This is the first column by Stuart Weir on the Zurich Weltklasse, which was held on August 31, 2023, the first major event post-World Championships.

World Champions in action

A recurring theme of the evening was how well the champions of Budapest – or champions of the world rather – manage to motivate themselves for another race so quickly?

Sha’Carri Richardson stormed to victory in the 100 in 10.88 – a bit slower than the 10.65 in Budapest. Richardson commented: “I am feeling really good for being able to finish this season as fast as I can. I am definitely grateful, and I am excited with the way this season is going”. Shericka Jackson won again 21.82 in Zurich compared to 21.41 in Budapest. Jackson said: “This full house is wonderful; I enjoyed the atmosphere a lot. I wanted to come out here and perform. To be honest, the season has not finished yet”.

Sha’Carri RICHARDSON wins the Women’s 100m with a time of 10.88 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Zurich on 31 Aug 2023, photo by Diamond League AG

Danielle Williams was for many people a surprise winner of the 100m hurdles in Budapest, but she again beat Keni Harrison, Alaysha Johnson, and Nia Ali.  Williams commented: “It is a wonderful feeling coming out here as a World Champion. I mean, I have to give all the thanks for that. The race was a bit slower than I expected, but you know, I came out injury-free and with a win, so I can’t complain”.

Noah Lyles 19.80 again proved himself to be the best over 200m

Yared NUGUSE wins the Men’s 1500m with a time of 3:30.49 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Zurich on 31 Aug 2023

Josh Kerr  (3:30.51) seemed to have won the 1500 but was passed on the line by Nared Nuguse (3:30.49), who commented: “My mindset is always like ‘Never give up. Keep going, keep trying. I was going for it when Kerr opened on the inside. It was a great competition, a great time for me. This race was amazing. I always have a strong finish, I am pretty happy now. I would say that I kept this race interesting”.

Kyron McMaster wins the Men’s 400m Hurdles with a time of 47.27 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Zurich on 31 Aug 2023, by Diamond League AG

Kyron McMaster was a shock winner in Budapest in the 400h, and he pulled off the shock of the night, beating Karsten Warholm 47.27 to 47.30.  McMaster said: “It feels good to get this win after the World Championships last week. I executed and did what I had to do”. The ever-gracious |Warholm said: “Nobody wants to lose but at the same time, it is a fast time. McMaster gave me a really nice fight and I respect him for keeping the fight in the last meters”.

Gimbo Tamberi was a popular winner in Budapest but was unable to get beyond 2.28, leaving Mutaz Essa Barshim to jump 2.36 for the win.

Mutaz Essa Barshim, August 2022, photo courtesy of PUMA AG.

We are pleased to report that Mondo Duplantis cleared six meters and won the men’s pole vault, and Yulimar Rojas leaped 15 meters to win the triple jump –  we understand that the pope is still a catholic. In the women’s pole vault – held the previous night in the Zurich railway station – Katie Moon and Nina Kennedy could be separated, with Kennedy clearing 4.91 to Moon’s 4.81.  Rojas said: “Today, I just wanted to enjoy and make the best out of every jump”. The pope did not comment.

Nina Kennedy won the Women’s Pole Vault with a jump of 4.91m in a new meeting record and world lead at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Zurich on 30 Aug 2023, photo by Getty Images for Diamond League.

Miltiadis Tentoglou won the long jump with 8.20, but there was a reverse in the men’s javelin, with World Champion Neeraj Chopra (85.71) coming second to Jakun Vadlejch (85.86).

In Budapest, Winfred Yavi won the steeplechase from Beatrice Chepkoech and Faith Cherotich, and the Diamond League saw the same three ladies finish in the same order, albeit about 5 seconds slower. Yavi commented: “This is all I wanted and what I was working for I have been working hard and training hard to be a world champion. And to win the Diamond League in Zurich – that was my next dream”.

You had to be impressed with how champions came out and performed again so soon.