UKTF Alumna Kendra Harrison Wins 2016 Diamond Race Title

ZÜRICH, Switzerland – Kentucky track and field Class of 2015 alumna Kendra Harrison won her sixth consecutive IAAF Diamond League race of the 2016 season, officially claiming the Diamond Race Title and its accompanying honors and benefits on Thursday.

Harrison won a close 100-meter hurdles race in 12.63 at Thursday’s Zürich meeting. She finished the 2016 IAAF Diamond League – a series of the world’s best non-championship one-day meets – undefeated.

Harrison collected the Diamond Trophy, a $40,000 U.S. cash prize (in addition to a her prizes from plenty of one-off race wins all season), and in all likelihood a wild card into the 2017 IAAF World Championships, which will be held in London where she broke the world record in July (conditions apply).

The only outdoor final that Harrison didn’t win all year was the United States Olympic Team Trials – where she finished sixth – missing out on a spot in the Games. 

Harrison won three races in Europe in the last two weeks – two (Paris and Zürich) scored her points in the Diamond Race.

“My confidence is definitely up,” Harrison said. “To be 23 and already have the world record feels awesome. I’m only going to keep working harder.”

She has run eight of the nine fastest times recorded this season – including the world record (12.20) and two of the three fastest times ever.  

With 10 points going to race winners, and points doubled in the Zürich final, Harrison earned 70 points this year, 47 points ahead of the closest competitor eligible for the title in the final standings (must compete in the final to claim the title).

Diamond League Points Allotment

Place

Points

at final

1st

10

20

2nd

6

12

3rd

4

8

4th

3

6

5th

2

4

6th

1

2


Harrison broke the 28-year-old world record in the 100-meter hurdles in July.

The 2015 NCAA Champion blitzed the world-class field, running 12.20 (+0.3) to break Yordanka Donkova's previous world record of 12.21 from 1988.

Harrison – who still trains in Lexington under Kentucky head coach Edrick Floréal, and serves as a volunteer assistant coach on the current staff – finished sixth at the United States Olympic Team Trials last month, missing out on selection for the Olympic Games.

The Diamond Race
The IAAF Diamond League encompasses 32 individual event disciplines, with a points scoring ‘Diamond Race’ which runs throughout the 14 meeting series each year. Winners of each Diamond Race get a Diamond Trophy, a cash prize, a wild card for the IAAF World Championships (certain conditions apply).

The Athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the IAAF Diamond League season wins "The Diamond Race”. In case of equality on points, the number of victories decides, if there still is a tie, the better result at the Final decides. For an athlete to win a Diamond Race and its associated prize, he / she must compete in a bona fide way in the final (Zurich or Brussels) of their event discipline.

The Diamond Race winners of each discipline are awarded a prize money of $40,000 U.S. at the end of the season.

In addition, at each of the 14 meetings and for each of the 16 Diamond Race disciplines per meeting, the same set of prize money is awarded to the competing athletes totaling in USD 30,000 x 16 = USD 480,000 per meeting.

Notable
The wildcard into next year’s IAAF World Championships in London would be notable for Harrison as she’s expressed intent on doubling in the 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles – as she did in historic fashion as a collegian at Kentucky. Should she be granted that wildcard (which is unconfirmed at this point, and precedent would require her to compete in some event at U.S. Trials) she could attempt to qualify for the U.S. 400m hurdles team at World Championships trials next year without having to run the 100m hurdles there. 

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