League race in Rabat in 1:45.47. This year the 18-year-old Kenyan athlete took the win at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi in a world leading time of 1:43.32.
Kinyamal, who won two Commowealth Games gold medals in 2018 and 2022, finished second in the Doha Diamond League meeting in 1:46.61 and in the Kip Keino Classic in 1:43.66.
The line-up also features Eugene 2022 world bronze medallist Marco Arop from Canada, Mohad Zahafi from Morocco, NCAA champion in 2022, Benjamin Robert from France, European Indoor champion in Istanbul and winner at the Diamond League meeting in Paris in 1:43.75, Tony Van Diepen from the Netherlands, Olympic bronze medallist in the 4x400 relay in Tokyo and third in the 800m in 1:44.14 in Paris last year, Elliot Crestan from Belgium, European Indoor bronze medallist in Istanbul 2023.
Women’s shot put:
Auriol Dongmo from Portugal, Sarah Mitton from Canada and Jessica Schilder from the Netherlands are the stand-out athletes in the women’s shot put. Dongmo won her second European Indoor title in Istanbul last March with 19.76m and the world indoor gold medal in Torun with her PB of 20.43m. The line-up features Sara Gambetta from Germany and Fanny Roos, who won the silver and bronze medal respectively at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Mitton won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and set the national record with 20.33m last year.
Schilder won the European outdoor gold medal in Munich with 20.24m and the world indoor bronze medal in Belgrade in 2022.
Women’s triple jump:
Two-time world outdoor silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts from Jamaica will take on European outdoor champion Maryna Beck Romanchuk and world finalist Thea Lafond from Dominica.
Ricketts won two world silver medals in Doha 2019 with 14.92m and Eugene 2022 with 14.89m, the Commonwealth Games in Manchester 2022 with 14.94, a Diamond League Trophy in Zurich with 14.93m. She set her PB of 14.98m in the Diamond League meeting in Doha.
Beck Romanchuk won the world outdoor silver medal in the long jump in Doha 2019 with 6.92m, the world indoor silver medal in the triple jump with 14.74m and the European outdoor gold medal in the triple jump in Munich 2022 with her PB of 15.02m.
Thea Lafond from Dominica finished fifth at the World Championships in Eugene with 14.56m and won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with 14.39m. Lafond won her first Diamond League competition in Rabat last year with 14-46m.
Women’s 400 metres hurdles:
Former Olympic and World champion Dalilah Muhamad will take on Jamaican hurdlers Janieve Russell and Rushell Clayton.
Muhamad set two world records in the 400 metres hurdles with 52.20 at the US Championships in Des Moines and 52.16 at the World Championships in Doha beating Sydney McLaughlin in 2019. She finished second to McLaughlin in the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 51.58 and third at the World Championships in Eugene 2022.
Russell won two consecutive gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast 2018 and Birmingham 2022 and five Diamond League races in Rabat in 2016 in Rome in 2016 and 2017, London 2017 and Eugene 2018.
Clayton won two bronze medals at the Pan American Games in Lima and World Championships in Doha 2019 and two Diamond League races in London 2019 and Monaco 2022.