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Paris Diamond League Preview

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27 Olympic medalists travel to Paris to compete in the third-to-last Diamond League meet of 2016.

Olympics: Track and Field-Evening Session Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Broadcast Information

BeIN Sports has covered every Diamond League race this season, and that figures to be no different Saturday afternoon with a 2-4pm EST broadcast window. However, the Paris meet is not currently listed on their website as being available by broadcast. It may be that this event can only be streamed online.

Schedule (All times EST)

12:50pm: Men’s Shotput

1:20pm: Men’s Triple Jump

1:25pm: Women’s Discus

1:55pm: Men’s Pole Vault

(Broadcast window begins)

2:04pm: Men’s 400m Hurdles

2:15pm: Women’s High Jump

2:17pm: Women’s 400m

2:25pm: Men’s 800m

2:40pm: Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

2:45pm: Women’s Long Jump

2:50pm: Men’s Javelin

2:55pm: Women’s 200m

3:05pm: Women’s 1500m

3:20pm: Women’s 100m Hurdles

3:40pm: Men’s 3000m

3:51pm: Men’s 100m

Six Events to Watch

Men’s 400m Hurdles (2:04pm)

Athletes of note: Kerron Clement, Yasmani Copello, Boniface Tumuti, Nicholas Bett, Michael Tinsley, Javier Culson

Two of the three Olympic medalists in the 400m hurdles will be travelling to Paris for this meet. Kerron Clement pretty much dominated every stage of the Olympics in Rio and came away with a relatively easy gold medal. That happened, in part, thanks to Javier Culson, who was disqualified for a false start in the final of the event in Rio. He and Michael Tinsley will be looking for redemption. Tinsley was eliminated from the Olympics in the first round of the 400m hurdles.

Men’s 800m (2:25pm)

Athletes of note, aka the entire field: Taoufik Makhloufi, Jonathan Kitlin, Ayanleh Souleiman, Boris Berian, Adam Kszczot, Marcin Lewandowski, Pierre-Ambroise Bosse, Alfred Kipketer, Ferguson Rotich, Nicholas Kipkoech

Even in the absence of two of the three medalists from Rio, including World Record holder David Rudisha, this field is stacked with six men who have run under 1:44 this season. Souleiman and Kitlit are both coming off of running the 1000m on Thursday in Lausanne, so fatigue might play a role in their performance.

The rabbit is scheduled to go through 400m in 49.5 and 600m in 1:15, which would be World Record pace if the field can keep it up over the final 200m. That is unlikely, but the possibility shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. Every Taoufik Makhloufi race leaves the viewer wondering what could have been if he went for it early. Provided the field goes out with the rabbit—and the rabbit goes out at the assigned pace—he’ll have no choice but to come through fast. I’m not going to let go of my Bosse prediction from Rio, so he could be a factor here as well on his home turf.

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase (2:40pm)

Athletes of note: Ruth Jebet, Hyvin Kiyeng, Emma Coburn, Sofia Assefa, Purity Kirui

In Jebet, Kiyeng, and Coburn, this race features all three medalists from Rio and I wouldn’t expect much of a different result the second time around. The conditions figure to be a bigger factor here with the high in Paris set to be in the mid-90s, whereas Rio was in the 70s. That can always be a factor in longer races, but, with four clear tiers in this race, it would have to be a major factor to shake things up. For reference, that hierarchy is as follows:

Tier One: Jebet

Tier Two: Kiyeng

Tier Three: Coburn

Tier Four: Everyone else.

At the Olympic Trials in Rio, Coburn raced extremely well in hot and sunny conditions, albeit against much weaker competition than she will face in this race. She’s proven to some extent that she can still race well in the heat, but we’re skeptical that will be enough to vault her past Jebet and Kiyeng.

Another factor is that this race will have a rabbit scheduled to keep the race at 9:02 pace through 1500m. Jebet should be fine off of that as she ran within a second of the World Record in the event. Off a faster pace (she went out in 3:05 for 1000m in Rio), look for her to possibly make a run at 8:58.81.

Women’s 1500m (3:05pm)

Athletes of note: Faith Kipyegon, Jenny Simpson, Laura Muir, Sifan Hassan, Dawit Seyaum, Besu Sado, Gudaf Tsegay

Only Genzebe Dibaba’s absence from this race (she just ran Thursday in Lausanne) prevents this race from being a rematch of the top-10 runners from Rio. Without Dibaba, Kipyegon is the clear favorite, especially in a rabbited Diamond League race.

After Kipyegon, the presence of a rabbit could shake things up from how they turned out in Rio. If the race does turn out to be fast, that could spell trouble for Americans Jenny Simpson and Shannon Rowbury, who finished third and fourth in Rio, but likely benefited from the tactics of the race. If it’s fast, look for Laura Muir to stick with the pace like she did back in the mile in Birmingham earlier this season. She’s unlikely to challenge Kipyegon, but has shown both a willingness and an ability to run well on a fast early pace.

Women’s 100m Hurdles (3:20pm)

Athletes of note: Kendra Harrison, Jasmine Stowers, Shakira Nelvis, Dawn Harper-Nelson, Cindy Roleder, Cindy Ofili

The three Americans who swept at Lausanne on Thursday are making the short trip to Paris looking to repeat the American sweep. They’ll be joined by Shakira Nelvis to potentially go for a Mount Rushmore performance. That possibility will be challenged by Cindies Roleder and Ofili who finished fourth and fifth in Rio behind three Americans who will not be in Paris Saturday.

Men’s 3000m (3:40pm)

Athletes of note: Paul Chelimo, Hagos Gebrhiwet, Muktar Edris, Yomif Kejelcha, Paul Tanui, Ryan Hill, Abdelaati Iguider

Notable in his absence is Olympic 5000m and 10,000m gold medalist Mo Farah, but the field basically has everyone else you could want beyond him. Yomif Kejelcha and Ryan Hill were the gold and silver medalists indoors in the 3000m and since neither competed in Rio, they may benefit from having additional rest relative to their competitors.

Chelimo was a surprise silver medalist in the 5000m in Rio and Gebrhiwet finished third in that race. Two non-medalists could factor in here as well. Muktar Edris has run well throughout the Diamond League circuit this year and finished fourth in the 5k in Rio before disqualification. Another stealth contender is Iguider, who finished just outside of medals at relevant events in the Olympics and World Indoors. He was fifth in the Rio 1500m and fourth in this very event indoors.

While Daniel Komen’s 7:20.67 world record will not be under attack, the rabbits will be on pace for a 7:30 time with a targeted 2k split of 5:00. That aggressive pace should be good enough to at least put Mo Farah’s world leading time of 7:32.62 under watch. If the rabbited pace holds for 3000m, we could also see the first sub-7:30 time in the event since Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi ran 7:29.94 indoors at the end of 2012. For what it’s worth, Soi is in this race, but shouldn’t be a factor as he hasn’t run under 7:35 since 2012.