Saturday, 17 June 2017 22:01

Stockholm Diamond League preview, broadcast schedule

Andre De Grasse and Asbel Kiprop headline a Diamond League meet in Stockholm, live on Sunday starting at 9:15 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and 10 a.m. on NBCSN.

De Grasse, the only man other than Usain Bolt to earn three sprint medals in Rio, will look to break 10 seconds in the 100m for the first time since the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the 2008 Olympic champion Kiprop runs his first international 1500m race of the year. Kiprop went into the Rio Games as the favorite but finished sixth. Instead, Matthew Centrowitz ended a 108-year U.S. gold-medal drought in the event.

Athletes are preparing for the world championships in London in August. Bershawn Jackson, the 2008 Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medalist, is the only notable American in Stockholm as the U.S. Championships are next week.

Stockholm start lists are available here. Here’s the schedule (all times Eastern):

9:20 a.m. — Men’s/women’s discus
9:38 — Women’s pole vault
10:03 — Men’s 400m hurdles
10:07 — Women’s high jump
10:33 — Men’s 400m
10:50 — Men’s long jump
10:52 — Men’s 3000m steeplechase
11:08 — Women’s 200m
11:18 — Men’s 110m hurdles
11:28 — Men’s 1500m
11:40 — Men’s 100m
11:53 — Women’s 800m

Here are three events to watch:

Men’s/Women’s Discus — 9:20 a.m.

The major players from Thursday’s meet in Oslo are back, including every 2012 and 2016 Olympic champion — German brothers Robert and Christoph Harting and Croatian Sandra Perkovic.

Despite his Rio gold, Christoph has never won a Diamond League meet. Robert last prevailed in 2014. They were fifth and sixth in Oslo behind Swede Daniel Stahl, who didn’t make it out of qualifying at the Olympics.

The women’s discus is a little more stable. Perkovic is on a 16-meet winning streak but has been tested at her first two Diamond League meets this year, winning by less than two feet each time. In 2016, she regularly prevailed by more than 10 feet.

Men’s 1500m — 11:28 a.m.

This is a battle between two Kenyans.

Kiprop, the three-time reigning world champion, faces 21-year-old Timothy Cheruiyot. In his last two 1500m finals, Kiprop lost to the young Cheruiyot at the Diamond League final in Brussels last season and the Kenyan Championships six days ago.

Kiprop’s safety net of a bye into the London worlds may account for that last defeat, but Cheruiyot is the real deal. He was the fourth fastest 1500m runner in the world last year, behind the three Kenyans who beat him at the Olympic Trials.

Men’s 100m — 11:40 a.m.

De Grasse just missed his first sub-10 since Rio when he won in Oslo on Thursday in 10.01 seconds. The Canadian gets another shot in Stockholm ahead of next month’s Canadian Championships.

Nobody in Saturday’s field has broken 10 seconds this season, though it does include fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place sprint finishers from Rio in Adam Gemili, Churandy Martina and Ben Youssef Meite.

Still, De Grasse is the clear favorite eyeing his third straight Diamond League race victory. He’ll look to improve upon his world No. 14 ranking this year and consolidate his threat to Bolt at worlds in two months.