2016 Diamond League: Competition starts in Doha

With the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro coming up this season, many athletes will be looking to have a great build up and for many that will start in Doha this Friday, with the opening event of the Diamond League taking place.

As well as several other events, there will be 17 events in which Diamond Race points are available. With several big stars in action, this article takes a look at the competitors in action the Qatari capital

Women’s Pole Vault

One of the first events to start the Diamond League season is the Women’s Pole Vault, and whilst some of the biggest stars aren’t in action, there is still a strong field.

Defending Diamond Race champion Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou is arguably the biggest name in the field, and she is joined by fellow Greek star Katerina Stefanidi in the field. Another athlete in action who could well take the four points is Silke Spiegelburg, who regularly appears on the circuit.  

Spiegelburg will be joined by fellow German Martina Strutz, whilst Sandi Morris, Katie Nageotte and Mary Saxer will be in action for America. Ling Li and Tori Pena will also be in action.

Kiriakopolou won the bronze medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Michael Steele)
Kiriakopoulou won the bronze medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Michael Steele)

Women’s Shot Put

The biggest star in this event is American Michelle Carter, who finished second in the Diamond Race last season. Carter is joined by two other Americans, Tia Brooks and Felisha Johnson, in the field.

Anita Marton, who finished third in the race last year, will also be in action, as will Taryn Suttie, Paulina Guba, Emel Dereli and Aliona Dubitskaya.

Michelle Carter after the World Indoor Championships in Portland (Getty/Ian Walton)
Michelle Carter after the World Indoor Championships in Portland (Getty/Ian Walton)

Women’s Triple Jump

By far the heavy favorite for this event will be Caterine Ibarguen, the defending Diamond Race champion who has been virtually unbeatable the past few seasons.

Another strong competitor will be Olympic champion Olga Rypakova. Meanwhile, Keila Da Silva Costa and Shanieka Thomas are the only two people in the field to have competed this season.

Kimberly Williams is the most notable of the other competitors, with Jeanine Assani Issouf, Anna Jagaciak, Paraskevi Papachristou, Yulimar Rojas and Dana Veldakova also in action.

Caterine Ibarguen at the World Championships last year (Getty/Michael Steele)
Caterine Ibarguen at the World Championships last year (Getty/Michael Steele)

Men’s Discus

The two favorites for this event will be Polish stars Piotr Malachowski and Robert Urbanek, who finish first and second respectively in the race last season.

South African Victor Hogan and Daniel Stahl are both in action and have been recording some good throws this season, as have Axel Harstedt and Philip Milanov.

Zoltan Kovago and Benn Harradine will also be in action, as will homestar Ahmed Mohamed Dheeb.

Robert Urbanek, Piotr Malachowski and Philip Milanov pose at the World Championships last year (Getty/Cameron Spencer)
Robert Urbanek, Piotr Malachowski and Philip Milanov pose at the World Championships last year (Getty/Cameron Spencer)

Men’s High Jump

This has been one of the most competitive events of the past few seasons and it promises to get off to a good start this season.

Homestar Mutaz Essa Barshim has been one of the best high jumpers of the past few years and will be looking to defend his Diamond Race title, whilst he be joined by compatriot Muamer Aissa Barsham.

Derek Drouin, Robbie Grabarz, Erik Kynard and Donald Thomas have all medaled at major championships and are capable of massive jumps, whilst Jessie Williams, Marco Fassinotti and Guowei Zhang are consistently big jumpers; this could well be the highlight of the night.

Mutza Essa Barshim at the World Championships last year (Getty)
Mutza Essa Barshim at the World Championships last year (Getty/Ian Walton)

Men’s 400 metres

The first track event of the Diamond League season, this could well be interesting.

LaShawn Merritt could well be the favorite, with other big names such as Luguelin Santos and Isaac Makwala also in action, though it is relatively low-profile Machel Cedenio who is the only man in the field to run under 45 second this season.

Merritt is joined by fellow Americans Tony McQuay and David Verburg, whilst Steven Gardiner will also be racing.

LaShawn Merritt won the silver medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Lintao Zhang)
LaShawn Merritt won the silver medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Lintao Zhang)

Women’s 100 metres

This could be another exciting event at this meeting.

Simone Facey is the fastest athlete in the field this season, but is up against the likes of athletics great Veronica Campbell Brown and world silver medalist Dafne Schippers in this race.

Americans Tori Bowie, Mikele Barber and Jeneba Tarmoh are also capable of running fast times, whilst Ivorians Murielle Ahoure and Marie-Josee Ta Lou could also be dangers in this race.

Dafne Schippers at an Indoor event in Glasgow earlier this year (Getty/Dan Mullan)
Dafne Schippers at an Indoor event in Glasgow earlier this year (Getty/Dan Mullan)

Men’s 1500 metres

This event has 15 athletes taking place, with some names to look out for.

Kenya dominates this event and this is evident with eight representatives; the most notable are Robert Biwott, Silas Kiplagat and defending race champion Asbel Kiprop.

Adam Ali Mousab will receive the support from the home crowd, whilst Ethiopians Dawit Wolde and Aman Wote could be threats in the race.

Asbel Kiprop receiving the gold medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Patrick Smith)
Asbel Kiprop receiving the gold medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Patrick Smith)

Women’s 400 metres hurdles

This could be another event to look out for, with some big stars in action.

Last year’s race winner, Zuzana Hejnova, and runner-up, Kaliese Spencer, are the two biggest stars in action, with Americans Cassandra Tate and Tiffany Williams more high profile hurdler in action.

Eilidh Doyle and Wenda Theron Nel could also be threats, whilst Meghan Beesley and Kemi Adekoya are also in action.

Zuzana Hejnova celebrates after winning gold at the World Championships last year (Getty/Ian Walton)
Zuzana Hejnova celebrates after winning gold at the World Championships last year (Getty/Ian Walton)

Men’s 3000 metre steeplechase

This is the largest event of the day, with 18 athletes in action.

Kenya dominates this event, and this is clearly shown by the 11 athletes in action that the country has in this event. People to look out for include Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi, defending champion Jairus Birech, Paul Koech and Conseslus Kipruto.

Morocco has three athletes in action, with Hamid Ezzine, Hicham Segueni and Brahim Taleb all set to take part, whilst Mohammed Ismail Ibrahim could be another strong competitor.

Ezekiel Kemboi after winning the gold medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Lintao Zhang)
Ezekiel Kemboi after winning the gold medal at the World Championships last year (Getty/Lintao Zhang)

Men’s Triple Jump

This has been another interesting event over the past couple of seasons, and the dominant force, Christian Taylor, will be in action.

Another star in action will be Teddy Tamgho who, like Taylor, has jumped over 18 metres, whilst Leevan Sands and Nathan Douglas could also be threats.

Alexis Copello, Bin Dong, Samyr Laine, Tosin Oke and Roman Valiyev will also be in action.

Christian Taylor became the second longest jumper of all time at the World Championships last year (Getty/Ian Walton)
Christian Taylor became the second longest jumper of all time at the World Championships last year (Getty/Ian Walton)

Women’s Javelin

This is usually an open event, so this could be a tight competition.

Perhaps the three favorites will be Sunette Viljoen, Martina Ratej and Katharina Molitor; All three have had success at big tournaments in the past. Huihui Liu will also be tough to beat.

Brittany Borman will be in action for America whilst Canadian Elizabeth Gleadle is also going to be in action, with Kathryn Mitchell and Madara Palameika also in action.

Huihui Liu, Katherine Mollitor and Sunette Viljeon pose with their medals at the World Championships last year (Getty/Patrick Smith)
Huihui Liu, Katherine Molitor and Sunette Viljeon pose with their medals at the World Championships last year (Getty/Patrick Smith)

Men’s 200 metres

One of the most anticipated events on the athletics circuit, this will get a lot interest and there are some known names set to race this friday.

One of the lesser known names, Ameer Webb, has the fastest season best in the race, though is up against names such as Nickel Ashmeade and Churandy Martina. Also in action are Walter Dix and Alonso Edward.

Another American, Isiah Young, is also set to race whilst Femi Ogunode and Lykourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas will also be in action.

Nickel Ashmeade during the relay heats at the World Championships last year (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)
Nickel Ashmeade during the relay heats at the World Championships last year (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)

Women’s 800 metres

This event has provided plenty of tight races over the past few seasons, and this could be another tight affair to start the Diamond League season.

Perhaps the biggest star, and fastest women this year in the field, is Caster Semenya, with Eunice Sum another favorite for the tournament. Fellow Kenyan Winny Chebet could also be a danger.

Americans Chanelle Price and Molly Ludlow will also be racing, as will Britons Adelle Tracey and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke. Malika Akkaoui, Habitam Alemu, Sofia Ennaoui and Anastasiya Lebid will also be racing.

Caster Semenya celebrates after winning silver at the London Olympics (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)
Caster Semenya celebrates after winning silver at the London Olympics (Getty/Alexander Hassenstein)

Men’s 110 metres hurdles

This has been another strong event over the past couple of seasons, and some of the biggest stars are going to be in action; this could well be an exciting race.

Defending race champion David Oliver will be in action, as will world record holder Aries Merritt. Orlando Ortega will also be in action, as well as Jamaica's Hansle Parchment and Omar Mcleod.

The field is completed by Dimitri Bascou, Spencer Adams and Antonio Alkana.

David Oliver celebrates winning gold at the Pan American Games last summer (Getty/Ezra)
David Oliver celebrates winning gold at the Pan American Games last summer (Getty/Ezra Shaw)

Women’s 3000 metres

The final Diamond League event of the night, this event is another with a very strong field.

The standout names are Mercy Cherono and Vivian Cheruiyot, with other recognizable names including Mimi Belete, Gelete Burka and Almaz Ayana.

In total, 18 athletes will compete in this race.

Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates after winning gold in the 10,000 metres at the World Championships (Getty/Michael Steele)
Vivian Cheruiyot celebrates after winning gold in the 10,000 metres at the World Championships (Getty/Michael Steele)
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