Save the date… Athletics fans will experience an unforgettable night on May 10 at Qatar Sports Club stadium. The Doha 2013 Diamond League will feature a stellar line up, with a large number of Olympic and World Champions already having signed up to the meeting’s long entry list.
Ten of the 44 reigning Olympic Champions eligible to compete (Marathon, Walking, Hammer Throw and Multi-Events are not included in the Diamond League) will travel to Doha for the opening major international event of the 2013 outdoor season.
In the men’s events, David Rudisha leads a pack of four male London winners; this group includes Triple Jump wonder-kid Christian Taylor from the USA, who will pay his first ever visit to Doha; twice-Olympic Champion in the Shot Put, Tomasz Majewski from Poland; as well as Nesta Carter, a member of the great Jamaican 4x100m squad which smashed the World Record with a time of 36.84. London’s golden quintet is rounded off by surprise Javelin winner, Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad & Tobago. Walcott was still a junior when he upset the event’s top names to earn an unexpected Olympic title for a nation mainly known for its world class sprinters.
In the women’s events, IAAF female Athlete of the Year 2012, Allyson Felix returns in Doha to aim for an eleventh win in Qatar’s international meeting. The American sprinter enters the 400m, an event she did not try in London, where she emerged victorious in the 200m, the 4X100m and the 4x400m. Challenging in the 200m, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the diminutive Jamaican who defied the odds and succeeded in defending her 100m Olympic title against an unbelievably strong field, travels to Doha for the second time in her career, as does Felix’s 4x400m relay partner, Francena McCorory, who will run the 400m.
In London, long jumper Brittney Reese secured the only major outdoor title she was missing. In Doha, she aims to defend her unbeaten run on Qatar soil, after two clear victories in as many appearances indoor and outdoor. The Olympic Champions’ roster is complemented by Sandra Perkovic, the 22-year-old Discus thrower from Croatia who looks to 2013 to add the world senior title to her tally, after capturing an Olympic gold in 2012, two European senior titles (2010, 2012) and one European junior crown in 2009.
The reigning World Champions list consists of eight men: Nesta Carter (4X100m), David Rudisha (800m), Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop(1500m), USA’s 400m hurdlers Bershawn Jackson & Angelo Taylor (4X400m), high jumper Jesse Williams, Triple Jumper Christian Taylor and Germany’s Matthias De Zordo (Javelin).
Allyson Felix, winner in both relays with the USA quartets, is one of the four current female World Champions who will perform live at Qatar Sports Club on May 10. The remaining three are Francena McCorory (4X400m), Botswana’s Amantle Montsho (400m) and Brittney Reese (Long Jump).
Moreover, the Doha 2013 line up includes six athletes who triumphed at the Istanbul 2011 World Indoor Championships. These are US sprinter Justin Gatlin (60m – will run the 100m in Doha), Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider (1500m), USA’s Ryan Whiting (Shot Put), Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu (4X400m – registered for the 400m in Doha), Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba (1500m) and Brittney Reese(Long Jump).