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Diamond League: Africa's lineup for the grand final

Faith Kipyegon
Diamond League: Africa's lineup for the grand final

The Diamond League Grand Final will be held on September 16 and 17. The American city of Eugene hosts the 14th and final stage. Kenyan legend Faith Kipyegon is in contention for a 3rd title in a row, while Côte d'Ivoire's Marie-Josée Ta Lou looks to bounce back after her disappointing performances in Budapest.

The world's best athletes will be in Eugene, Oregon for the final stage of the Diamond League. Diamond trophies and $30,000 in prize money are up for grabs at the 32 finals over two days. The first 15 finals will be held on Saturday (16th), while the remaining 17, including 14 with their new world champions, will take place on Sunday (17th). Most of the athletes qualified for the finals by winning points in the 13 series matches, while others were entered as with national or world wild cards.

Faith Kipyegon for a 3rd consecutive title?

African athletes could pick up trophies in this Diamond League grand final. And Faith Kipyegon is top of the bill. The Kenyan will be on the starting line for the 1500m. She is aiming for a third consecutive title over her favourite distance. In fact, the three-time world champion dictates the rules over this distance.

Marie-Josée Ta Lou will also be on the starting line for the 100m. She will be aiming for victory ahead of Jamaican Shericka Jackson, who is also competing in the 200 m.

In the 800 m, Kenyans Emmanuel Wanyonyi, runner-up in the world championship, Wyclife Kinyamal, Commonwealth Games champion, winner in Monaco and runner-up in Doha and Rabat, and Algeria's Djamel Sedjati, winner in Stockholm and Brussels, will be on the starting line.

In the women's 5000 m, defending champion Béatrice Chebet, world cross-country champion in Budapest earlier this year, is aiming for another title before going for world gold in the 5 km at the World Road Running Championships in Riga next month. For this final stage of the Diamond League, she will face Ethiopia's Ejgayehu Taye, world record holder and 800 m indoor world silver medallist Freweyni Hailu and Gudaf Tsegay, who won the 5,000 m world title the last time she raced at Hayward Field, then added the 10,000 m world title to her resume in Budapest.

A strong list in the 3000 m

Three Olympic champions face off: Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1,500 m), Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei (5,000 m) and Ethiopia's Selemon Barega (10,000 m). All three (Ingebrigtsen with gold in the 5,000 m, Cheptegei with gold in the 10,000 m and Barega with bronze in the 10,000 m) also won medals at the Budapest World Championships. As they meet in the middle, at 3,000m, there's nothing left to do but fight it out.

Then there's 5km world record holder Berihu Aregawi, who won the 2021 Diamond League 5000m title, and fellow Ethiopians Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yomif Kejelcha. In the 100 m hurdles, Tobi Amusan will be looking to finish the Diamond League in style. Reigning champion, the Nigerian will face Jamaica's Danielle Williams for a second Diamond League title after her first victory in 2019 .Reigning Olympic champion, Puerto Rican Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, and Americans Kendra Harrison and Nia Ali will also be in action.

Back at Hayward Field, the women's 800 m offers the exciting opportunity of an unexpected rematch between world medallists Mary Moraa, Keely Hodgkinson and wild card Athing Mu. The final will then come down to reigning world champion Moraa from Kenya and Britain's Hodgkinson.

World champion Noah Lyles chose to run the 100 m in Eugene, leaving world silver and bronze medallists - Botswana's Letsile Tebogo to fight for the half-lap title against American Erriyon Knighton and five other athletes. These include American Kenny Bednarek, who won the Diamond Trophy in 2021, as well as Canadian Olympic champion Andre De Grasse and his compatriot Aaron Brown.

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