Less than one month remains for the IAAF Doha Diamond League 2015. The Qatari capital will play host to IAAF’s one-day meet series kick-off act for a sixth successive season, nevertheless the inauguration of the Doha international meeting is dated back to 1997. Throughout all these 18 years of action, several brilliant performances, record-breaking attempts and fantastic head to head clashes have taken place.
The high level of competition each season has led to many meet, area and national record breaking performances, while numerous world leads and personal bests have been written down to IDL Doha’s book of records. A close look at the meet records’ history in all IDL Doha 2015 16 disciplines will travel us back in time and will work as a perfect warm-up for the 2015 edition which will staged on May 15 at Qatar Sports Club’s arena.
100m – Olusoji A. Fasuba (Nigeria) 9.85
Nigeria’s Fasuba ran what it was and still remains an African record to win the meeting in 2006. Ironically Fasuba, 22 in 2006, who was clocked 9.93 in his heat race a couple of hours before the final, never dipped under 10 seconds again. 2015 entrant and hot favourite Justin Gatlin came close to break the record in 2012 but the clock stopped at 9.87. Jamaica’s Asafa Powell finished in 9.81 in 2012 only to see the wind exceed the speed limit by just 0.3 m/sec. He was even faster in the heat (9.75) but his was once more aided by strong winds (2.6).
800m – David Lekuta Rudisha (Kenya) 1:43.00
Three times the winner in Doha came close of breaking the 1:43 barrier, but the record still stands at 1:43.00 set by Rudisha in 2010. The Kenyan meet record holder just missed out in 2012, the year he broke the world record, but the clock stopped at 1:43.10, the third fastest time ever recorded in Doha ebehind Abubaker Kaki’s 1:43.09 in 2009. The Kenyans have won overall eight times in Doha. Last year Ethiopia’ Mohamed Aman beat Botswana’s Nijel Amos in thrilling a non-scoring race but the pace was much slower (1:44.49).
3000m – Yenew Alamirew (Ethiopia) 7:27.26
A fantastic 3000m race in 2011 saw four runners clocking below 7:30. Alamirew’s 7:27.26 is a Diamond League record and ranks him ninth in the all-time list, one place above Edwin Cheruiyot Soi, who was second in the same race with 7:27.55 and three higher than Eliud Kipchoge, third in the 2011 race with 7:27.66. Three more times the winner in Doha broke the 7:30 barrier: Kipchoge in 2006 with 7:28.56 and in 2009 with 7:28.37 and Isaac Kiprono Songok in 2006, with a time of 7:28.98. Overall Kenyan leads the winning charts with 11 victories to Ethiopia’s 3.
400m Hurdles – Louis J. Van Zyl (South Africa) 48.11
With the addition of Van Zyl’s 48.11 performance in 2011, which eclipsed Bryan Bronson’s 48.33 record set in 1998, all 2015 running disciplines’ records are owned by Africans. Qatar has celebrated one victory with former World junior champion Mubarak Al Nubi. Van Zyl, also a past World Junior Championships winner has won twice in Doha (2008, 2011), as has USA’s Bershawn Jackson (2006, 2010) and Bronson (1997, 1998). Overall the Americans have won five times in Doha, but the first sub 48 secs time is still pending.
Pole Vault - Konstantinos Filippidis (Greece) & Malte Mohr (Germany) 5.82
The event was not held from 1999 until 2010, but since it returned to the programme the record, owned by the great Sergey Bubka with 5.80 since 1998, fell twice in as many meetings: by Mohr in 2011 with 5.81, and by Filippidis and Mohr in 2013 with 5.82. For the Greek his performance was a new national record and still remains his best outdoor mark (has jumped 5.83 indoors). The Doha residents though have seen a +6m vault by Australia’s Steven Hooker at the 2010 World Indoor Championships. Hooker jumped 6.01 to strike gold.
Triple Jump – Teddy Tamgho (France) 17.49
The names of the last three Doha winners (Copello, Tamgho, Taylor) can be found in 2015’s line-up. Tamgho’s memories upon his third Doha visit are as sweet as they can get. In 2010 he won the World Indoor Championships title with 17.90, a new world record and in 2011 he beat Alexis Copello’s 17.47 meeting record with a 17.49 leap. Retired Grenada’s Randy Lewis has competed seven times in nine competitions Triple Jump was held in Doha and managed to win once in 2008 with a wind assisted 17.44 leap.
Shot Put – Ryan Whiting (USA) 22.28
Whiting produced a massive 22.28 tosh in 2013 to smash compatriot Christian Cantwell’s 21.81 record set in 2010. The mark still remains Whiting’s personal best and placed him 12th in the all-time list. The Americans seem to rule with 6 wins out of 11 Shot Put competitions in Doha. Canada’s Dylan Armstrong was the only one to interrupt in 2011 their undefeated streak in Doha since 2005. Reese Hoffa has competed 7 times and has registered four consecutive wins (2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009). He was also 2nd in 2011 and 3rd in 2010 and 2013.
Javelin Throw – Andreas Thorkildsen (Norway) 90.13
Thorkildsen managed in 2006 his first of a total number of eight +90m throws in Doha and begun a four-year reign (2006-2009) in Qatar. No one was able to challenge him, not even the great Jan Zelezny. The world record holder ended his awesome career without a single Doha win (2nd in 2006 at age 40 and 4th in 2004), but two fellow countrymen, Petr Frydrych and Vitezslav Vesely, who Zelezny personally trains, won the last two meets, with the best “non- Thorkildsen” throws in Doha: 85.32 in 2011 by Frydrych and 85.09 in 2013 by Vesely.
200m - Ionela Tirlea-Manolache (Romania) 22.35
Tirlea-Manolache holds since 1999, when the 200m were first held, the meeting’s bests in both the 200m and the 400m Hurdles - the oldest Doha records. The Romanian never got even close to her 22.35 clocking again throughout her career. Despite several great athletes from USA and Jamaica competed in the following years, like Allyson Felix, Kerron Stewart and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the record remains unbroken. Stewart ran 22.34 in 2010 but she was aided by an illegal 3.0 m/sec tailwind. USA leads 4-3 Jamaica in the overall winning record.
400m - Allyson Felix (USA) 49.83
In 2013 Allyson Felix lost her five-race unbeaten run to Botswana’s Amantle Montsho in the one-lap event in Doha, but held off her 49.83 record set in 2008, by just five hundreds of a second. Montsho’s 49.88 clocking was only the second sub 50 seconds time recorder in Doha. For Felix 49.83 is her fourth best 400m run ever, while her five successive wins (2007-2011) puts USA on top on the list with the most successful nations in the distance.
1500m – Abeba Aregawi (Sweden) 3:56.60
Since 1998 when the 1500m race was first introduced in Doha, no one had ever come near to break the 4-minute barrier, until 2013, when Ethiopia-born Aregawi crossed the line in 3:56.60 the third best 1500m clocking in the wordl since September 2006. The time was only 6/100 shy of Aregawi’s personal best and the 2013 top performance in the world. In the same race Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon set a new African Junior record with 3:56.98 and Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba ran 3:57.54 - the second and third fastest 2013 times respectively.
3000m Steeplechase – Lidya Chepkurui (Kenya) 9:13.75
A mediocre 9:28.50 meeting record standing since 2005 was tumbled twice recently, firstly by Kenya’s Milcah Chemos in 2011 with 9:16.44 and in 2013 by her compatriot Lidya Chepkurui with 9:13.75, a personal best. The latter bettered her record three months later when second at the Moscow World Championships behind Chemos. Kenya is the most successful nation with four wins in Doha (Jeruto Kiptum in 2006 and Ruth Bosibori Nyangau in 2009 scored the other two), while Romania’s Cristina Casandra, the 2004 winner, has competed in seven of eight races held in Doha.
100m Hurdles – Priscilla Lopes-Schliep (Canada) 12.52
On five past occasions the 100m Hurdles winner was decided with a time between 12.52 and 12.60. The fastest since 1998, when the event was first held, had been Canada’s Lopes. The record still stays on despite hard pressure being put by Kellie Wells (12.58 in 2011), Brigitte Ann Foster-Hylton (12.60 in 2012) and Dawn Harper-Nelson (12.60 in 2013). Three-time winner
(2004-2006) Jamaica’s Delloreen Ennis finished in 12.51 in 2004, but assisted by a slightly illegal wind (2.1). Jamaica leads the winning record with 7 wins, to USA’s 4.
High Jump – Blanka Vlasic (Croatia) 2.05
Twelve times in her career Vlasic has jumped 2.05 or higher. In Doha she set the meeting record in 2009 with 2.05 in her third of a total four (successive) wins between 2007 and 2010. The event was not contested since 2010, due to the rise of local hero Mutaz Barshim in men’s High Jump. Vlasic who only lost once in Doha in 2006 on countback to Sweden’s Kajsa Bergqvist, is the only one who has cleared 2m or higher in Doha. Spain’s Ruth Beitia has taken part seven times with second place in 2004 being her best result.
Long Jump – Brittney Reese (USA) 7.25
Reese’s 7.25 set in 2013 in her second Doha win after 2009, is not only the meeting record, but also a Diamond League record, a personal best, and the world’s longest leap since August 2004. Only Russia’s Oksana Udmurtova has jumped beyond 7m before in Doha (7.02 in 2006). The Americans have won the last three Long Jump competitions, twice with Reese and once with Funmi Jimoh (2011), but Russia still leads with four victories: Udmortova’s, Tatyana Kotova’s in 2002 and 2008 and Tayana Lebedeva’s in 2005.
Discus Throw – Sandra Perkovic (Croatia) 68.23
Perkovic smashed in 2013 the oldest Doha meeting record - Elina Zvereva’s 66.42, which stood since 1998. Despite her dominance in recent years, Perkovic’s other Doha appearance, in 2010, ended with third place behind Cuba’s Yarelis Barios and Australia’s Dani Samuels with a modest 62.33 throw. The event is rarely being held in Qatar, as this year will be only the seventh time since 1998. Russia’s Natalya Sadova has won twice in 2004 and 2005 and Czech Republic’s Vera Pospisilova-Cechlova in 2002.
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