photo by PhotoRun.net
Christian Cantwell: his non throwing shoulder healed, what will Christian throw?
photo by PhotoRun.net
photo by PhotoRun.net
Teddy Tamgho in Paris: returning to site of his first WR, what will he do?
photo by PhotoRun.net
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Defending Diamond Trophy winners descend on Doha – PREVIEW – Samsung Diamond League
Doha, Qatar – Nine of last year’s Diamond Race
winners, including the women’s 200 and 400m champion Allyson Felix,
will get their World Championship season underway here in Doha in the first of this year’s 14 IAAF Samsung Diamond League events.
will contest the one-lap event at the Qatar Sports Club stadium, where
she won in last year’s inaugural Diamond League competition, and in the
women’s 3000m Steeplechase, which was not run in Doha last year, Milcah
Chemos Cheywa of Kenya will set out in defence of her overall title.
Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop, Diamond Race winner in the metric
mile last year, races over the 800m here just as he did last year.
overall winners from 2010 taking part here are Bershawn Jackson in the
400m Hurdles, pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, his French team-mate Teddy
Tamgho, winner of the Triple Jump, Christian Cantwell, who dominated
the Shot Put event, Poland’s discus thrower Piotr Malachowski and the
Norwegian World and Olympic Javelin champion Andreas Thorkildsen.
Felix gets her 400m season underway
goes in the longer of her two favoured events and will be seeking her
ninth victory in Doha with a degree of confidence despite the presence
of fellow American Monica Hargrove and Jamaicans Patricia Hall and
Davita Prendergast, as well as last year’s African and Commonwealth
champion Amantle Montsho, whose Botswana national record stands at
“I know it’s going to be a strong field,” Felix said. “In the 400 I’m always being pushed.”
whose 400m victory here in 50.15 proved to be her fastest of a year in
which she was unbeaten at the distance, also holds the meeting record of
She will face European challengers in Muriel
Hurtis-Houairi, France’s former World champion, and Britain’s former
world silver medallist Nicola Sanders.
Tamgho returns to site of first World indoor record
Felix, Tamgho is an athlete with good memories of Doha, where he won
the IAAF World indoor title last year with a then World record of
But this exuberant 21-year-old was entirely respectful
today of the challenge that will be presented by the likes of last
year’s winner, Alexis Copello of Cuba, and his fellow Frenchman Yoann
“We have got a great field here so it is going to be
difficult,” said Tamgho as he sat on a press conference podium alongside
his team-mate Lavillenie and the 19-year-old Qatari high jumper who
advanced from 2.14m to 2.31m last year to win the World junior title,
Mutaz Essa Barshim.
Tamgho will also be looking out for the
challenge of World and Olympic medallist Leevan Sands, of the Bahamas,
European silver medallist Marian Oprea, Randy Lewis, Grenada’s record
holder, and Nigeria’s African champion Tosin Oke.
Lavillenie eyes Bubka’s meeting record
memories of Doha are less happy than those of Felix and Tamgho – he
failed to reach the final at last year’s World Indoor Championships at
the Aspire Dome.
“I made some mistakes,” Lavillenie reflected with a grin. “But every great athlete knows defeat.”
24-year-old responded last year by winning European gold, and earlier
this year he retained his European title in Paris with a national record
of 6.03m, so he is carrying fine form into his outdoor season.
Bubka’s 1998 meeting record of 5.80m could be under pressure,
particularly with the competitive prompt of a field that includes former
world indoor and outdoors champions Igor Pavlov, Giuseppe Gibilisco and
Brad Walker, along with world indoor silver medallist Malte Mohr and
European silver medallist Maksym Mazuryk of the Ukraine.
Kiprop gunning for fast 800m
the absence of the injured pair of Abubaker Kaki and David Rudisha,
Kiprop is favoured to earn a victory on the track where he recorded a
personal best of 1:43.17 in 2009 and finished second last season in
chasing home the man who would finish 2010 as World record holder,
But he will be challenged by fellow Kenyans Sammy
Tangui, Richard Kiplagat and Alfred Yego, the former World champion.
Britain’s Michael Rimmer will be hoping to profit from the pace.
year’s 400m Hurdles in Doha was won by Jackson in 48.66, and the
American will be looking for a similarly encouraging start to his
outdoor season this time around.
Jackson’s fellow American LaRon
Bennett, who has a personal best of 48.74, will be one to watch out for,
and other challenges will come from world and Olympic finalist LJ van
Zyl, currently the world leader, African silver medallist Cornel
Fredericks, and last year’s European silver and bronze medallists,
respectively Rhys Williams of Britain and Stanislas Melnykov of the
Cantwell leads the Shot Putting elite
the draw of meetings in Ethiopia and Jamaica has had an effect on some
of the track entries, the fields for throwing events here are
World Shot Put champion Cantwell, another
World indoor winner here last year, will have the usual collection of
world class opponents to contend with. Poland’s Tomasz Majewski, who
beat the American to the Olympic title in 2008, will be here, as will
Canada’s Dylan Armstrong, whose effort of 21.72 in San Diego last month
leads the early season world list.
Cantwell will also have to
contend with the only man who managed to beat him last year – fellow
American Reese Hoffa, the 2007 World champion. Germany’s Ralf Bartels
also looks likely to prove difficult to overcome.
Malachowski looking to add to his momentum
fellow Pole Malachowski has an equally challenging task in the Discus
Throw, where he faces Lithuania’s former double Olympic and World
champion Virgilijus Alekna, and Gerd Kanter of Estonia, the current
Olympic champion whose effort of 71.45m was the best of last year.
Young of the United States, world No2 last year, is also in the field,
as is local thrower Rashid Dosari, the 2006 Asian Games silver
medallist, and Iran’s Asian record holder Ehsan Hadadi.
javelin, Thorkildsen suffered only two defeats last year and he will
have his 2006 meeting record of 90.13m as a target, although he will be
wary of the talents of perennial rival Teri Pitkamaki of Finland, the
2007 world champion, who inflicted one of those defeats in the Stockholm
Diamond League meeting.
Petr Frydrych, coached in the Czech
Republic by the former double Olympic champion Jan Zelezny, got within
two metres of Thorkildsen last year, and this meeting offers an early
opportunity to gauge his progress during the winter.
Germany’s Matthias de Zordo, third in the world last year, also competes.
chances in the 3000m Steeplechase will depend on the form of her fellow
Kenyans Mercy Njoroge, who took silver behind the Diamond Race winner
in last year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and Lydia Rotich, the
African Championships bronze medallist.
Ethiopia offers strong contenders in the form of Sofia Assefa, the African silver medallist, and Mekdes Bekele.
Kipchoge vs Kipsiro in hot 3000m
the 3000m does not contain a Diamond Race winner, it looks likely to
offer one of the high points of the meeting in terms of competitiveness
given the presence of Kenya’s former world champion Eliud Kipchoge and
Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro.
Kipsiro defied the Kenyans not once, but
twice at the Commonwealth Games as he spoiled their hopes of a clean
sweep in the distance track events by winning the 5000 and 10,000m.
Numerically, Kenya’s chances of defeating the Ugandan are 13-1. But that may not prove sufficient.
Dix, the Olympic 100m and 200m bronze medallist, will be offering
evidence of his early season half lap form against a field which
includes two Jamaicans in the form of Mario Forsythe and Ainsley Waugh.
recorded 19.72sec to beat Tyson Gay at last year’s Eugene Diamond
League meeting but was unable to contest the closing stages of the
Diamond Race because of injury.
Home supporters will be watching
out for 19-year-old Femi Ogunode, who won the Asian Games last year and
will be hoping to improve his personal best of 20.43.
Kiplagat ready to pick up where he left off?
1500m offers another Ethiopian-Kenyan rivalry as the former’s Mekonnen
Gebrehedhin, fourth at last year’s World Indoors, lines up against nine
Kenyans including last year’s world junior champion Caleb Ndiku and
Also running is Silas Kiplagat, the 21-year-old
who astonished observers at last year’s Monaco Diamond League meeting by
winning in 3min 29.27sec and went on to take the Commonwealth title.
Local spotlight on Barshim
will not be the only local lad getting extra support in the High Jump.
Qatar also have Rashid Ahmed Al-Mannai, who won the Continental Cup in
Split with a personal best of 2.28m.
With Russia’s Aleksey
Dmitrik in the field, along with the 2007 World champion Donald Thomas
of the Bahamas and a trio of US competitors – world indoor bronze
medallist Dusty Jonas, former World indoor bronze medallist Andra Manson
and Jesse Williams – the meeting record of 2.28 may be under pressure.
Jones on the mend
Jones, who still only rates herself as being at 90 per cent of full
capacity following a longstanding nerve injury which continues to leave
her in pain, will be eager to test her capabilities in the 100m Hurdles.
She will have six fellow Americans to contend with, and a single Frenchwoman – Sandra Gomis.
location will at least be a comforting one for Jones, who won the
indoor title in Doha last year and returned to win the opening Diamond
League race in 12.63.
Her toughest challenge looks likely to come
from fellow American Kellie Wells, who has profited in Jones’s absence
during the indoor season, remaining ubeaten in 10 races.
champion Maurren Maggi meets European champion Ineta Radevica in the
long jump. Maggi has won twice in her native Brazil this year, while
Radevica has yet to get her outdoor season underway after failing to
reach the final at this year’s European Indoor Championships.
Tatyana Kotova of Russia is also be likely to figure in the leading places.
States champion Connie Moore will be joined in the 200m by team-mate
LaShauntea Moore, European bronze medallist Aleksandra Fedoriva and
Nigeria’s triple African champion Blessing Okagbare.
Gelete Burka, who took 1500m bronze in last year’s World Indoor
Championships at the Aspire Dome, returns to Doha to race a field which
includes her 17-year-old compatriot Tizita Bogale, last year’s world
junior champion, and a Kenyan trio of Eunice Jepkoech Sum and two of
Bogale’s predecessors as world junior champion, Viola Kibiwot and Irene
Mike Rowbottom for the IAAF