Australian sprinter Ella Nelson (NSW) will make her Diamond League season debut in Oslo, Norway early tomorrow morning with a perfect opportunity to hit her stride in the lead-up to the London world championships.
The 23-year-old has had a reasonable start to the season, with her best performance coming at the SUMMERofATHS Grand Prix in Canberra earlier this year with 23.00 (+1.5), below her career best of 22.50.
The Rio Olympic semi-finalist will now be looking to crack the 23-second mark in 2017 against a quality field including 2015 world champion Dafne Schippers (NED).
Nelson recently clocked 23.34 at the USATF So Cal Jim Bush Championships, which was her seventh 200m race this year after already securing her place in her second world championships at the Australian Athletics Championships in April.
Schippers comes into the meet with a season’s best of 22.29 and will be facing British youngster Bianca Williams and in-form Bulgarian sprinter Ivet Lalova-Collio.
In the men’s 1500m, Ryan Gregson (Vic) will be looking for a clean run after encoutering traffic and navigating around a fall in his last race in Eugene, in which he finished eleventh in the mile.
After already qualifying for the championships in London with a 3:34.56 in Doha, Gregson may be aggressive in his pursuit of African duo Elijah Manangoi (3:31.90 SB) and Ayanleh Souleiman (3:29.58 PB).
Also in the race is compatriot Jordan Williamsz (Vic) who has recently twice come within two seconds of the world championships qualifying mark of 3:36.00 this season.
In other events in Oslo, Canadian speedster Andre De Grasse will be a favourite to take victory in the men's 100m despite only having a season’s best of 10.10 and British 200m Olympic finalist Adam Gemili (GBR) will also be in the mix.
Seven of eight men on the 100m start list have previously broken 10 seconds, but only Frenchman Jimmy Vicaut has dipped under that mark so far this season with a 9.97 in Dijon last month.
Double reigning Olympic champion Caster Semenya (RSA) is in ominous form over 800m leading in to the championships with a season’s best of 1:56.61 and has not been defeated over any one of her 12 races she's contested this year, stretching from the 300m to the 3000m.
Eight of the 11 women in the field have broken two minutes in their careers, with the South African likely to be challenged by Margaret Wambui (KEN) who ran 1:57.03 in Doha.
Stockholm Diamond League
Australian long jumper Fabrice Lapierre (NSW) will look to put his disappointing last performance at the Hengelo FBK Games, in which he fouled three times, behind him in the men’s long jump.
Lapierre, who took silver at the 2015 world championships will face formidable South African Luvo Manyonga who boasts a massive personal best of 8.65m achieved this season.
In-form middle distance runner Luke Mathews (Vic) takes to the track in the 800m after clocking two world championships qualifiers in the 1500m over the past two weeks.
He will have the goal of breaking the London qualifying time of 1:45.90 up against world championships silver medallist Adam Ksczczot (POL) who took the win in the Rome Diamond League.
Three-time Australian 1500m champion Zoe Buckman (Vic) will tackle the women’s 3000m looking to improve on her personal best of 8:56.29 she set in February 2015.
Nelson is on the start list in Stockholm to back up after Oslo, while Gregson is also on the program in Sweden to race again over 1500m on Sunday.
The men’s 400m will be a competitive race that features two-time African champion Baboloki Thebe (BOT) who has already clocked 44.89 this season.
Also on the start line will be Olympic semi-finalist and bronze medal winner in the long relay Steven Gardiner (BAH) who ran 44.26 in Grenada earlier this season and two-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak (CZE).