By Sports Reporter/Doha
Sandra Perkovic on her way to becoming 2017 Diamond League champion.
Two-time Olympic champion, three-time world champion and six-time Diamond League champion, Christian Taylor of the US, will kick off the 2018 IAAF Diamond League season in Doha on May 4 at Qatar Sports Club in what promises to be a phenomenal triple jump showdown.
Meanwhile, the women’s 100m hurdles will once again highlight the USA’s continued domination on the world-stage as current and former World and Olympic Champions go head to head.
Taylor will go against Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo once again in a battle that provided the greatest triple jump competition in history at the very same stadium at the 2015 edition of the event in the Qatari capital. Never before had two men jumped beyond 18 metres in the same competition but Doha 2015 saw Pichardo, the 2012 world junior champion and the 2013 world championship silver medallist, break the stadium record to jump 18:06, just 2cm beyond Taylor’s best jump of 18:04. The re-match will provide one of the unmissable competitions of this year’s Doha Diamond League.
Taylor will start as the overwhelming favourite this year after dominating triple jump over recent years and will be looking for his fourth Doha crown. However, further challenges will come from 2008 Olympic champion and 2007 world champion Nelson Evora of Portugal, 2016 Olympic bronze medallist and 2016 world Indoor champion Bin Dong of China, and 2009 World Championship bronze medallist Alexis Copello of Azerbaijan. Team Qatar’s 2010 Asian Games bronze medallist Rashid al-Mannai will also line up.
US fans will have even more to cheer for in the women’s 100m hurdles as a stellar line-up of Americans will battle it out in an enthralling competition. Leading the field is world-record holder and recently crowned 2018 world Indoor champion, Kendra Harrison, who took her first global crown in Birmingham in March and will be looking to get her 2018 Diamond League campaign off to a winning start. However, her task will not be easy as reigning Olympic champion and 2013 world champion Brianna McNeal (nee Rollins) returns to action. Also lining up are silver medallist in the 2018 World Indoor Championships and 2018 World Indoor Tour winner, Christina Manning, 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson, and Doha Diamond League meeting record holder, Jasmin Stowers.
Fans can expect to be further amazed by Olympic and World medallists in the women’s discus. Looking to add another victory to her impressive string of global titles is reigning world, Olympic, European and Diamond League champion, Sandra Perkovic of Croatia. With a season’s best of 69.13, she is also in great shape to further her own Doha Diamond League record from 2013 of 68.23. Perkovic will be up against stiff competition from 2009 world champion Dani Stevens of Australia, who recently won her second Commonwealth Games title and finished in silver position behind Perkovic at last year’s World Championships, and Cuba’s Denia Caballero who beat Perkovic to win the 2015 World Championships and claimed bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Tickets are on sale now online and at Virgin Megastores across Qatar for the exhilarating evening of world-class athletics.
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