Miller-Uibo, Gardiner In The Diamond League Final Today

Thursday, August 24, 2017


#Tribune Sports Reporter

#Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner continue their busy post-IAAF World Championships schedules on the Diamond League circuit.

#Miller-Uibo will be a part of a stacked field for the 200m while Gardiner will contest the 400m in the Diamond League Final today at Letzigrund Stadium in Zurich, Switzerland.

#The women’s 200m, scheduled for 2:24pm local time, will include the top three finishers from the recent World Championships in London – Dafne Schippers (Netherlands), Marie-Josee Ta Lou (Ivory Coast) and Miller-Uibo, alongside reigning Olympic champion Elaine Thompson (Jamaica)

#Less than a week ago, Miller-Uibo decided to run the 100m at the Grand Prix Birmingham in Birmingham, United Kingdom, and finished eighth in 11.37 seconds. She appeared alongside Schippers and Thompson at a promotional press conference yesterday ahead of the Diamond League Final.

#“The 100 in Birmingham was basically for speed work, coach threw me in there so I was just excited to get some 100s in. Just making it to the finals was a great experience for me and to come out with a PB was great.

#“It was speed work, I was pleased with it and I’m excited for this 200m running against a lot of great athletes and looking to great competition,” she said. “Me personally, I’m not one that takes on a lot of pressure so everything I do in track and field is just fun for me. Just to be able to compete with such a great class of girls and in a great country like Zurich. I’m excited and I’m just ready to compete.”

#The men’s 400m is scheduled for 3:43pm local time.

#Gardiner’s toughest challenge could come from Botswana’s Isaac Makwala who was forced out of the 400m World Championship final when he was placed in quarantine, suspected of having the norovirus.

#Gardiner and Makwala are the only two members of the field to dip under the 44-second barrier this season. Other noteworthy competitors today include Gil Roberts of the United States and Kevin Borlee of Belgium.

#This year’s Diamond League circuit is the first to feature the new championship-style system in which overall event winners are determined only by the results of the final meet.

#The winner will receive the coveted Diamond Trophy, which is endowed with $50,000 dollars.

#The Diamond League’s format was completely overhauled last offseason. The Diamond Race system used in previous years, in which athletes accumulated points through the season with double points in the finals, was replaced with a championship-style format in which earlier meets act as qualifying meets for the finals where the top eight or 12 athletes, depending on the event, will qualify.

#A total of 17 world champions and 14 Olympic champions from Rio are competing in Zurich.

#The participants have qualified in the previous 12 meetings of the Diamond League. Now the final competition decides the winner of the worldwide series.

#Miller-Uibo earned seven points and ranked ninth with her lone 200m on the circuit, a 21.91 second-place finish in May at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

#Gardiner is ranked fourth in the 400m with a total of 16 points earned on a pair of Diamond League wins. He took first place in 44.60 in May in Doha, Qatar and again in 44.58 in June in Stockholm, Sweden.

#Vernon Norwood of the United States comes into the final as the highest ranked competitor with 19 points earned in four events.

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