2012 Doha Samsung DL: Great Races in Qatar, by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

The first Samsung DL meeting of the year, Doha, was a great opening for the season! Not only was there fast races, but just some great competitive events!

Felix_Allyson-Doha11.jpgAllyson Felix, photo by PhotoRun.net

Great races in Qatar
DOHA (QAT, May 11): 10 world leads and 7 meet records (out of 19 events) was the excellent summary after the first Samsung Diamond League meet of the year 2012. Qatar Sports Club offered great warm weather, good wind conditions which went down nearly to zero during the evening and Ethiopian supporters. The stadium was full by more than half but even the announced concert afterwards did not help to have it full. That is Qatar. But Athletes showed fireworks and excellent readiness at the beginning of the Olympic season. Men´s 1500 m and steeple were the most high quality races of the evening. Merritt, Rudisha, Jelimo, Dix great display of the shape. Gatlin is back and duel of the evening was Vivian vs. Meseret. Next SDL meet is on Saturday May 19 in Shanghai, China.



100 m: Justin Gatlin is back, he won in 9.87 (+0.4), his second fastest legal time (and fastest by US sprinter before May 15). With strong finish he beat Asafa Powell who also opened his season on a high note with 9.88 (his 76th legal sub 10). Third Lerone Clarke equaled his PB 9.99. This was non DL race.

200: Walter Dix fulfilled his role with easy looking 20.02 (-0.5) meet record. Behind him European runners Martina (20.26) and Ndure (20.34).

400: Oly winner LaShawn Merritt is in top shape and despite feeling sick in the morning clocked impressive world lead and meet record 44.19. Second Luguelin Santos (still a junior) went sub 45 with 44.88 for first time non-altitude. Third Taylor 44.97 and fourth Rooney 44.99 also sub 45.

800 m: David Rudisha in good solo (600 1:16.70) clocked world lead 1:43.10. Second Job Kinyor improved to 1:43.76 and also fast times and PB´s for European runners (Osagie, Bube, Holusa).  Non DL-race.

1500 m: One of the top races of the evening. Silas Kiplagat world lead and meet record 3:29.63 ahead of World champion Asbel Kiprop who finally dipped under 3:30 (3:29.78, 21st sub 3:30 runner) despite stumbling at the beginning of the final straight. Eleven runners went under 3:34 (among them also new Asian junior record by Hamza Driouch of Qatar 3:33.69).

3000 m: Augustine Choge with long finish won in world leading 7:30.42 ahead of Eliud Kipchoge 7:31.40 and Ugandan Moses Kipsiro 7:31.88. King was beaten, Kenenisa Bekele 7th in 7:40.00. This was the third non DL-race.

Steeple: Here it was not expected, but top two went sub 8 minutes. Paul Kipsiele Koech 7:56.58 meet record and world lead (fastest in May and his 8th sub 8) ahead of Richard Mateelong 7:56.81 PB (10th sub 8 runner ever). Gari Roba clocked as third 8:06.16 new Ethiopian record. Junior Conseslus Kipruto improved as 5th to 8:08.92 (oly winner Kipruto only 12th).

HJ: World indoor champ Hondrokoukis cleared 232 in second and equaled so the world lead. World champion Jesse Williams second with French Mickael Hanany third (both 230).

LJ: Russian Aleksandr Menkov after 3 fouls surprised everybody with fourth leap 822 (+1.6) and enough to win. Until then leading was Mokoena of South Africa 810 (twice and 808).

DT: From elite only world champ Harting was missing and this very important win went to European champion Piotr Malachowski who got 67.53 right with first throw. Following order (Hadadi, Kovago, Kanter, Harradine) could be mixed in another way next time.


100 m: Long legs of Allyson Felix were one small step ahead of VCB. Felix clocked 10.92 (+0.7) MR and PB, second VCB opened her season with 10.94. Third oly winner Fraser-Pryce 11.00 and surprise fourth Nigerian former long jump specialist Okagbare 11.01.

800 m: Olympic gold medalist Pamela Jelimo won with strong finish in fastest ever before May 15 and her best since 2008 1:56.94 (also WL and MR). Second surprise and Ethiopian record Fantu Magiso in her first senior year 1:57.90. In total 7 went under 2 minutes.

3000 m: Slow begin (3:01, 5:55 splits) and super fast ending. Vivian Cheruiyot in furious sprint resisted Meseret Defar and won in 8:46.44 WL over 8:46.49.

100mH: BFH continues in winning after Kingston in grace and style 12.60 (+0.1) over Kellie Wells 12.72. PLS stumbled and was 6th (12.95).

400mH: Another Beijing winner Melaine Walker clocked world leading 54.62 with strong second half of the race ahead of team-mate Spencer 54.99 and fast beginner PSD (55.25).

PV: Surprise winner Russian Anastasiya Savchenko with 457 in first (her previous outdoor best was 440) over meet record holder Spiegelburg 457 in second.

TJ: Olga Rypakova won the event with average 14.33 over Brazilian Keila Costa 14.31.

SP: European champion Ostapchuk started superb in first throw 20.53 meet record and second best of the year. Camarena-Williams saved second place with last throw (19.81) over German Kleinert (19.67).

JT: Spotakova had four solid throws but was second 66.17 as Abakumova exploded in round 3 to 66.86 world lead. Third Obergfoll 64.59.


PRAHA (CZE): The adviser of Juventus president, ex-football star and Gold Balloon winner 2003 for the best football player in Europe Pavel Nedvěd flew to Prague on Friday afternoon to run at his first marathon ever. "I have never run more than 30 kilometers. I can not say, whether I will manage it. My dream and goal is to finish it, even if I should crawl to the finish line. As you know me" , he said.

BAD LANGENSALZA (GER): Swedish Star Carolina Kluft signed for long jump meet in Bad Langensalza in Germany on June 3.

LONDON (GBR): UK media are informing that Usain Bolt documentary will be released in July. The film, entitled The Greatest, was made by French director Gael Leiblang after he met the Olympic star in 2008. After filming the athlete during that year, Leiblang sent him a DVD and Bolt's appreciation led to him allowing Leiblang unprecedented access of the triple Olympic gold medallist over 60 days during an 18-month period.


PRAHA (CZE, May 11): At local open meet Jiri Vojtik clocked 33.52 in the 300 m, Josef Prorok was second 33.55 and won the 300 m hurdles (36.04). 400 m national indoor record holder Pavel Maslak won the 500 m in good 1:01.98. Roman Sebrle competed for first time with 35.79 at 300 m, 15.23 in shot and 45.99 discus.

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