Diamond League in the Swiss city features a stack of recently-crowned world champions from Budapest
In his first race as world 1500m champion, Josh Kerr will attempt to break Mo Farah’s British record for the distance in Zurich on Thursday (Aug 31).
Kerr defeated Jakob Ingebrigtsen at the World Championships in Budapest last week in 3:29.38, but his best time of 3:29.05 currently places him No.2 on the UK all-time rankings behind Farah’s 3:28.81, which was a European record at the time and was set in Monaco 10 years ago.
Almost everybody from the world final in Budapest is in Thursday’s Zurich race apart from Ingebrigtsen, who is expected to race next in Brussels on September 8 followed by the Diamond League final in Eugene on September 16.
Records aside, Kerr will face world bronze medallist Narve Nordås of Norway plus, fourth placed Abel Kipsang of Kenya, fifth placed Yared Nuguse of the United States and fellow Brit Neil Gourley, who finished ninth in Budapest.
“I was hoping my time in Budapest would have been a bit faster to have grabbed the British record but we have an opportunity to go after it here (in Zurich),” he said.
“I can’t promise the result but I can promise the effort level. The pace is going to be fast and I’m going to be sitting right on that pacer. I’m going to be going for it and all I can promise is that we’re going to send it.”
On the fast nature of Diamond League races compared to tactical championship events, Kerr adds: “I enjoy it. I’ve time trialled a bit and got a few records under my belt in the past. I’ve not run a PB for two years so I’ll be happy with that.”
UK all-time 1500m rankings
3:28.81 Mo Farah, Monaco 2013
3:29.05 Josh Kerr, Tokyo 2021
3:29.23 Jake Wightman, Eugene 2022
3:29.67 Steve Cram, Nice 1985
3:29.77 Seb Coe, Rieti 1986
3:30.60 Neil Gourley, London 2023
3:30.62 Charlie Da’Vall Grice, Monaco 2019
3:30.77 Steve Ovett, Rieti 1983
3:30.92 Elliot Giles, London 2023
3:31.08 Jake Heyward, Birmingham 2022
The meeting, which is live for viewers in the UK on BBC2 from 7-9pm, also features Brits such as Laura Muir in the 800m, David King in the 110m hurdles and Sammi Kinghorn and Danny Sidbury, among others, in wheelchair 1500m races.
Molly Caudery also took part in the women’s pole vault on Thursday night before the main programme in the city’s railway station where she placed fifth with an indoor PB of 4.66m as Nina Kennedy of Australia won with an Oceania record and world lead of 4.91m.
Zurich’s “Weltklasse” meeting earned the nickname of “the two-hour Olympics” many years ago due to its high-quality line-ups and the 2023 event is no different.
World 100m champion Sha’Carri Richardson of the United States takes on Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica at 100m with Britain’s Daryll Neita also running.
Neita also races the 200m which features world champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica and world silver medallist Gabby Thomas of the United States.
Noah Lyles in also in action in the men’s 200m against world runner-up Erriyon Knighton of the United States and Britain’s world 100m bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes.
A number of other recently crowned world champions are in action in Zurich too such as triple jumper Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, long jumper Miltos Tentoglou of Greece, high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra of India, sprint hurdler Danielle Williams of Jamaica, 400m hurdler Karsten Warholm of Norway and pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis of Sweden.
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