By Sports Reporter/Doha
The Doha Diamond League – the third leg of the calendar – takes place this Friday, May 10. A host of Olympic and world medallists will again be welcomed to the Qatar Sports Club where organisers aim to provide the perfect stage for top quality performances. In a packed programme, event highlights are expected to include the men’s javelin, men’s long jump, women’s 800m, men’s 400m, men’s 1500m and women’s pole vault.
Men’s javelin
The Doha javelin competition has built a reputation for its high quality in recent years and conditions permitting, much will be expected of the key protagonists at the Qatar Sports Club. Reigning Olympic, world and Asian Games javelin champion Neeraj Chopra – India’s record holder with a best of 89.94m – will make a welcome return to action alongside former world champion Anderson Peters (Grenada) and Olympic and world medallist Jakub Vadlejch (Czech Republic).
Inspirational Chopra set the tone for his gold medal-winning summer with victory in the opening meeting of the 2023 Diamond League in Doha. Peters, who finished third 12 months ago with 85.88m, had delivered a national record and the fifth-longest throw in history in 2022 (93.07m), while 2023 Diamond League champion Vadlejch, who was runner-up to Chopra in 2023 with 88.63m, recorded a personal best in the memorable 2022 meeting with his first ever throw over 90m (90.88m).
Chopra’s goal for the summer is to defend his Olympic title, but to break the elusive 90m barrier would also mean a lot. European champion Julian Weber (Germany), fourth in the Olympic Games and World Championships, will also compete.
Men’s long jump
Olympic, world and European long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou will compete in Doha for the first time. The 26-year-old Greek athlete – who retained his world indoor title with victory in Glasgow on 2 March – boasts a personal best of 8.60m from 2021.
He won Olympic gold on his last attempt at the Tokyo Games in 2021 (8.41m) and impressively repeated that feat at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest with a jump of 8.52m.
In the interim period, he was crowned 2022 world indoor champion in Belgrade and backed that up with a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon later that summer. He has seven continental titles to his name dating back to 2017. Jamaica’s Tajay Gayle (8.69m) – world champion in Doha 2019 and bronze medallist in Budapest 2023 – will provide tough competition, although Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer, 2023 Diamond League champion, is also one to watch.
Women’s 800m
World champion Mary Moraa (Kenya) and World Indoor Championships silver medallist Jemma Reekie (Britain) are the standout names in the 800m. Moraa’s become a dominant force, lowering her personal best from 2:03.27 in 2020 to 1:56.03 with victory at the World Championships in Budapest. In 2022, she was crowned Diamond League champion. Reekie, the British indoor mile record holder (4:17.88) – finished runner-up at the 2024 World Indoors in Glasgow and reached the final of the Tokyo Olympics (2021) and in Budapest, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. The field also includes World Indoor bronze medallist Noelie Yarigo (Benin); Olympic finalist Natoya Goule-Toppin (Jamaica); and 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi (Uganda).
Men’s 400m
Olympic 400m champion and former world champion Steven Gardiner (Bahamas) will return to Qatar. Gardiner clocked a national record of 43.48 with victory at the World Athletics Championships in Doha 2019. It was an impressive upgrade to the silver he’d won in London two years earlier and a performance that made him the sixth-fastest man in the history of the event. Vernon Norwood and Quincy Hall – members of the USA’s gold medal winning 4x400m relay quartet at the 2023 World Athletics Championships – will also compete.
Men’s 1500m
In a men’s 1500m field bursting with youth and experience, Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot (Kenya) – the world champion in Doha 2019 – will line up against world bronze medallist Narve Gilje Nordas (Norway) and teenage record-breaker Reynold Cheruiyot (Kenya) at the Seashore Group Doha Meeting.
Timothy was a 1500m silver medallist at the World Championships in London 2017 before upgrading to gold in Doha. He ran a 3000m personal best of 7:36.72 in Doha last year. Nordas excelled in 2023 with lifetime bests across a range of distances from 1500m (3:29.47) to 5000m (13:05.38). His World Championships bronze came in a memorable race in Budapest which saw him finish just three one-hundredths of a second behind countryman Jakob Ingebrigtsen. In March 2024 he finished fifth at the World Indoors in Glasgow.
Women’s pole vault
World and Commonwealth champion Nina Kennedy (Australia) and newly-crowned world indoor champion Molly Caudery (Britain) will go head to head in Doha. Unfortunately, Olympic and world champion Katie Moon – ranked fifth all-time with a best height of 4.95m – has withdrawn after her recovery from an Achilles injury has taken longer than expected.
Kennedy and Caudery will be joined by the USA’s 2016 Olympic silver medallist Sandi Morris (PB 5.00m), a three-time world silver medallist and double world indoor champion; Slovenia’s national record holder Tina Sutej and USA’s Bridget Williams.
Elsewhere in the programme, stars include 3000m steeplechase world record holder Lamecha Girma (Ethiopia), the Olympic and world silver medallist (3000m SC); Kenya’s cross country and road running world champion and World Championships 5000m medallist Beatrice Chebet (5000m); world indoor champion Freweyni Hailu (Ethiopia), fourth-place finisher at the Olympic Games and World Championships (1500m); USA’s Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Bednarek (200m); and 2022 world high jump champion Eleanor Patterson (Australia), runner-up in Budapest 2023 (high jump). 2022 world champion Kristjan Ceh will compete in the pre-programme non-Diamond League discus.
Of those previously announced, Qatar’s 400m hurdles record holder Abderrahman Samba has also withdrawn due to injury, in addition Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco).
Related Story