Armed with a new Canadian record and several recent victories, Sarah Mitton travelled to Zurich last September keen on winning her first Diamond League Trophy.
The confidence and consistency she exhibited throughout the professional track and field season was in full view on Sechseläutenplatz, one of the city’s most famous squares on the shore of Lake Zurich.
Mitton threw 19.56 metres on her first shot put attempt but the native of Brooklyn, N.S., couldn’t top the 20 metres needed to upend Chase Ealey, whose 20.19 gave the American her an 11th triumph in as many outdoor events in 2022 and third over the Canadian.
The loss served as motivation for Mitton, who set a national indoor mark of 19.80 in January and the following month exacted revenge on Ealey, defeating the world champion in Madrid at the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series meet.
“She has worked extremely hard this indoor season tweaking technique and getting faster and stronger,” Mitton’s coach Rich Parkinson stated ahead of Friday’s Diamond League opener in Doha, Qatar.
“I expect to see her compete and throw well [in the outdoor campaign],” Parkinson added. “I know she has sights on winning Diamond League. She isn’t working this hard for second.”
The 26-year-old Mitton will open her Diamond League season May 28 in Rabat, Morocco.
The second of 15 events on the 2023 calendar, and then compete at the Meeting de Paris (June 9) and six days later at the Bislett Games in Oslo, Norway.
Athletics Canada’s 2022 field athlete of the year placed top three at three of four Diamond League competitions last season and went on to collect gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and NACAC Championships in August.
For the first time, the season-ending competition won’t be held in Brussels or Zurich.
The Prefontaine Classic is scheduled for Sept. 16-17 in Eugene, Ore., where 32 Diamond League champions will be crowned and earn $30,000 US in prize across two days of elite athletics at Hayward Field, site of last year’s World Athletics Championships.