DOHA (QAT): Renaud Lavillenie, Allyson Felix and Carmelita Jeter are the most successful athletes in the history of the Diamond Race, the season-long points scoring battle in 32 event disciplines, which is at the core of the annual IAAF Diamond League. All-time, Lavillenie, Felix and Jeter standout as the athletes with the greatest number of Diamond Race wins, a total of 13 victories each, across the 14-meeting series during the three seasons (2010 to 2012). Lavillenie also holds the distinction of having accumulated the most points (64) by a male athlete, with Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer holding that honour for the women (72).
DOHA (QAT): US World leader and olympic medalist Michael Tinsley will be in Doha to prove his current position. His main rivals in men 400 m hurdles will be team-mate Bershawn Jackson coming from Tokyo win on Sunday and 2011 World medalist LJ Van Zyl of South Africa in season opener. Another runner to have his first race of the season will be Briton Jack Green and as dark horse South African Champion Cornel Fredericks.
DOHA (QAT): Olympic long jump winner Brittney Reese wears a cross, flower and a bird tattoo on her right arm in memory of her late grandmother. “She helped me a lot in my life and I want to honor her” says the reigning World Champion. Recently, Reese decided to change her training base and she explains the reason why: “I moved to San Diego, California, because the facilities there are better. I have more opportunities to train outdoor because the weather is better”. In terms of her goals she says: “To break the American record (7.49 by Jacky Joyner Kersee) and the World Championships. I will do two more Diamond League meetings and the US Trials”.
DOHA (QAT): Allyson Felix, the IAAF female athlete of the year for 2012, is once again back in Qatar for the Diamond League. “It’s always good to be back here in Doha”, Allyson says, with her trademark sunshine smile. It is the first time in Doha Diamond League history that an athlete of the year competes here. This year’s Doha Diamond League 400 metres feature once again a strong line-up. With four Olympic Champions participating it looks like it will be a tight race. “You never know what’s going to happen, you just go out there and try for the best”, Allyson points out. “My focus is the World Athletics Championships in Moscow” she says, with her sight fixed in August, adding: “I would love to set new personal bests this year”.
DOHA (QAT): London 2012 silver medallist and Beijing 2008 Champion Christine Ohuruogu and 2011 World Champion Amantle Montsho are the prime candidates at breaking Allyson Felix’s stranglehold on the 400m event – five wins in five attempts – but they are not yet setting sights on the prize on offer for the inaugural round of the 2013 Diamond League. “It’s early season for everyone so I am looking to get out and enjoy a good, competitive race,” said Ohuruogu, who warned against trying to read too much into the results coming. Reigning World and Commonwealth Champion Montsho is similarly wary of early comparisons. “Everyone has been training in the winter, and we don’t know where everyone stands,” said the Botswana athlete.