Stage set for Doha Diamond League

2023-05-06 | Since 4 Week

Stage set for Doha Diamond League

Doha, 6 May 2023 - Reigning world 100m champion Fred Kerley is ready to light up the track at the Doha’s Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium, which will see a stellar field of Olympic and world champions competing in Diamond League season opener.

The gifted sprinter, who is aiming for a double at next year’s Paris Olympics, has already posted two impressive wins in two different beats at the Maurie Plant Meet (200m) and Sydney Track Classic (400m) Down Under, will shift his gears to the shorter distance in his fourth visit to Doha.

Kerley will be up against his familiar rival - Olympic 200m champion Andre de Grasse of Canada as well as compatriots Olympic and world 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek and the world 400m champion Michael Norman, under lights at the iconic venue, looking to get the Diamond League season off to flying start - just two days before his 28th birthday.

“Everything is good. The most important thing for me is just staying healthy and me staying healthy means there is no telling what I can do,” Kerley, who is making his first major 100m appearance of the season, said during a pre-event press conference, yesterday.

“(The one who can pose) the greatest competition for me is myself. I’m the only one who can stop of do better than myself,” Kerley, who came second behind to eventual world champion Noah Lyles, with six-time Olympic medallist De Grasse finishing fourth in the 200m at last year’s Doha Diamond League meeting, said.

Kerley, one of the few athletes to have won a Diamond League title in two events, those being the 400m in 2018 and the 100m in 2021, has a personal best time in the 100m of 9.76 seconds which makes him the sixth fastest man in history.

“My work ethic, I’m dedicated in my craft. Like you, I got to get up every day, compete competitively in training, get pushed every day by my coach. So I’ve got to keep on going and the sky’s the limit,” Kerley, who has eight Diamond League victories under his name across three different disciplines – 100m, 200m and 400m, said yesterday.

Meanwhile, in the women’s 100m, Britain’s former world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith will compete against the reigning world 200m champion Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, the first athlete in history to win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines (100m, 200m, and 400m).

Former NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) who ran a wind-assisted 10.57 in Florida in early April, is expected to be their biggest challenge.

“It’s a joy to be back here in Doha. I love racing in Doha. Obviously, it’s where I’m where I won my world title, so I’m really happy to be here and I’m really excited for the race,” Asher-Smith, who set up the British 100m record with a 10.83 mark at the World Athletics Championships in Doha 2019, said.

“I’m very much a competitor, so I love challenging races. Almost every Diamond League for the past, like 3 or 4 seasons, has been super fast with loads of depth and depth in each race. So I’m very much used to it. It’s to be expected and especially to be expected in Doha. They always bring an amazing field,” Asher-Smith said.

Asher-Smith, who won world bronze in the 200m in Eugene last year, also holds the British 200m record (21.88). She also won the Wanda Diamond League 100m crown in 2019.

“I came off a really strong indoor season. Training’s been going well. I’m excited to open up over 100m tomorrow and yeah, I’m sure it’s going to be great,” the 27-year-old said.

Kenya’s two-time Olympic and world champion Faith Kipyegon headlines the women’s 1500m.

Moroccan Olympic and world champion Soufiane El Bakkali will lead an incredible field in the men’s 3000m which will also include Ethiopia’s Olympic and world 3000m SC silver medallist Lamecha Girma, Olympic 10,000m champion and world indoor 3000m champion Selemon Barega (ETH), former world champion Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) as well as Qatar’s Adam Ali Musab.

Qatari middle distance runners Musaeb Abdul-rahman Balla and Abdulrahman Saeed (800m) are also among 180 athletes who will be seen in action.


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