World championships rematches in Birmingham; Diamond League preview
Several newly crowned world champions headline a Diamond League meet in Birmingham, Great Britain, on Sunday, live on NBC Sports Gold and The Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA.
Coverage begins on NBC Sports Gold at 8:20 a.m. ET and on the Olympic Channel at 10 a.m.
Many stars made the 125-mile trek northwest from London, where worlds concluded last Sunday, to Birmingham for the last Diamond League meet before the finals in Zurich (Aug. 24) and Brussels (Sept. 1).
They include Allyson Felix, Mo Farah, Elaine Thompson and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, plus surprise world champs Emma Coburn, Phyllis Francis and Ramil Guliyev.
Here are the Birmingham entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):
8:22 a.m. -- Women’s Pole Vault
8:31 a.m. -- Men’s Long Jump
8:41 a.m. -- Women’s 800m
9:30 a.m. -- Men’s Mile
9:39 a.m. -- Men’s High Jump
9:47 a.m. -- Women’s Discus
10:03 a.m. -- Women’s 400m Hurdles
10:14 a.m. -- Men’s 800m
10:23 a.m. -- Men’s 100m
10:28 a.m. -- Women’s Triple Jump
10:32 a.m. -- Men’s 400m
10:40 a.m. -- Women’s 3000m
10:53 a.m. -- Men’s Shot Put
10:57 a.m. -- Men’s 110m Hurdles
11:08 a.m. -- Women’s 100m
11:17 a.m. -- Men’s 200m
11:26 a.m. -- Women’s 1500m
11:36 a.m. -- Women’s 400m
11:45 a.m. -- Men’s 3000m
Here are five events to watch:
Women’s 3000m -- 10:40 a.m.
Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs, the surprise one-two finishers in the world championships 3000m steeplechase, race without the barriers and water jumps here. The two fastest American steeplers of all time face the two fastest Americans in the 5000m all time -- Shannon Rowbury and Molly Huddle.
But the favorite has to be Kenyan Hellen Obiri, who is the fastest woman since 1993 in this non-Olympic event. Obiri dusted 10,000m world-record holder Almaz Ayana with her kick to win the world 5000m crown on Sunday.
Men’s Shot Put -- 10:53 a.m.
Ten of the top 11 finishers from worlds are here, including the medalists -- Tomas Walsh (NZL), Joe Kovacs (USA) and Stipe Žunić (CRO).
Nobody has been more impressive this season than Olympic champion Ryan Crouser, who will look to make up for his shocking sixth-place finish from London. Crouser owns five of the world’s top six throws in 2017, including a 22.65-meter heave at the USATF Outdoor Championships. That’s two feet farther than Walsh’s world title-winning throw.
Women’s 100m -- 11:08 a.m.
An interesting field will race in two heats to qualify for this final. It does not include Tori Bowie, who in London became the first American woman to take a global 100m crown since 2005.
But it does include Olympic 100m champion Elaine Thompson, who earned zero medals at worlds while reportedly slowed by a stomach illness and an Achilles problem. World 100m silver and bronze medalists Marie-Josée Ta Lou and Dafne Schippers are also in the field.
Two Olympic champions making their Diamond League 100m debuts are Sally Pearson, the 2012 Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist, and Rio 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo.
Men’s 200m -- 11:17 a.m.
Who would have thought six months ago that a Diamond League 200m without Usain Bolt, Andre De Grasse, Wayde van Niekerk or Justin Gatlin would be one of the headline events?
After the surprise at worlds, this one is intriguing. Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev is entered after winning an out-of-nowhere gold medal in London. He’ll face a man with reason to carry a chip on his shoulder -- Botswana’s Isaac Makwala. Makwala has the fastest 200m time in the world this year but finished sixth at worlds, likely in part due to his medical controversy and having to run an extra 200m heat alone the night before the final.
Women’s 400m -- 11:36 a.m.
The three world medalists return here, hopefully to race in better weather conditions. American Phyllis Francis surpassed Allyson Felix and a stumbling Miller-Uibo to claim gold on a wet, chilly night in London last week in the slowest world championships-winning time ever. Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser clipped Felix for silver, with Miller-Uibo falling to fourth.
Felix still owns the fastest time in the world this year and, with Miller-Uibo choosing to race the 100m in Birmingham, is a quarter of a second faster than anyone in this field in 2017.
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