The Diamond League in 2021 opens with Gateshead DL, which is the Rabat meeting in exile, on May 23. The second meeting, which is not allowing any media from outside Qatar at this time, is Doha 2021.
Gateshead DL has some amazing fields and we look forward to seeing them run, jump and throw. In this column, Justin Lagat, our senior writer in Kenya, gives us an update on the middle and long distance events. Justin, as we all are, is quite relieved to have some distance events to write about!
Finally, we get to see some top exciting track and field action again as this Sunday, the 23rd of May marks the start of the 2021 Diamond League season beginning in Gateshead, England.
There are exciting lineups from the 100m sprint up to the 5000m event on the track. It is going to be another perfect opportunity for fans and sports journalists to get used, and learn how to spell, the names of the potential Olympic medalists ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games that are expected to happen from July 23.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen is the only sub 3:30 runner entered in the men’s 1500m race and he appears to be a clear favorite to win, not unless the lack of racing opportunities since the pandemic has been holding up new talents that may produce some surprises. Most of the runners do not have a seasonal best time registered against their names and Qatar’s Musab Adam Ali is the one with the fastest time of 3:32.41.
Joshua Cheptegai sets new world record, 26:11.00 at 10,000m, NN Valencia World record Day, 7 October 2020, photo by Dan Vernon Photography, @NNrunningteam, @NikeValencia, @joshuacheptega1, @kenyanathlete, #europeanathletics, @shoe_addicts, #runblogrun pic.twitter.com/8cb6NyCWY1
— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) November 2, 2020
With a personal best time of 12:51.78 which he recorded in August last year after trailing Joshua Cheptegei on his way to the new 5000m world record, Kenya’s Nicholas Kimeli looks formidable in the men’s 5000m race. But, unlike in the 1500m event, there is a greater potential of surprises here from two other Kenyans; Jacob Krop and Michael Kibet. Others to watch here is Great Britain’s Andrew Buchart with a PB of 13:06.21, Australia’s David McNeill with a PB and SB of 13:12.82, Jimmy Grassier of France with SB of 13:18.00 and Netherland’s Mike Floppen, among others.
Morocco’s Soufian El Bakkali Breaks 2020 Steeplechase Record
— Morocco World News (@MoroccoWNews) August 15, 2020
Sofiane El Bakkali appears dominant in the men’s 3000m steeplechase event being the only runner with a personal best time under 8 minutes. There will be USA’s Hillary Bor and Stanley Kebenei, and Kenya’s Leornard Bett and Abraham Kibiwott to watch out for as well. Bedrani Djilali of France will also be another interesting runner to watch.
Laura Muir has the fastest personal best time in the women’s 1500m and should be the favorite to win. Although there could be surprises from the other sub 4-minute runners including Morocco’s Rababi Arafe, Ethiopia’s Axumawit Embaye and Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo.