Suzhou is hosting the second Diamond League of the 2024 season, happening on April 27, 2024. This release is announcing the men’s high jump for the Suzhou meeting! 

High jump battle in Suzhou: World versus Olympic Champion on April 27.

Shanghai/Suzhou Diamond League announces that the newly-crowned world indoor high jump champion Hamish Kerr will take on Mutaz Barshim in China.

New Zealander Kerr is the world leader for 2024, having cleared 2.36m to take his maiden global title in Glasgow. He will have high hopes of backing it up against perhaps the greatest of his generation in Barshim.

Mutaz Essa Barshim takes the high jump in Weltklasse, which is a photo by Weltklasse.

The Qatari three-time world champion has prioritized training in the build-up to his Olympic defense later this year. He has not competed since winning his third Asian Games title in October 2023 and skipped the championships where Kerr beat a high-class field.

For Barshim, it will be one of the key indicators of his form as he aims to become the first man to win two men’s Olympic high jump titles.

No man in history has won more world outdoor titles than the three Barshim won in succession between 2017 and 2022, as well as a bronze in the most recent championships in Budapest. Barshim: “I’m happy to return to China to start my new season. Last year I finished my season in China at the Asian games and it was fantastic atmosphere and support. I have never been to Suzhou but am looking forward to visiting and competing there and a great competition.”.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 3 : Image of Hamish KERR at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 3, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Kerr, the Oceania record holder, is quickly amassing an impressive collection of his own. In 2022, the 27-year-old backed up World Indoor bronze with Commonwealth Games gold that summer, and in 2023, he won his first Diamond League event in Stockholm.

Mutaz Essa Barshim, 2018 Birmingham World Indoor Champs, photo by Mike Deering/The Shoe Addicts

He’ll hope to close the gap on Barshim in that respect. The 32-year-old is three times an overall Diamond League winner and has 23 individual event wins. Kerr: “I’m looking forward to making my first-ever trip to China a successful one. After jumping 2.36 at World Indoors, I know I am in great shape leading into the meeting. I can’t wait to compete against some of the other best jumpers in the world in front of what will be an amazing crowd.”

With pole vault world record holder Mondo Duplantis already announced, the high jump pair will undoubtedly be in good company in Suzhou.