Mohammed Ahmed, Matt Hughes, Aaron Brown, and Sage Watson have all qualified for the Diamond League finals at the end of the month. Saturday was the Birmingham Diamond League, which wraps up the Diamond League regular season. The finals begin in 11 days in Zurich on the 30th, and Brussels on the 31st of August.
Hughes, the Canadian record-holder, ran a 8:23.67 steeplechase to place seventh and grab those last couple of points to qualify him for the final in Zurich on August 30th. He was fourth in the Rabat Diamond League earlier in the summer which earned him five points toward the final. He grabbed two more from his seventh-place finish yesterday.
Watson entered her 400m hurdles race sitting at fifth in the Diamond League rankings. Watson was in a good position to get into the final regardless of what happened in Birmingham, as she’s significantly ahead of sixth, seventh and eighth place. She ran a 57.11 to place fifth in the race.
Ahmed did not race Birmingham but his performances from earlier in the season qualified him for the final. The St. Catharine’s, Ont. native, who’s now a Bowerman Track Club athlete, was fourth in Stockholm and seventh in London, giving him seven points, which easily got him into the final.
Hughes also runs for the Bowerman Track Club which has produced one of the most dominant distance training groups in running. The group is coached by Jerry Schumacher and includes runners like Shalane Flanagan and Lopez Lomong.
Canadian 100m and 200m champion, Brown, has also qualified for the 200m finals. Brown had had a phenomenal season, raking up 28 Diamond League points to easily qualify him for the final race. Brown is coming off of a great anchor leg at the NACAC Championships in Toronto last weekend, where he helped his 4x100m team to a gold medal for Canada.
New Canadian 800m record holder and NACAC champion, Brandon McBride, unfortunately didn’t make the cut for the final. McBride had a disappointing race on Saturday, which left him just outside of qualification. He told the CBC post-race, “I just didn’t have it in the legs.”
The Diamond Legaue offers some of the biggest money in track and field, and making the finals nearly guarantees a payday. First place gets $50,000, second place gets $20,000 and third place gets $10,000. Prizes are awarded to first through eight place and paid in USD.
Catch the Diamond League finals, August 30th and 31st live streamed on CBC.ca.