Mo Farah, London 2012 5000m final, photo by PhotoRun.net
Sifan Hassan, Euro 1,500 (2014) photo by PhotoRun.net
The Doha Diamond League has put together a field worthy of its status. As one of the 14 most important meetings of the athletics year, highlighting rivalries and the fierce competition on the world stage is key.
And Doha DL has done just that!
Here is Justin Lagat’s fine piece on the middle and long distance races in Doha. I have to admit that I am quite excited about the field events and hurdles as well! After all, this is track AND field!
Preview of middle and long distance Doha Diamond League events:
The organizers of the IAAF Diamond League meetings usually put the most anticipated events as the last ones in their programs. For Doha, which is the first of the Diamond League series, the final event will be the men’s 3000m race. The field here is deep.
World and Olympic Champion in both the 5000m and the 10,000m events, Mo Farah, will be running against strong stars from Kenya and Ethiopia. They will include Ethiopia’s Alamirew Yenew, who holds the Doha meeting record of 7:27.26 and will be leading his other two strong compatriots; Gebrhiwot Hagos and Imane Merga. Strong and decorated Kenyans here will include Edwin Soi, Thomas Longosiwa and Isaiah Koech. Albert Rop of Bahrain will also be another athlete to watch here.
It is unfortunate that Caleb Ndiku had to pull out of this race due to a knee injury that he is still nursing as he slowly builds up his preparations in Iten, Kenya for the Beijing world championships. After winning the 3000m/5000m Diamond League trophy last year, many fans expected that he was going to be the man to give a big challenge to Mo Farah here. Ndiku himself has, for a long time now, been posting on social media sites and making comments that express his desire to meet with Mo Farah after Farah failed to compete at the Commonwealth Games last year where Ndiku had dyed his hair and won the 5000m event.
The men’s 800m event too promises to be a spectacular one with the presence of Aman Mohammed, Asbel Kiprop and Ayanleh Souleiman in the lineup. Aman is the current world indoor and outdoor champion in the 800m event and will definitely be the man with better chances of winning this race. However, that was two years ago, it is now Asbel Kiprop who currently holds the world leading time of 1:44.4 which he posted in Nairobi early this year. Amos Nijel, the athlete who is seen by many as the one who dethroned King David Rudisha from the throne of 800m event will not be running here again as earlier reported by the IAAF website, but all in all, it will be interesting to see if he will continue to build his status in this event in the other upcoming meetings.
The women 1500m event will likely be a face-off between Abeba Aregawi of Sweden and Sifan Hassan of Netherlands. Sifan is currently ranked as number one in the world in the women 1500m. She won the continental cup 1500m in Marrakech and is also the reigning European outdoor and indoor champion. Abeba Aregawi is the world outdoor and indoor champion, but was beaten by Sifan at the European championships last year. There will also be strong athletes from Bahrain, Ethiopia and Kenya in this event.
The women 3000m steeplechase event will have the majority of athletes at the starting line being Kenyans, but those with the fastest times are Ethiopia’s Assefa Sofia and Ayalew Hiwot. It will be a scenario of quality versus quality, although some of the Kenyan athletes in this field have a lot of experience in this race; Purity Kirui, Lydia Chepkurui and Ivy Kiyeng will be the Kenyans to give the Ethiopians a hard run.
In short, Doha promises to be a meeting that one will regret if they ever miss it.