17 Jamaicans qualify for Wanda Diamond League finalsTuesday, September 07, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Seventeen Jamaicans have qualified for the two-day Wanda Diamond League finals to be held in Zurich, Switzerland, tomorrow and Thursday as they hope to bring the season to a close on a high.
Five of the Jamaicans have topped their respective event rankings but it is doubtful if long jumper Tajay Gayle, who aggravated a knee injury during the Tokyo Olympic Games, will be able to participate.
Gayle had accumulated 21 points in the male long jump while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is tied for the lead in the women's 100m, on 28 points, with the Ivory Coast's Marie-Josee Ta Lou. Natoya Goule leads the women's 800m with 27 points and is coming off a win last weekend in Brussels, Belgium.
Olympic Games bronze medallist Megan Tapper is in a three-way tie for the lead in the 100m hurdles on 21 points with Nadine Visser of the Netherlands and Great Britain's Cindy Semper, while Shanieka Ricketts is the sole leader in the women's triple jump with 29 points.
Both Olympic sprint gold medallist Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shericka Jackson have qualified for the women's 100m and 200m while Olympic finalist Stephenie-Ann McPherson, who returned to the track on Sunday with a win in Italy, is ranked number three in the women's 400m with 15 points with Candice McLeod in ninth spot with just six points.
Former world champion Danielle Williams is ranked fourth in the 100m hurdles with 13 points while Janieve Russell is fourth in the 400m hurdles with 24 points; Kimberly Williams is third in the triple jump with 21 points while Danniele Thomas-Dodd is fourth in the shot put with 16 points.
In the men's section, Olympic gold medallist Hansle Parchment, who is ranked sixth with nine points, will join bronze medallist Ronald Levy, who is third with 17 points and former Olympic champion Omar McLeod, who is ranked number four with 15 points.
Fedric Dacres is sixth in the men's discus throw with 12 points.
There will be 32 finals over the two days as the Diamond League final will take place in one city for the first time in the series' history, according to its website in 2021, moving away from the two-city final, but will see action in two separate locations in Zurich.
“The shot put, long jump, 5,000m and women's high jump finals will be held at the Sechseläutenplatz square on the shores of Lake Zurich on the Wednesday evening,” the release said, “while all other events will be on show at the Letzigrund Stadium the following night. While the city event is new ground, the Letzigrund is familiar terrain: It has co-hosted every single Diamond League final since the series began in 2010.”
The format for the throws and horizontal jumps will revert to the classic format of the best effort from all six attempts and not the “The Final 3 format, which had been trialled throughout the season” the website also said.
The athletes qualified for the final over the season starting in Gateshead, England, in May and eight points are awarded to each event winner, seven to the runner-up, six to the third-place finisher, and so on, going to one point for eighth place, and the athletes with the most points in each discipline at the end of the season qualifying for the final.