City Diamond League on May 12

The 2018 Shanghai Diamond League, the second stop on the International Association of Athletics Federation's global circuit of premier one-day meetings, will be held on May 12.

THE 2018 Shanghai Diamond League, the second stop on the International Association of Athletics Federation’s global circuit of premier one-day meetings, will be held on May 12, organizers announced yesterday.

The lineup will feature eight gold medalists from the 2017 London world championships and six athletes who struck gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Two newly crowned world indoor champions from Birmingham will also show up at Shanghai Stadium.

The meet will have 16 events — eight for men (100 meters, 400, 800, 1,500, 5,000, 110 hurdles, pole vault, long jump) and eight for women (200, 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, 3,000 steeplechase, high jump, triple jump, shot put, javelin).

Chinese athletes will be hoping to get a good start for their new season on home turf.

Sprinter Su Bingtian will take on two world champions in Justin Gatlin (100) of the United States and Ramil Guliyev (200) of Azerbaijan in the men’s 100.

Su clinched his first ever Diamond League victory on the same track a year ago beating American Mike Rodgers. The Chinese record holder is hoping for a repeat performance just two months after taking 60 silver in Birmingham.

Also hoping to repeat victory is world and Diamond League women’s shot put champion Gong Lijiao. Gong was also the year-end champion of last year’s Diamond League after collecting the most points from the 2017 series.

“This will be my first competition in 2018, and my goal will surely be to become the year-end champion again,” Gong told reporters in Shanghai.

In the women’s javelin, Lu Huihui carries China’s hopes, having broken the Asian record in qualifying at the London worlds before settling for bronze.

For pole vaulter Xue Changrui, too, the Shanghai event will be his first outdoor competition this year.

“I came to Shanghai last year but had to miss the competition due to a stomach problem,” said Xue, who placed fourth at the world championships. “I want to prove myself this year and set a good pace for the season with a good performance in front of the home crowd.”

Xue’s opponents include last year’s world and Diamond League champion Sam Kendricks. The American is seeking a Shanghai hat-trick after beating world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France with a vault of 5.88 meters at Shanghai Stadium last year.

In the men’s long jump, China’s newly minted Asian indoor champion Shi Yuhao will take on opponents, including South African Luvo Manyonga who leapt to a Diamond League and African record of 8.61m last year.

Jamaican hurdler Omar McLeod will target a third successive Shanghai victory in the 110 hurdles when he takes on Spain’s Orlando Ortega in the Shanghai event’s traditional finale.

In the women’s 200, two-time world champion Dafne Schippers of Netherlands will face Bahamian sprinter Shaunae Miller-Uibo who won the 200 bronze at the 2017 world championships.

American hurdler Kendra Harrison, who took the 60 hurdle title in Birmingham earlier this month, will be making her Shanghai debut in the women’s 100 hurdles. She will face fellow American Brianna McNeal who is returning to action for the first time since winning the Olympic title in 2016.

Botswana’s Diamond League champion Isaak Makwala will take on worlds silver medalist Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas in the men’s 400.

The first stop of this year’s Diamond League will be in Doha, Qatar, on May 4.

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