With arguably its best fields ever, the Doha Meeting will open the 2023 Wanda Diamond League season in style this Friday. Fifteen reigning individual Olympic and world champions - including Qatar’s Olympic and world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim - plus a host of major championship medallists, will compete at the Qatar Sports Club where five world leading performances, two meeting records, and three area and national records were set 12 months ago. Across a high quality programme, event highlights are expected to include the women’s 100m, 1,500m and pole vault, and the men’s 200m, 3,000m and javelin.

Women’s 100m
Reigning world 200m champion Shericka Jackson (JAM) will open her Diamond League campaign over 100m in Doha, in an exciting line-up that includes former world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith (GBR).
Jackson - who ran a world-leading 10.82 (-0.1m/s) in Kingston on 22 April - is the first athlete in history to win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines (100m, 200m, and 400m). She is a five-times Olympic medallist, most recently winning 4 x 100m relay gold and 100m and 4x400m bronze in Tokyo. At the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, in addition to winning 200m gold in a Jamaican record (21.45) - the second-quickest of all time - she took silver in the 100m and 4x100m. Her 100m best is 10.71 from the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco in August 2022.
Asher-Smith, who won world bronze over 200m in Eugene 2022, is the British 100m record holder with a best of 10.83 set at the World Athletics Championships in Doha 2019, where she finished second. She also holds the British 200m record (21.88). Twice an Olympic 4x100m relay bronze medallist, she won the Wanda Diamond League 100m crown in 2019. Jackson has won four of the five previous meetings between the two over 100m.
The quality of the field extends beyond the highly decorated duo and also includes three of the USA’s World Championships winning 4x100m relay team, Melissa Jefferson (10.82 PB), Abby Steiner (10.90 PB) and Twanisha Terry (10.82 PB), plus former NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) who ran a wind-assisted 10.57 in Florida in early April (her legal best is 10.72).
Terry won the 100m at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, on 29 April (11.05). Richardson finished second over 200m (22.54).

Women’s pole vault
In an incredible field that reunites the podium trio from the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Olympic and world pole vault champion Katie Moon (USA) will take on Sandi Morris (USA) and Nina Kennedy (AUS) in Doha.
Moon (née Nageotte) is the 2022 world indoor silver medallist and has a personal best of 4.95m from 2021, a mark that ranks her fourth on the global all-time list. In her first international competition of 2021 - a precursor to a wonderful summer - she took victory in Doha, winning a much anticipated competition in spite of jumping on new poles after hers had broken in transit.
World silver medallist Morris, runner-up at the last three editions of the global showpiece, is a two-time world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist from Rio 2016. She is the US (outdoor) record holder with a mark of 5.00m, the third-best jump ever.
Kennedy, the 2022 Wanda Diamond League champion and Australian national record holder (4.82m), is the world bronze medallist and reigning Commonwealth Games champion.
In addition to the top three from the 2022 World Athletics Championships, the impressive line-up also includes Olympic bronze medallist and British national record holder Holly Bradshaw; former Olympic, world and European champion and Greek national record holder Katerina Stefanidi; European indoor and outdoor champion and Finnish national record holder Wilma Murto; world indoor and European outdoor bronze medallist and Slovenian national record holder Tina Sutej; 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and Canadian national record holder Alysha Newman; and the USA’s 2019 World University Games bronze medallist Bridget Williams.

Men’s 200m
In an intriguing matchup over 200m, Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse (CAN) will go up against world 400m champion Michael Norman (USA), world 100m champion and Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley (USA), and Olympic and world 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek (USA)
at the Seashore Group Doha Meeting.
De Grasse, a six-time Olympic medallist with a national record best of 19.62, had an interrupted build-up to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene last summer after injury and illness hampered his preparations. While Norman, Kerley and Bednarek enjoyed individual success, the 28-year-old world silver (200m) and bronze (100m) medallist from Doha in 2019 - who reached the 100m semi-final and later withdrew from the 200m - had to settle for 4x100m relay gold.
At last year’s Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, Kerley - who has a legal best of 19.76 for 200m - clocked a windy 19.75 to finish runner up to eventual world champion Noah Lyles, with De Grasse in fourth. At the 2021 event, Bednarek, who has a best of 19.68, got the better of De Grasse with the pair finishing first and second respectively. Norman, a former world under-20 200m champion, has a best of 19.70 from the Diamond League meeting in Rome in 2019. The versatile sprinter won the Doha 400m in 2021, with Kerley third.
In addition to De Grasse and the talented American trio, the men’s 200m at the Doha Meeting will also include Joseph Fahnbulleh (LBR), the NCAA champion over 100m and 200m and Liberian record holder (19.83) who finished fourth over 200m at the World Championships. Fahnbulleh’s season has already got off to a fast start with a 9.98 100m PB at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Florida (15 April), his first ever sub-10 performance and a national record-equalling mark. He finished third over 200m in Gaborone (20.14) on 29 April, with De Grasse in seventh (20.41).

Men’s 3,000m
Reigning Olympic and world 3,000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR) will headline an impressive men’s 3,000m.
El Bakkali, the reigning Wanda Diamond League champion (3,000m SC), remained unbeaten throughout 2022 having opened his season with victory in Doha. Prior to winning the world title in Eugene, he clocked a world lead of 7:58.28 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rabat, only marginally outside his lifetime best of 7:58.15, set in 2018. He closed the year with a national record of 5:14.06 in the 2,000m SC, a mark which moved him to third on the world all-time list.
In an incredible Doha line up, he will be joined by Ethiopia’s Olympic and world 3,000m SC silver medallist Lamecha Girma, the world indoor 3,000m record holder who clocked 7:23.81at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in February to improve a record that had stood for 25 years. He is also a world indoor silver medallist.
The pair, who are ranked 10th and 12th on the 3,000m SC all-time list, have never gone head to head over a flat 3,000m, but El Bakkali, who took world 3,000m SC silver in London 2017 and bronze in Doha 2019, has defeated Girma on each of their last five battles over the barriers.

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