The Diamond League makes its second stop of the year in Birmingham, Great Britain on Saturday.
You’ll be able to watch live on TV at 9 a.m. ET on CNBC or stream it through NBCSports.com/live, the NBC Sports app, or by signing up for Peacock. You can find entries, a full schedule and live results here.
If you’re looking for some Thursday night track viewing, you may also want to tune into the USATF Distance Classic tonight at 8:30 p.m. E.T. on USATF.TV+ (subscription required). You can view the entries for track events here, which include a few deep fields, particularly in the men’s and women’s 1500m, but entries are not posted for the four field events in the competition. You’ve got to dig around for a link to live results on USATF’s website or social media. While the meet has not received much promotion, it does feature three Olympic medalists and a number of national record holders.
Here’s what to watch for at the Birmingham Diamond League:
Women’s 1500m (9:17 A.M. ET)
Grab some coffee and maybe witness the first sub-four of the year. Ethiopia’s Diribe Welteji currently leads the world with a 4:01.50 that was run at altitude in Nairobi on May 7. She will have a strong group of women to push her including Olympic silver medalist Laura Muir (who is racing for the first time since January), British star Jemma Reekie (4th in the Olympic 800m final), Spain’s Marta Perez (Olympic finalist), and U.S. Olympian Cory McGee. 10 of the women in the field will be opening their season at the distance.
Women’s Long Jump (9:25 A.M. ET)
There’s quite a bit of star power in this field with Olympic gold medalist Malaika Mihambo of Germany and World Indoor gold medalist Ivana Vuleta of Serbia opening up their seasons. World Indoor Championship silver medalist Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk of Ukraine is moving over from the triple jump in Doha to the long jump here. The home crowd will undoubtedly be behind reigning heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson and fellow Brit Jazmin Sawyers. KJT jumped 6.33m in her season opener in Florida last month.
Men’s 100m (9:29 a.m. ET)
Trayvon Bromell, Andre De Grasse, and Marvin Bracy headline this field. Bromell and De Grasse have already gone head-to-head once this season, with Bromell winning a lowkey meet in Florida on April 30 in a wind-aided 9.75 to De Grasse’s 10.07. Bromell is coming off a 9.92 win at the American Track League meet in Puerto Rico, which is the fastest wind-legal time by an American in 2022. Surprisingly, Bracy is racing De Grasse for the first time in his career, but they’ll match up again two weeks in a row, both competing at the Prefontaine Classic next weekend.
Women’s 100m (9:46 a.m ET)
Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah was supposed to open up her Diamond League season here. Whenever she races this year, there’s obviously world record discussion, after she ran 10.61 in the Olympic final (with a headwind) and 10.54 at the Prefontaine Classic for the second-fastest time in history – only behind Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.49 from 1988. A meet in mid-May in the UK (forecasted high for Friday is 63F, which is cool for sprinters) might not be the biggest stage for her to do it – especially with her intentions focused on trying and peak at the World Championships in Eugene – but anytime she steps to the track, she’s going to have a chance. She opened up her season with a 10.89 in California on April 16 and just won the American Track League meet in Puerto Rico in 10.93. However, on Thursday morning and just before I published this, it was announced that she scratched from the race.
“The decision not to travel to Birmingham was taken out of an abundance of caution after she experienced some discomfort in training,” organizers said in a statement.
The fastest season’s best in the field belongs to former North Carolina A&T star Cambrea Sturgis, who has run 10.87 this year. 100m Olympic bronze medalist Shericka Jackson and 200m Olympic bronze medalist Gabby Thomas are both in the field, as well. The British home crowd will be behind reigning 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith.
Men’s 1500m (10:28 a.m. ET)
Not enough attention has been brought to the fact that we’re getting Olli Hoare vs. Josh Kerr for the first time since their hot mile at the Millrose Games where Hoare (3:50.83) beat Kerr (3:52.27) by nearly two seconds. The banter that followed was fantastic.
For those who need a refresher: In our After The Final Lap show, Hoare said he “outclassed” Kerr in the final stretch. Kerr responded with his own rant on his YouTube channel saying, ‘How many medals you got, son?’ and ‘You don’t know what class is.’ Hoare then doubled down on his outclassed comments in a later episode of his podcast.
Sure, this race has world leader Abel Kipsang of Kenya and a little duel between Spain’s Adel Mechaal vs. his compatriot Mohamed Katir but my attention will be on the latest episode in the Kerr and Hoare saga as they continue to build their rivalry toward the World Championships but also (maybe more importantly for them) the Commonwealth Games. Kerr leads the all-time head-to-head record at 3–2 so this can be an opportunity for Hoare to even up the score.
Quick hits for the other Diamond League events:
– Olympic champion Val Allman headlines the women’s discus (8:21 a.m.)
– Olympic champion Gianmarco Tamberi looks to rebound from a rough Diamond League opener in Doha, where he finished seventh in the men’s high jump. (8:24 a.m.)
– We have our first Sandi Morris vs. Katie Nageotte showdown of the outdoor season. Nageotte is coming off a bout with COVID. (8:47 a.m.)
– Olympic silver medalist Dalilah Muhammad looks for her first Diamond League win since last summer’s Pre Classic. (9:04 a.m.)
– World Indoor Championship bronze medalist Bryce Hoppel gets his first outdoor chance at redemption against Spain’s World Indoor champion Mariano Garcia. We’ll also see Clayton Murphy coming off his win at the American Track League meet in Puerto Rico. (9:37 a.m.)
– Sweden’s Olympic champion Daniel Ståhl looks to keep his Diamond League winning streak alive. His last loss came at the Rabat Diamond League meet in June 2019. (9:53 a.m.)
– The last two Olympic champions Omar McLeod (2016) and Hansle Parchment (2021) go head-to-head for the first time since last year’s Jamaican national championships, where McLeod hit the first hurdle and never recovered, missing his shot at the Tokyo Games. He was the second-fastest man in the world at the time. McLeod is 10–2 in his career vs. Parchment. (10:41 a.m.)
– Sage Hurta of the On Athletics Club has made the trip across the pond with her teammates looking to see if some international competition can help her continue chipping away at that fresh 1:59.76 personal best from the Penn Relays. (10:51 a.m.)