2013 Doha Diamond League - Event Preview
Women’s Discus Throw
Croat Sandra Perkovic will be looking to start 2013 in style after last year brought the biggest victory of her career so far – a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. With a PB of 69.11m obtained in that fateful night in London, Perkovic edges above the rest of the field and seems set to convincingly threaten the 15-year-old meeting record of 66.42m.
Her main rival will come in the shape of Lithuanian Zinaida Sendriute, who boasts a personal best of 64.03m obtained a few months before qualifying for the final at the Olympic Games and a season best of 61.11.
The lineup also includes some very experienced athletes: Melina Robert-Michon of France (61.26 SB) and Aretha Thurmond of the USA (61.65 SB) . Robert-Michon, who finished sixth at the 2012 Olympic Games, showed she knows how to perform on special occasions, having claimed the European U23 and Mediterranean Games titles in the past, whereas American Thurmond – a veteran of three Games, who took part in Atlanta 1996, Athens 2004 and London 2012 – will make her experience count against much her much younger rivals.
A talented athlete to watch in this event is 19-year-old Anna Ruh of Germany; having finished tenth in London in one of her first competitions as a senior, the reigning World Junior Champion will aim to make 2013 the season of her consecration on the bigger stage.
Her compatriot Shanice Craft, Polish Olympian Zaneta Glanc, India’s Krishna Poonia and Nataliya Semenova of Ukraine also make up the field, with Poland’s Joanna Wisniewska providing experience from the top of her two Olympic Games appearances.
Meeting Record: Ellina Zvereva (RUS) – 66.42m (07/05/1998)
Start Time: 17:25
Women’s Long Jump
Reigning Olympic Champion Brittney Reese (6.81 SB) will head to Doha with the intent to show just why she is the best in the world and claim another Qatari victory after her first in 2009.
The American, one of only four athletes in the event with a PB over seven metres, will face Yelena Sokolova in an eagerly awaited rematch from the London 2012 final, in which the Russian was relegated to the silver medal. Making this one of the must-see events in the 2013 Doha Diamond League, Olympic bronze medallist Janay DeLoach Soukup who recently jumped 6.82 in Tokyo is also in the lineup.
The meeting record of Oksana Udmurtova might be in danger, but these three athletes will not be the only ones to watch on Friday night. American Chelsea Hayes (6.72 SB) and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare – with PBs of 7.10m and 6.97m – will try and steal the spotlight, while Shara Proctor of Great Britain (6.63 SB)and Whitney Gipson of the USA are also capable of important performances.
The US-dominated lineup is completed by Beijing Olympian and Doha 2011 winner Funmi Jimoh (6.73 SB), fellow American Tori Polk (6.70 SB) , Sweden’s Erica Jarder and Poland’s Teresa Dobija.
Meeting Record: Oksana Udmurtova (RUS) – 7.02m (12/05/2006)
Start Time: 17:30
Men’s Shot Put
A spectacular battle of the giants is on the cards in the Men’s Shot event. Double Olympic Champion Tomasz Majewski – who never won in Doha in his four previous appearances – will try to claim the crown worn in as many times by Reese Hoffa (21.71 SB), whom he beat in London 2012 to win gold.
Ryan Whiting who threw a massive 21.74 in Kingston to claim the 2013 world lead and Russia’s Maksim Sidorov, ninth and eleventh in London respectively, will join Asmir Kolasinac of Serbia and German Lauro of Argentina, who set a new national record 20.98 in late-April in a recreation of the 2012 Olympic Games final in what is an extremely promising lineup.
The competitive lineup is completed by Asian Champion Sultan Al Hebshi of Saudi Arabia, Portugal Marco Fortes, Cory Martin (20.42 SB) and India’s Om Prakash Singh.
Meeting Record: Christian Cantwell (USA) – 21.82m (14/05/2010)
Start Time: 17:35
Men’s Pole Vault
With three of the top four athletes from the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2013 Doha Diamond League pole vault event promises to be one of the most hotly contested ones on the Friday night programme.
London’s silver medallist Bjorn Otto (5.70 SB) and bronze medal winner Raphael Holdzeppe will set up an all-German battle, with their compatriot Malte Mohr, the last athlete to triumph in the pole vault in Doha, to also have a shot at the win.
Former World Junior Champion Dmitry Starodoubtsev, who narrowly missed out on the medals in London, will aim to perform strongly in Doha to kick-start his 2013 season, with Ukraine’s Maksym Mazuryk looking to follow in the footsteps of his famous compatriot Sergey Bubka, who won in Qatar in his only appearance in the state in 1998.
Greek vaulter Kostas Filippidis and Russia’s Sergey Kucheryanu, whose PBs are only one cm apart at 5.80m and 5.81m, will compete alongside three more Germans, Hendrik Gruber, Karsten Dilla and Tobias Scherbarth.
Meeting Record: Malte Mohr (GER) – 5.81m (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 18:10
Men’s High Jump
The eyes of the whole stadium, and those of a nation, will be firmly on local hero Mutaz Essa Barshim as he steps up to compete in the high jump event. The London 2012 bronze medallist, whose best performance is 2.39m, is a clear favourite for what would be an extremely popular home win – but Britain’s Robbie Grabarz, who tied with the Qatari at the Olympic Games, will have plenty to say in his own favour.
Pushing Mutaz to finally break the 2.40m barrier will be a special rival – brother Muamer, three years his junior and on his way to becoming an accomplished high jumper. The support of the crowd and the special situation will hopefully be a perfect occasion to lift his PB above the 2.20m where it currently stands.
The Russian trio of World Championships silver medallist Aleksey Dmitrik, Aleksandr Shustov and Sergey Mudrov – alongside with Ukraine’s Bohdan Bondarenko – represent another group of athletes whose recent performances over the 2.30m barrier point to a solid performance in Doha.
Greece’s Konstantinos Baniotis and Samson Oni of Great Britain will aim to mix it with the leaders, with Italy’s Marco Fassinotti, Peter Horak of Slovakia and Olympian and 2007 World Champion Donald Thomas from Bahamas also being on the lineup. Thomas and Mutaz have both jumped 2.25 outdoors in 2013, a co-leading mark between all Doha competitors.
Meeting Record: Jesse Williams (USA) / Kyriakos Ioannou (CYP) – 2.33m (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 18:40
Men’s 400m Hurdles
Meeting record holder Louis J. van Zyl, on his fifth appearance in Doha, will hope to add to his two wins in 2008 and 2011 on Friday; on his way, however, is London 2012 silver medallist Michael Tinsley of the USA, whose performances from last year, including a 48.55 SB, set him as favourite for this very technical event.
Bershawn Jackson, who won the Golden GP in Tokyo three days ago in 49.11, also ranks high by virtue of his top-class medal tally, the American having won a bronze medal in this event at the 2008 Beijing Games and a grand total of four World Championship golds over the 400m hurdles, flat and 4x400 relay – including one indoor success in Doha, in 2010.
Rising South African star Cornel Fredericks (48.78 SB), aged 23, will be one to watch in this event as he looks to add to his senior successes, whereas Briton Jack Green will be looking to put his disappointment from London, where he fell during the semi-finals, behind him and start 2013 strongly.
Australia’s Tristan Thomas (4th in Tokyo with 49.56), Justin Gaymon of the USA (49.23 SB) and Saudi athlete Ibrahim Mohammed Saleh complete the lineup.
Meeting Record: LJ van Zyl (RSA) – 48.11s (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 19:05
Pundits cannot look past Abeba Aregawi for this event, although the quality of the lineup is there to have an excellent race. The Ethiopian-born Swedish runner had a strong 2012, culminating in an Olympic final where she finished fifth, and opened her current season with the European Indoor Championship title on this distance.
The main challenges could come by former compatriot Genzebe Dibaba, who missed out on a London showdown through injury but has the pace to win a race, especially if it gets down to tactics.
Kenya’s Viola Jelagat Kibiwot and Ibtissam Lakhouad of Morocco complete the ranks of the entrants boasting a sub-4 minute personal best on this distance and could spring a surprise on Friday night.
Former 800m World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Janeth Kepgosgei will step up to the 1500m distance for the night, while her fellow Kenyan Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon, the reigning World Junior Champion who turns 19 this year, will look to start her track season strongly after claiming the World Cross Country title early in March.
Meeting Record: Nancy Jebet Langat (KEN) – 4:01.63 (14/05/2010)
Start Time: 19:15
Men’s Javelin Throw
One of the flagship events of the 2013 Doha Diamond League is the Men’s Javelin competition, with several Olympic and World medallists competing.
Reigning Olympic and World Junior Champion Keshorn Walcott, who took on the world’s javelin establishment so successfully in 2012 and recently threw 84.39 in his homeland, will aim to retain this sceptre against the sport’s royalty, including double Olympic Champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway and former World Champions Tero Pitkamaki (Finland – 86.40 SB) and Matthias De Zordo (Germany).
Thorkildsen, in particular, will aim to put an injury-ridden 2012 behind and return to the top of the sport he dominated for a decade – not to mention his four consecutive wins in Doha between 2006 and 2009 - but his quest will be met by a field including also London 2012 bronze medallist Antti Ruuskanen, Athens 2004 runner-up Vadim Vasilevskis and reigning European Champion Vitezslav Vesely.
Valeriy Iordan of Russia (83.56 SB) , Greece’s Spiridon Lempesis and Ivan Zaytsev of Uzbekistan complete the lineup.
Meeting Record: Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) – 90.13m (12/05/2006)
Start Time: 19:15
Olympic Champion and World Record Holder David Rudisha steps on the Qatar Sports Club track as the clear-cut favourite for the event. The only man ever to break the 1:41 barrier over this distance, however, won’t be in for the proverbial walk in the park as the opposition, in the shape of Mohammed Aman and Timothy Kitum, will be ready to take any opportunity to upset the results.
Olympic bronze medallist Kitum, from Kenya, is only 18 and developing into a possible successor for his famous compatriot; Ethiopian Aman has been the only athlete to be able to challenge Rudisha over the last couple of seasons, famously ending the Kenyan’s 34-long streak of victories.
Local Olympian Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla joins the lineup, which also includes Kenyans Anthony Chemut (ran 1:46.51 to win in Tokyo this week), Moses Kipkemboi Kibet, Job Kinyor and Abraham Kipchirchir Kotich and the British duo of Michael Rimmer and Andrew Osagie.
Meeting Record: David Lekuta Rudisha (KEN) – 1:43.00 (14/05/2010)
Start Time: 19:25
Men’s Triple Jump
Reigning Olympic and World Champion Christian Taylor (17.12 at the Drake Relays on April 27) enters the event as clear favourite following a spectacular 2012: in Doha, his main rivals will be Frenchman Benjamin Compaore (16.78 SB) and Tosin Oke of Nigeria, who finished sixth and seventh in London on the Olympic stage.
Samyr Laine of Haiti, another Olympic finalist and 2nd in the 2013 world list with 17.36 , will also be a strong competitor in this event, which also includes Russia’s Alexei Fedorov among the athletes who jumped over 17 metres in the last season.
Belarusian Aliaksei Tsapik, third in the 2012 European Championships in Helsinki, France’s Harold Correa and Dimitris Tsiamis of Greece are also included in the lineup, together with Alphonso Jordan of the USA and UAE’s Mohammed Abbas Darwish.
Meeting Record: Teddy Tamgho (FRA) – 17.49m (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 19:35
Ionela Tirlea-Manolache’s 1999 meeting record is in grave danger as double Olympic Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce descends on Doha. The Jamaican, who won gold in the 100m in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012, is currently the Olympic silver medallist in this event and her PB of 22.09s suggests she has it in herself to beat the current benchmark, set at 22.35s.
The main challenge for Fraser-Pryce who ran 22.38 to win in Kingston on May 4, will come from compatriot Sherone Simpson – herself a multiple Olympic medallist; American Charonda Williams will aim to break the Jamaican stranglehold on the discipline, as will Europe’s top representative in the event, Myriam Soumare of France.
Ukraine’s Yelizaveta Brygzina, runner-up at the 2010 European Championships, and fellow Olympic semi-finalist Margaret Adeoye of Great Britain will join Olympic relay silver medallist Samantha Henry-Robinson of Jamaica and Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel on the starting line.
Meeting Record: Ionela Tirlea-Manolache (ROU) – 22.35s (13/05/1999)
Start Time: 19:40
Women’s 100m Hurdles
An All-American battle will take place in the sprint hurdles race, with six out of eight entrants from the United States. Among them, the main point of contention will be the head-to-head between Lolo Jones and Dawn Harper.
Harper, Olympic gold medallist in Beijing and runner-up to Sally Pearson in London 2012, had a great season last year as opposed to her rival, beating Jones in seven of their last encounters. However, the gap between the two seems to have shrunk in recent times, and with their head to head total standing at 14-13 for Jones, this Diamond League race couldn’t be any closer.
While Jones has already competed in Doha five times, it will only be Harper’s second appearance in Qatar and she will try to make it a special one.
London 2012 bronze medallist Kellie Wells, one of the on-form athletes at the end of last season, will aim to start 2013 strongly, and so will Briton Tiffany Porter.
Americans Queen Harrison – a 2008 Olympian – Yvette Lewis and Latisha Holden complete the stars-and-stripes contingent in this event, while European Indoor Championships bronze medallist Veronica Borsi from Italy is the final entrant in the lineup.
Harper is the fastest in the 2013 outdoor season so far with a time of 12.62, followed by Wells’ 12.78, Jones’ 12.79, Lewis’ 12.90 and Porter’s 12.94.
Meeting Record: Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (CAN) – 12.52s (08/05/2009)
Start Time: 20:00
Women’s 3000m Steeplechase
An East African duel is on the cards for this event, with Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes dominating the entry list. Meeting record holder and 2011 winner Milcah Chemos of Kenya returns to Doha to defend her throne from the attack of Ethiopian duo of Sofia Assefa and Hiwot Ayalew.
Assefa beat Chemos to the bronze medal in London 2012, with Ayalew finishing one position behind the pair in fifth. Ahead of this pack, however, was Tunisia’s Habiba Ghribi, silver Olympic medallist, who will want to establish her role in Doha as well.
European hopes lie with Germany’s Gesa Krause, eighth in London last year, and Polina Jelizarova of Latvia – but the East African contingent is ready to steal the spotlight as of Etenesh Diro (Ethiopia) ensures the whole P2- to P6-ranked athletes of the latest Olympic Games are represented.
Beijing 2008 veteran Ruth Bosibori Nyangau is another precious addition to a very strong field, which also includes young rising talents like Roseline Chepngetich of Kenya.
Meeting Record: Milcah Chemos (KEN) – 9:16.44 (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 20:10
The spectacular 100m race will be a very close affair, with the whole lineup having recorded very competitive times over the course of the 2012 season.
US sprinter Justin Gatlin, boasting a personal best of 9.79s and a 10.06 season best, has the favourite tag pinned on him after winning in last year’s edition, but the likes of Nesta Carter from Jamaica and fellow American Michael Rodgers cannot be discounted for the final win. Carter finished 2nd with a promising 10.03 in Kingston for a No. 3 spot in this year’s outdoor list, while Rodgers won in Walnut on April 20 with a time of 10.04 running against -0.4 headwind.
Gatlin, the recipient of five Olympic medals including one gold, is a double World Champion and will be looking to add to his five Diamond League victories; his opponent Carter, part of the Jamaican team that set the 4x100m World Record, counters him with two Olympic gold medals.
Sprinting legend Kim Collins of St. Kitts & Nevis – by far the most experienced on the start line from the height of his 37 years – will be aiming to overcome a disappointing 2012 and come back to the great successes of his past. The local crowd will also have plenty to cheer for: Qatar’s own Samuel Francis will aim to upset the favourites and record what would be a popular win.
The race will also see two promising products of the never-ending Jamaican talent pool: 24-year-old Jacques Harvey and 22-year-old Jason Young will have the eyes of the world on them as they take the track in Doha.
Derrick Atkins of the Bahamas, a World Championships silver medallist, completes the lineup.
Meeting Record: Olusoji A. Fasuba (NGR) – 9.85s (12/05/2006)
Start Time: 20:25
This Doha Diamond League event is synonym with Allyson Felix, the American sprinter being in absolutely dominant form in Qatar. Felix is undefeated in the event, having won each of the five races she entered since 2007, and will surely aim to keep her record as she lines up on the start line on Friday night.
Botswana’s Amantle Montsho, however, will have plans of her own: the World and Commonwealth Champion, who narrowly defeated Felix in Daegu 2011, holds the upper hand as far as their last two encounters over the one-lap distance is concerned and she hold world’s leading time (50.14) as well.
2008 Champion and 2012 silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain (50.58 SB) is another one of the many stars to take to the track in Doha on Friday, while Francena McCorory (51.58 SB) – relay gold medallist and twice an Olympic finalist – will also play a part in the battle for the win.
Jamaica’s Shericka Williams, silver medal in this event in Beijing and an integral part of the Jamaican relay team, and Natasha Hastings of the USA, relay gold winner in Beijing and at the last three World Championships.
France’s Marie Gayot and Kimberly Hyacinthe of Canada complete this fantastic lineup.
Meeting Record: Allyson Felix (USA) – 49.83s (09/05/2008)
Start Time: 20:35
It will be battle royale in this closing event of the 2013 Doha Diamond League as meeting record holder Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia, the winner of 2011, brings the challenge to last year’s triumphant Augustine Kiprono Choge of Kenya. These two countries have provided all 3000m winners in the 13 previous editions of the meeting in which this event was contested, and with 14 of this year’s 18 entrants the cards are stacked in their favour for a repeat.
The two headline names aren’t the only ones to make this race memorable: Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa, bronze medallist in the 5000m at London 2012, Kenyan compatriot Isaiah Kiplangat Koech and World Junior Record holder Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia could present a surprise on the night, as can in-form Caleb Mwangangi Nkidu.
Meeting Record: Yenew Alamirew (ETH) – 7:27.26 (06/05/2011)
Start Time: 20:45