Five events to watch at Zurich Diamond League – NBCSports.com

The Diamond League season continues in Zurich on Thursday, four nights removed from the conclusion of the World Championships in Beijing.

Many World champions are in action at the first of two finals meets, where Diamond League titles will be determined. More on those season-long title races here. The full Zurich schedule and entry lists are here.

Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin won’t race in Zurich but could line up in Brussels on Sept. 11, although in separate events. Allyson Felix is also scheduled for Brussels and not Zurich.

Here are five events to watch in Zurich on Thursday (all times Eastern):

Men’s long jump — 2:20 p.m.

Christian Taylor, fresh off winning the World triple jump title with the second-farthest mark in history, will try to test Olympic and World champion Greg Rutherford in the long jump.

Rutherford, who won the World title with an 8.41-meter leap, is unlikely to worry about Taylor, whose personal best in the shorter jump is 8.19 meters. Instead, Americans Jeff Henderson, Marquis Dendy and Mike Hartfield will look to bounce back from finishing outside the top eight in Beijing.

Women’s 100m — 2:29 p.m.

Olympic and World champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has won the 100m at her last five competitions, and the streak should continue here. She won’t have to face World 100m silver medalist and 200m gold medalist Dafne Schippers in Zurich.

If anyone is to challenge the Jamaican, it’s Tori Bowie, who took 100m bronze in her Worlds debut last week, one tenth behind Fraser-Pryce. The Zurich field also includes veteran Veronica Campbell-Brown, who was third in the 200m and fourth in the 100m in Beijing.

Men’s 400m — 2:46 p.m.

The top six finishers from the World Championships are in this race, including South African gold medalist Wayde van Niekerk, who will look to follow up his 43.48-second performance in Beijing that made him the fourth fastest man of all time in the one-lap race.

The previous two World champions, American LaShawn Merritt and Grenada’s Kirani James, were .17 and .30 behind the South African in Beijing. They should be the top competition in Zurich.

Women’s 3000m — 3:19 p.m.

The field is a gathering of middle-to-long distance running elite. From the 1500m ranks, Ethiopian World champion and world-record holder Genzebe Dibaba, the 2011 World champion Jenny Simpson and the American record holder Shannon Rowbury.

From the 3000m steeplechase is American Emma Coburn, who was fifth at Worlds. Then there’s the World champions at the 5000m and 10,000m — Ethiopian Almaz Ayana and Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot.

Men’s 1500m — 3:43 p.m.

The field includes all three Worlds medalists, plus U.S. Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano and Kenyans Silas Kiplagat, the fastest man in the world in 2014, and Caleb Ndiku, the World 5000m silver medalist.

With Kiplagat and Ndiku plus World gold and silver medalists Asbel Kiprop and Elijah Manangoi, a Kenyan sweep of places one through four is not out of the question.

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