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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Zurich Weltklasse preview

The Weltklasse Zurich, the first of two final meets in the IAAF's Diamond League, will take place tomorrow in the Leitzigrund stadium.
Meet website / schedule / start lists

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Live webcasts will be at and at 2 PM tomorrow (Thursday).
TV broadcasts will be tape-delayed: Sunday at 2 PM on NBC and Saturday at noon on CBC.

Two events have already taken place, the men's and women's shot put. Meet organizers have followed the "take the field events to the people" trend and set up shop in the RailCity/Zürich Main Station, with three-time World Champion shot putter Werner Guenthor announcing. To no one's surprise, Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Christian Cantwell won and secured the first-ever Diamond Trophies.

Friend of the blog Martin Bingisser, a Swiss hammer thrower who resides in the Seattle area, will do a guest post here.  As a member of the sponsoring club, he has special insight on what makes meets like the one in Zurich so much better than even our best domestic competitions.

This being the final meet for the events contested, the Diamond Trophies will be awarded.

Track and Field News has the rundown on who's got how many points; Joe Battaglia at Universal Sports breaks it down further for us, as does Britain's Athletics Weekly in separate posts for men and women.

What I've been working on this year is a world rankings system that rewards athletes for facing tough competition more than it penalizes them for losing. While there will be more competition this season, this is probably the last big one and the last chance to make a major shift in the standings. So let's see how things break down.

Men's 200: Walter Dix is ranked #1. Wallace Spearmon would have to win and run in the 19.7 range to overtake the lead, unless Dix falters and doesn't take runner-up position. I'm pretty sure Dix will retain his top ranking, because Yohan Blake is going to kick both of their asses.

Men's 400: Top-ranked Jeremy Wariner could be surpassed if Jermaine Gonzalez wins by more than a tenth of a second.

Men's Steeple: The top three in the rankings, Paul Kipsiele Koech, Brimin Kipruto and Ezekiel Kemboi, are all entered. They are so tightly bunched in points that pretty much whoever is tops out of those three will become the new leader.

Men's 5k: My system breaks things down into 3k-5k and 5k-10k rankings. Rabbited 5k races count for both; last year this meet didn't have a rabbit and I'm unsure about this year. In any case, Imane Merga would have to really screw up to lose his top ranking in either category.

Men's 110 Hurdles: David Oliver cannot lost his #1 ranking. But if he wins with something in the 12.96 range or better, he'll overtake David Rudisha for #1 in the all-events ranking.

Men's High Jump: Ivan Ukhov leads and cannot be caught.

Men's Long Jump: Dwight Phillips leads and cannot be caught.

Men's Discus Throw: Piotr Malachowski leads, but if Gerd Kanter wins by anything more than a few centimeters he'll become the new #1.

Women's 100: The only way Carmelita Jeter could lose her top spot is to false-start or pull a hamstring.

Women's 400: Debbie Dunn leads, but Allyson Felix could become #1 if she wins with either an impressive time or with Dunn failing to hold second.

Women's 1500: Nancy Lagat leads and cannot be caught.

Women's 100 Hurdles: Lolo Jones leads and will continue to do so barring disaster. Sally Pearson has run very well over the last few meets but is strangely not invited.

Women's 400 Hurdles: Kaleise Spencer leads and will keep it barring disaster.

Women's Pole Vault: Fabiana Murer leads and cannot be caught.

Women's Long Jump: Brittney Reese leads, and while she could be caught by Darya Klishina it is highly unlikely.

Women's Javelin Throw: Barbora Špotáková leads and cannot be caught.

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