30 December, 2016

2016: Top Five Moments

As a remarkable year comes to a close, we take a look back at our top five moments from last season's IAAF Diamond League.

5. McLeod dazzles in Doha

In the early season, the headlines were dominated by one man: Jamaican hurdler Omar McLeod. With his 13.05 run in the 110mH in Doha, McLeod got off to a flying start, set a world lead and established himself beyond reasonable doubt as the man to beat in his discipline. He proceeded to run even faster in Shanghai, and though he missed out on the Diamond Trophy in the end, the Jamaican won Olympic gold in an incredible breakthrough year. 

4. Lavillenie fights back in Paris

Renaud Lavillenie had suffered an emotional defeat in the Olympic final in Rio when he headed to the Stade de France for his home Diamond League meeting at Meeting de Paris. Having won the Diamond League in every single year since its inauguration, the legendary pole vaulter needed points in Paris if he was to make it seven in a row. He didn't disappoint, wracking up the maximum points tally with a home victory and propelling himself towards an astonishing seventh Diamond Trophy. 

3. Rypakova ends Ibargüen's streak

Heading into this season, Caterine Ibargüen was the invincible queen of the women's triple jump. Another Diamond Trophy extended her hegemony in the IAAF Diamond League to a fourth year, but there was a moment where her dominance looked in doubt in Birmingham. With victory in the Alexander Stadium, Olga Rypakova became the first woman to beat Ibargüen since 2012, breaking a 34-strong winning streak from the Colombian. That Ibargüen brushed the setback off to win a fourth Diamond Trophy is testament to her greatness as a champion. 

2. Jebet smashes the world record in Paris

Ruth Jebet's pursuit of the Diamond Trophy in the women's 3000m Steeplechase had been a tough one all season, as she and Hyvin Kiyeng remained locked in a neck-and-neck race from May to August. It was always going to need a moment of magic for one of the two to triumph, and Jebet delivered that moment in Paris, smashing the world record by several seconds.

1. Harrison goes from heartbreak to heroics in London

After a blistering early season in which she soared to the top of the Diamond Race rankings with unbeatable form, 2016 looked like it would be a year of heartbreak for Kendra Harrison as she missed out on a place in the USA Olympic team for Rio. That setback only made her world record run in London all the more emotional, as the 100m hurdler stopped the clock at 12.20 before sinking to her knees in disbelief. The record paved the way for her overall victory in the Diamond Race, the shiny Diamond Trophy offering further joy in a tumultuous year.