A line-up of world-class fields were today released for the Yangtze River Delta Athletics Diamond Gala on April 27 in Shanghai/Suzhou, the second fixture in the 2024 Diamond League season. For one star-studded Saturday, over 25 world and Olympic champions will go toe-to-toe, writing the early script to an Olympic summer.

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Women’s 100m hurdles

Few can look past the event where current world-record-holder Tobi Amusan will take on the reigning world and Olympic champions in Danielle Williams and Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, with world indoor 60m hurdles champion Devynne Charlton adding to the mix.

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Williams took a second world title in Budapest, edging out 2021 Tokyo Olympic champion Camacho-Quinn as the 2022 world champion Amusan was sixth.  Charlton was fourth that day but has started 2024 in impressive fashion, twice breaking the world record indoors and winning her maiden world crown in Glasgow in March.

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With Olympic bronze medallist Megan Tapper and world finalist Ditaji Kambundji also present, it’s a tantalizing prospect.

Women’s 200m

The rivalry between world 200m champion Shericka Jackson and 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson will have a new chapter as the two line up in a compelling duel over the half lap.

Sha’Carri Richardson (Getty)

Jackson edged the battle last time in Budapest, running the second fastest time in history of 21.41s but will be well aware of Richardson’s progression over the distance, one that saw her win bronze in that very same race, days after passing Jackson to take the 100m title.

Budapest fifth placer, Daryll Neita will aim to make the most of the eyes elsewhere.

Men’s 100m

The men will try their best to replicate the women in the sprints with 2022 World champion Fred Kerley taking on the world 60m record holder Christian Coleman, who took a second world title in that event in Glasgow.

Fred Kerley, Christian Coleman and Yohan Blake
Photo © Matthew Quine

Coleman is the reigning and two-time Diamond League champion over the distance, Kerley himself taking the 2021 crown.

Both sit joint sixth on the world all-time list with 9.76s, behind 2011 world champion Yohan Blake who will aim to kickstart his Olympic season in Shanghai.

Blake’s 9.69s from Lausanne in 2012 remains the second-fastest of all-time but he will be aware of the challenge of compatriot and namesake Ackeem Blake, the 22-year-old having recently taken a first world medal, bronze behind Coleman in Scotland.

With double Olympic finalist Akani Simbine also in the field, blink and you’ll miss it.

Men’s pole vault

Could a world record be seen in the pole vault? You’d be a brave man to bet against it with the presence of the imperious Armand “Mondo” Duplantis. The greatest pole vaulter in history, an athlete who has cleared six metres or more on over 60 occasions and raised the world record ever higher to 6.23m will take on two-time world champion Sam Kendricks as well as both the shared bronze medallists from Budapest, Kurtis Marschall and Christopher Nilsen.

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Men’s 110m hurdles

The men’s short hurdles features all the athletes from second down to fifth at last year’s World Championships, with 2023 Diamond League champion Hansle Parchment leading the field.

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The Jamaican is the reigning Olympic champion from Tokyo and is only getting better, lowering his personal best aged 33 to take the Diamond League crown in Eugene. Daniel Roberts is the bronze medallist from Budapest, with fourth and fifth placers that day, Freddie Crittenden and Shunsuke Izumiya adding to a stellar field.

Women’s 5000m

The field is led by former world-record-holder Letesenbet Gidey. The 2022 10,000m world champion, who still holds the world record over that distance, faces the exciting challenge of 2023 World Athletics Rising Star of the Year, world 3000m steeplechase bronze medalist Faith Cherotich, who competes for the first time at senior level over the distance.

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European U23 cross-country champion Megan Keith is among the entries.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase

Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai takes on world-record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech over the barriers, though the competition doesn’t end there. 2022 world champion Norah Jeruto returns, Commonwealth Games champion Jackline Chepkoech broke nine minutes in 2023 and 2017 world champion Emma Coburn and two-time European champion Gesa Krause also features.

Women’s long jump

It’s an Olympic final many months early as six-time Diamond League final winner and reigning world champion Ivana Španović takes on the rest of the Budapest podium as well as a host of global medalists.  Tara Davis-Woodhall recently took the world indoor crown to back up Budapest silver, with bronze from Hungary, Alina Rotaru-Kottmann, also in China. World indoor bronze medalist Fátima Diame and multiple world medalist Ese Brume complete an all-star cast.

Ivana Spanovic participated in the long jump event at the IAAF Diamond League gathering in Zurich.
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Men’s high jump

No man in history has won more world outdoor titles than Mutaz Barshim, three times a Diamond League overall winner. The Qatari took three world titles between 2017 and 2022, as well as the Olympic title in 2021. He will face the challenge of newly crowned world indoor champion Hamish Kerr. The New Zealander set a new national record of 2.36m in Glasgow and will have high hopes of using Shanghai as evidence that he can take that form outdoors too. Last year’s world fifth-placer Tobias Potye will also feature.

DOHA, QATAR – OCTOBER 04: Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar reacts in the Men’s High Jump final during day eight of 17th IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 at Khalifa International Stadium on October 04, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

Women’s shot put

Earplugs may be required in the women’s shotput as home favourite and Olympic champion Lijiao Gong takes on all but one of last year’s top eight in the Budapest World Championships, led of course by two-time world champion Chase Jackson.

Jackson has won the last three Diamond League finals and successfully defended her world crown in Hungary.

During her own period of dominance between 2017 and 2021, Gong took two world titles as well as Tokyo Olympic gold and, with her 2023 world bronze, has now won medals at eight successive world championships since 2009.

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The athlete in form, however is Sarah Mitton, the 2023 world silver medallist took world indoor gold in Glasgow, beating Yemisi Ogunleye and Jackson to the title, and will aim to add another victory over those two in Shanghai.

With 2019 world bronze medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd, 2021 Diamond League champion Maggie Ewen and 2023 world bronze medallist Jessica Schilder also in the field, plenty will have eyes on an early season win.

Women’s discus throw

It’s a Budapest rematch between world champion Laulauga Tausaga and three-time Diamond League and Olympic champion Valarie Allman, with home favourite Bin Feng also fighting for Shanghai supremacy. Feng was third in Budapest behind the pair with Jorinde van Klinken, fourth that day, also in the field.

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Allman has won each of the last three Diamond League finals and 12 of her 14 appearances in 2023.

2019 world champion and two-time Diamond League final winner Yaimé Perez will aim to return to the sort of form that saw her win Olympic bronze in 2021.

Women’s javelin

All three of the Budapest podium will feature in Shanghai, with Haruki Kitaguchi leading the field. Kitaguchi took both the world and Diamond Leagues titles in a glittering 2023, with Flor Ruiz-Hurtado taking a maiden global silver in Budapest. Mackenzie Little, the bronze medallist from Hungary will hope to continue her ascent up the rankings in Shanghai.

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Men’s long jump

Jianan Wang will provide Chinese interest in the long jump, the 2022 world champion taking on 2019 champion Tajay Gayle, as well as the silver and bronze medallists from this year’s World Indoor Championships in Mattia Furlani and Carey McLeod.

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2016 world indoor champion Marquis Dendy and 2017 world silver medalist Jarrion Lawson complete the line-up.

Women’s 400m

Reigning world and Diamond League champion Marileidy Paulino takes on world indoor and outdoor bronze medalists respectively, Alexis Holmes and Sada Williams. Paulino, is one of only 13 women in history to have broken the 49 second barrier, and successfully defended her Diamond League crown in Eugene last September.

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Men’s 5000m

10,000m Olympic champion Selemon Barega heads a fast 5000m field which also features the 2022 world bronze medalist, Oscar Chelimo, and an exciting outing over the distance for steeplechase superstar Lamecha Girma. Girma set the 3000m steeplechase world record in Paris last year, a few months after having taken over a second off Daniel Komen’s over 25-year-old world 3000m indoor record.
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Men’s 800m

Eugene world silver medalist Djamel Sedjati leads a competitive 800m field. The Algerian won two Diamond League meetings in 2023 and boasts a personal best of 1:43.06. Fellow Budapest finalist Tshepiso Masalela and Algerian Slimane Moula is also present, with two-time Commonwealth Games champion Wyclife Kinyamal the field’s most decorated. Six times he has won a Diamond League meeting, five of these with clockings of under 1:44.

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