Double Olympic Champion Mo Farah to kick-off season in Doha

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Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah will kick off his 2015 IAAF Diamond League campaign at the Doha 2015 meeting on Friday 15 May, organisers announced today.

Farah will headline the 3000 metres contest in the opening leg of the 14-meeting series, marking the 32-year-old Briton’s first appearance in the Doha leg of the Diamond League.

“I’ve heard so many great things about the track, the crowd and the competition in Doha,” said Farah, at the moment considered one of the world’s finest distance runners.

“There are always very strong fields in the distances so this will be a great early season test on the track for me. I’m looking forward to a good performance.” 

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Farah joined a short list of history’s most illustrious runners when he became only the seventh man to claim the 5,000 and 10,000 metres double at the same Games. He replicated his feat a year later at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, becoming only the second to win both titles at the same championships.

Farah, who also claimed the same double distance triumph at the 2010 and 2014 European Championships, also holds continental records on the track over 1500 (3:28.81) and 10,000 metres (26:46.57).

Last weekend, Farah added the half marathon to that record list after his 59:32 victory at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, becoming the first European to break 60 minutes over the distance. Underscoring his exceptional range, that run came just four weeks after he set a world indoor best of 8:03.40 for two miles.

“We are delighted to have one of the greatest current Olympic and world champions at our meeting this year,” said the President of the Qatar Athletics Federation Mr. Dahlan Al Hamad. “Mo Farah’s first appearance in Doha will ensure that our tradition of early season distance racing excellence will continue this year.”

In Doha, Farah will face another strong field where traditional distance running powers Ethiopia and Kenya will continue their fierce Doha rivalry.

Ethiopia will come armed with Hagos Gebrhiwet, the 2013 World Championships silver medallist at 5000m. Gebrhiwet won the Doha 3000m in 2013 when he set his still standing 7:30.36 personal best. He’ll be joined by 24-year-old Yenew Alamirew who set the Doha meeting record of 7:27.26 in 2011, still his career best.

They’ll be backed up by 17-year-old Yomif Kejelcha, the 2013 world youth 3000m champion and 2014 5000m world junior and 3000m Youth Olympic Games champion, who will be representing the upcoming generation.

Leading the Kenyan attack will be Isiah Kiplangat Koech, the 2013 World Championships bronze medallist and a 2012 Olympic finalist. Joining him will be Thomas Longosiwa, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, who will race in Doha for the sixth time.

Another strong Kenyan in the field is 22-year-old Caleb Ndiku, the reigning world indoor 3000m champion and last year’s Diamond Race winner in the 3000/5000m. The field also includes veteran Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist. His personal best of 7:27.55 came on the Doha track when he finished second to Alamirew in 2011.

Others to watch include Albert Rop of Bahrain, the Asian record holder in the 3000m indoors (7:38.77) and 5000m (12:51.96) outdoors.

 

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