Doha, – Another wave of Olympic medallists and World Champions have announced their participation in the first meet of the 2017 IAAF Diamond League season in Doha, adding to an already incredible list of athletics superstars who will compete on 5th May at Qatar Sports Club. Kenya’s middle-distance legend Asbel Kiprop will lead the men’s 1500m field as Rio 2016 gold medallist Conseslus Kipruto stars in the men’s 3000m and the women’s 100m hurdles features a hugely talented line-up.
Three-time World Champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic Champion, Asbel Kiprop of Kenya will be going for an impressive 24th Diamond League meeting victory in the men’s 1500m, which would also be his third consecutive win in Doha. The 2016 Diamond Race winner will face stiff competition from fellow countrymen Silas Kiplagat, the 2011 world silver medallist and two-time Diamond Race winner, and Elijah Manangoi, the 2015 world silver medallist. Also lining up will be Qatar’s Hamza Driouch, who won his nation’s first-ever Youth Olympic Games medal with silver in Singapore 2010, and team-mate Said Aden.
The excitement is set to continue in the men’s 3000m event, which features a scintillating line up of Olympic and world medallists. Kenya’s 22-year-old Conseslus Kipruto will lead the field fresh from his success in Rio after bagging the Olympic gold in the 3000m steeplechase and setting an Olympic record with 8:03.28 – a huge improvement over his silver-medal winning time in the 2015 World Championships of 8:12.38. Kipruto will face strong competition from the field’s 5000m specialists, which include Rio 2016 silver and bronze medallists, Paul Chelimo of the USA and Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwat respectively, reigning world indoor champion and aspiring star, 19-year-old Yomif Kejelcha also of Ethiopia, and London 2012 bronze medallist, Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa of Kenya.
The women’s 100m hurdles will be yet another race packed with the best in the world, with four of the top five in the Rio Olympic finals set to compete, alongside world-record holder Kendra Harrison. The USA’s Brianna Rollins and Nia Ali took the gold and silver medals respectively in Rio with just 0:11 seconds separating them but they will face additional competition in Doha from talented team-mate Kendra Harrison. The exceptionally high standard of US female sprint hurdling meant that Kendra Harrison missed out on a place on the US Rio 2016 Olympic team after finishing 6th in the US trials. This was her only loss of an otherwise hugely successful 2016 season, which saw her break the world-record at the London IAAF Diamond League meeting, en route to winning the Diamond Race. The Americans will also face challenges from Team GB’s Cindy Ofili who was just 0.03 seconds short of a bronze medal in Rio, and Germany’s Cindy Roleder, who took home the silver medal in the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and gold in the 2016 European Championships. With such a high level of talent lining up in the same race, this could be one of the most enthralling races of this year’s Doha Diamond League. (QNA)
Source: Qatar News Agency