Eight Observations on the Xiamen Diamond League, the opening of the 2024 Diamond League Season

1. From the very beginning, the Diamond League opener was a spectacular track and field meet that lived up to the hype in all categories.

2. Mondo Duplantis is starting the outdoor season with an exciting new world record in the pole vault, which has to be seen and appreciated. Mondo cleared 6.24 meters, or 20 feet, 5.5 inches, his eighth world record. Sam Kendricks, second place, noted in his post-event interview that Mondo was focused on the goal today, not even letting the rain and humidity deter the young Swede from his mission.

3. Gudaf Tsegay provided us with a fantastic 1,500 meters with her 3:50.30, the number three performance of all time. Tsegay, the WR holder at 5,000 meters, has shown her fitness with her superb run at the NIKE Pre Classic. One can not wait to see Gudaf Tsegay and Faith Kipyegon battle this season. Rivalries make our sport!

Gudaf Tsegay ran a WL at 1,500m, with her 3:50.30, the #3 all time, photo by Matthew Quine for Diamond League AG

4. Torrie Lewis won the 200 meters in a true upset, which has the whole athlete’s media world wondering if the young Aussie can challenge Sha’Carri Richardson, who opened her 2024 season with a second-place race. Torrie just finished her Australian nationals, and Sha’Carri is just opening a long season build to Paris 2024, which should also be noted.

5. Christian Coleman won the 100m in 10.13, with a less-than-Coleman start. Christian, however, kept his act together and won the race from Fred Kerley. The Men’s 100 meters will be one of the more unique races in 2024.

Christian Coleman, 100 meters, Xiamen DL, photo by Matthew Quine for Diamond League AG

6. Lamencha Girma, world record holder in the steeplechase and perennial silver medalist, tried a new event, winning the 5,000 meters. His 12.5 laps were finished in 12:58.95, a fine time. One wonders if the Ethiopian is considering the 5,000 meters until a certain Moroccan retires.

7. Marco Arop, the World Champion at 800 meters, won the two-lapper in a tight finish, running 1:43.61. The always-tough Canadian has added some excitement to the 800 meters. One looks forward to Mr. Arop and Mr. Hoppel dueling over the distance this year.

8. Well done to the Diamond League media team. Matthew Quine provided fantastic photos for the global media, Cathal Dennehy provided thoughtful short interviews from Xiamen, and the broadcast, at least for this season in North America, hosted on Peacock, pleased this viewer.