Athletics stars gear up for 2017 IAAF Diamond League in Doha

Published April 4th, 2017 - 04:44 GMT
The IAAF Diamond League logo
The IAAF Diamond League logo

The world's athletics stars are gearing up for the 2017 IAAF Diamond League seasons in Doha, setting up an unmissable start to the 14-meeting series on May 5 at Qatar Sports Club.

Rio 2016 Olympic Champions Christian Taylor and Kerron Clement will be amongst a total of ten global medalists that will star in the men’s triple jump, 400m hurdles and 100m. The men’s triple jump promises yet another exciting competition when all three Rio 2016 medalists; Christian Taylor, Will Claye and Bin Dong will meet again.

The USA’s Taylor has been in unstoppable form in the triple jump over recent years and last year became the youngest back-to-back winner of Olympic triple jump titles following his victory in Rio. The 2015 World Champion has won the last five successive overall IAAF Diamond League titles and will be looking to win his third Doha Diamond League crown. Taylor’s main challenges will come from teammate Will Claye, who finished runner up to Taylor in the Rio 2016 and London 2012 Olympic Games, and China’s Bin Dong, the reigning World Indoor Champion who jumped just one centimeter short of the Asian record in Rio to claim the bronze.

The men’s 100m also promises to set Qatar Sports Club alive with a thrilling line-up that features sprint legends and rising stars. Justin Gatlin, whose silver at the Rio 2016 saw the then 34-year-old become the oldest man ever to win an Olympic 100m medal, will face fierce competition from 22-year-old sprint sensation Andre de Grasse of Canada, who claimed 200m silver and 100m bronze at Rio 2016 to add to his 2015 World Championship bronze. Also challenging will be former world-record holder, Rio 2016 4x100m Champion and last year’s Diamond Race winner Asafa Powell, six-time Olympian and former World Champion, Kim Collins, and Qatar’s Asian record-holder, Femi Ogunode.

There will be further Qatari action in the men’s 400m hurdles when new sensation Abdulrahman Samba lines up against Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Kerron Clement of the USA and Rio 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Bonface Mucheru of Kenya. 21-year-old Samba stunned the world in South Africa just last week when he ran a world-lead time and a huge personal best of 48.31 in just his third race at this distance. Kerron Clement’s Rio 2016 Olympic victory ended a seven-year wait between his last global success which came at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin. Clement also won the 2007 World Championships in Osaka and won silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and was touted as the man to dominate his event for a generation before injury hampered his progress. However, Clement came back with a vengeance last year with further victory in the 2016 IAAF Diamond Race, and an exciting season awaits with the London 2017 World Championships on the horizon.

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