Sifan Hassan, Joshua Cheptegei and Dina Asher-Smith lead a cast of international superstars competing in this week’s Florence Diamond League.
The field on show in the men’s 5000m is arguably the strongest field in history with SEVEN men all having previously run under 13 minutes. Joshua Cheptegei, the world record holder (12:35.36), is the outstanding favourite but it will be fascinating to see whether the others in the race can compete. Of particular interest will be the indomitable Jakob Ingebrigsten who recently the won 1500m at the Gateshead Diamond League in pretty dreadful conditions. His PB of 13:02.03 came when he was 18 (!) back in London in 2019 and given his recent improvements it’s very likely to see him go faster in Florence. In arguably his best distance, can he win? Keep an eye on Selemon Barega too (12:43), he’s the second fastest in the field and is likely to be there until the very end. We wrote a full article just on this race, which you can read here.
It won’t just be the men catching everyone’s eye though, with Dutch superstar, Sifan Hassan dropping down from her 10,000m heroics in Hengelo back to the 1500m where she’s reigning world champion. Although her incredible run in the 10,000m of 29:06.82 on Sunday has since been bettered by the unstoppable Letesenbet Gidey, in the Ethiopian Olympic Trials, she still goes into this race as favourite. There’s some other world stars competing too, however, with Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, fresh off winning the 800m in Doha and the European Champion, Laura Muir. Arguably this is just as competitive as the men’s 5000m.
Dina Asher-Smith runs in her first 200m of the season too. The women’s sprinting scene right now is as competitive as it’s ever been, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce running 10.63 and Sha’Carri Richardson running 10.72, this season in the 100m. In this race, double world champion, Dafne Schippers will likely pose the biggest test to Asher-Smith but there are threats right across the track in Marie-Josee Ta Lou and Kambundji.
It’s also a meet with significant hurdling pedigree, with races in the men’s 110m and women’s 100m hurdles where Olympic champion Omar McLeod and world-leader Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, respectively, will be looking to take the victories. Femke Bol will be looking to build on her 54.33 victory in the 400m hurdles from Hengelo at the weekend to cement her dominance in the discipline and run even faster this time.
In the field too, some mouth watering prospects. Barshim returns after the relative disappointment of Doha against the victor last week, Ilya Ivanyuk. In the women’s pole vault, Holly Bradshaw will be looking to capitalise on some of her early season form in a strong field which includes Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi and world champion, Anzhelika Sidorova.
With 2 Diamond League events already completed, the Florence meet looks likely to build on the excitement and drama of the previous 2 to serve up some of the most thrilling athletics this season.
When and how can I watch?
The event starts at 7pm UK time, tomorrow 10th June 2021 and will be broadcast live on BBC Four and the iPlayer.
For fans in other jurisdictions, you can watch it on the Diamond League YouTube steam, here.
Full schedule and start lists
You can view the full schedule and start lists here.