Trackstaa looks ahead to the second stop on the Diamond League tour, as the world’s finest athletes assemble in Doha, Qatar for the first time since the 2019 World Championships.
After a hugely successful event in Gateshead, despite the awful conditions, the world’s finest athletes assemble for the second Diamond League meet of the season in Doha, Qatar. With some of the mosthotly anticipated match-ups in the sport set to be unleashed it promises to be a hugely exciting display of athletics, baked in glorious middle eastern sunshine.
Many fans of the shorter distances will be particularly excited to watch incredible US athletes Michael Norman and Fred Kerley do battle in the 400m. Both men have shown a range over the sprinting distances that surpasses anyone else to grace their sport. Kerley’s 100m PB is 9.91 and has an indoor 400m best of 45.03. It will be interesting to see whether the 2 of them have it all their own way too with 2012 Olympic Champion, Kirani James also lining up.
Whilst Sha’Carri Richardson continues her racing season, competing in her fourth race in 5 weeks. She’ll go into the race as favourite, after taking second behind Dina Asher-Smith in Gateshead. It won’t be easy, however, she’ll be up against the indomitable Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce for the second time in a week, who told the watching media, “I like a challenge, I like when the competition is hot because that’s what the Diamond League is about…The bigger the field, the bigger I perform.”
The women’s 3000m Steeplechase also has the makings of a hugely exciting race with the starting field containing the top 5 from the 2019 World Championships, including the champion and world record holder, Beatrice Chepkoech. The contenders seeking to stifle Chepkoech’s dominance include previous world-champions, Emma Coburn from the USA and Kenya’s Hyvin Kiyeng.
Men’s 400m Hurdles
The question of whether the 400m hurdles record will be broken has now become a question of when, not if, given the current talent in the men’s event. All the eyes in this race will be on the 2 of only 4 men in history to run under 47 seconds go head to head in Rai Benjamin and Abderrahman Samba, the other 2 being Karsten Warholm and the world record holder from 1992(!) Kevin Young. If Karsten Warholm had been competing it would arguably be one of the best 400m hurdle races in history. At Mt SAC earlier in the month, Benjamin essentially jogged to a world-leading 47.13 and whilst Samba hasn’t competed in the hurdles since 2019, his recent 45.43 on the flat suggests the Qatari comes into the race in good form and, with the support of his home-crowd, might be looking to cause an upset.
The men’s 200m includes some of the fastest men around with Kenny Bednarek looking to go 2 from 2. Trying to upset the party will be Justin Gatlin, Canadian, Andre De Grasse and British athlete Adam Gemili who will be aiming to re-find his form from previous years.
After watching Jakob Ingebrigsten ease through the gears to victory in Gateshead, his nemesis, Timothy Cheruiyot, hitherto utterly dominant in the Diamond League runs as favourite in the 1500m. He’ll be chased by Australian Stewy McSweyn and his compatriot, Matt Ramsden. The strongest challenge however is likely to come from either, Ethiopian, Sam Tefera (3:31.39) or Ugandan, Ronald Musagala (3:30.58).
The 800m has 2 of the quickest British athletes around, including 2020 British Champion, Dan Rowden and European indoor silver medallist, Jamie Webb. Both men will be looking to test their mettle against World silver and bronze medallists Amel Tuka and Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich respectively.
Whilst the burgeoning talent, Keely Hodgkinson, already in possession of one of the quickest times in the world this year, runs in the 800m against seasoned competitors like Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon and, Jamaican record-holder, Natoya Goule. Everyone in the field has a PB under 2 minutes, 1 x 1:59 runner, 4 x 1:58 runners, 2 x 1:57 runners and a further 2 x 1:56 runners and so it promises to be a quick race with arguably the best field since the 2019 Doha World Championships.
The field events offer much promise too with the women’s triple jump, pole vault and discus containing all of the podium finishers from the 2019 World Championships. Many will be wondering if Venezuelan, Yulimar Rojas can find an extra 7 centimetres to overturn the world record (15.50m). Whilst Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen is also set to compete alongside Commonwealth champion Kimberly Williams.
On the men’s side, focus is on the high jump. Barshim is back. Enough said.
In Doha, unlike Gateshead, attention switches from the men’s pole vault to the women’s and the field is just as stacked. It contains the top-8 finishers from the 2019 world championships with US athlete, Katie Nageotte possessing a world lead 4.93m. World indoor champion Sandi Morris said in the pre-event press-conference that she feels that she has the ability to break the world record. “I believe I have the physical ability to break the world record. I have believed this since 2016, I know I have the speed and physicality to do it and I just have to fix my technique.”
For the full schedule and entry lists, click here.
How to watch Doha Diamond League
Fans in the US can watch the event on NBC’s subscription service, Peacock.
Fans in the UK can watch on the BBC, with live coverage starting at 5pm on BBC2 or via the BBC iPlayer.
Fans in other jurisdictions can watch the event on Wanda Diamond League YouTube channel, click here.
When is it on?
The event starts at 3:58pm UK time (GMT +1).