Thirteen reigning Olympic champions and ten current World Champions have already confirmed their presence at this year’s IAAF Diamond League in Doha.
Of the more than a dozen Olympic champions who are expected to shine at Qatar Sports Club on May 15, two will compete in sprinting events: Nesta Carter, who was a member of the great Jamaican squad which triumphed at both the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2013 World Championships in Moscow as well, and Allyson Felix who won three golds in London - one in the 200m, the only medal that eluded her collection, a second in the 4X400m and a third with the world record breaking 4X100m US squad. A member of this golden team was also the multi-talented Tianna Bartoletta, who elected to enter the Long Jump in Doha. Two members of the other American women’s team which won the 4X400m relay along with Felix, Francena McCorory and Sanya Richards-Ross will also come to Doha.
The middle and long distance running events feature Britain’s Mo Farah in one of his rare Diamond League appearances. Farah won the 5000m as well as the 10,000m in London and Moscow, a unique feat which puts him among athletics greatest runners of all-time. In Doha, Farah will enter the 3000m, but it’s not a secret that his potential and talent is adequate enough to place him on pole position in all races from the 1500m up to Marathon.
Evergreen twice Olympic Games winner (2004 and 2012) Felix Sanchez from the Dominican Republic and Australia’s former IAAF Athlete of the Year Sally Pearson will line-up in the 400m Hurdles and 100m Hurdles respectively.
France’s Renaud Lavillenie, the world record holder in Pole Vault and IAAF Athlete of the Year 2014, leads a group of Olympic champions in jumping. Others at the star-studded Doha meeting are triple jumper Christian Taylor and long jumper Brittney Reese, both from USA.
In throwing events the list includes Keshorn Walcott from Trinidad & Tobago, the surprise 2012 Olympic champion in Javelin Throw, and Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic, the undisputed world’s No. 1 in Discus Throw.
Apart from Carter, Farah, Perkovic and Reese who hold both the Olympic and the World title, other 2013 World Champions named on the start list are: Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop (1500m), Germans Raphael Holzdeppe (Pole Vault) and David Storl (Shot Put), France’s Teddy Tamgho (Triple Jump), Czech Vitezslav Vesely (Javelin Throw) and Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi in the women’s 1500m.
“IDL Doha 2015 will once again be a marvelous athletics experience for everyone involved: the athletes, the officials, the members of the organising committee, the volunteers and of course the spectators.
“We always keep our promise to bring to our State the world’s best athletes and this is exactly what we are doing this year as well, despite the inevitable disadvantage – comparing to other meetings – of staging our event in early May. Nevertheless, all the athletes are well aware that in Doha they will relish the famous Qatari hospitality and will enjoy our state-of-the-art facilities,” says the President of the Qatar Athletics Federation Mr. Dahlan Al Hamad.
If we put all past and reigning Olympic and World Champions in the mix, then IDL Doha 2015 may boast of featuring 16 Olympic Games winners and 25 World Championships gold medallists.
Former Olympic champions included are Justin Gatlin (USA – 100m), Nelson Evora (Portugal – Triple Jump) and Dawn Harper-Nelson (USA – 100m Hurdles).
Previous world champions listed are Kim Collins (Saint Kitts & Nevis – 100m), Justin Gatlin (100m & 200m), Bershawn Jackson (USA – 400m Hurdles), Felix Sanchez (400m Hurdles), Nelson Evora (Triple Jump), Christian Taylor (Triple Jump), Christian Cantwell (USA – Shot Put), Reese Hoffa (USA – Shot Put), Tero Pitkamaki (Finland – Javelin Throw), Allyson Felix (200m & 4X100m), Francena McCorory (4X400m), Sanya Richards-Ross (400m & 4X400m), Sally Pearson (100m Hurdles), Tianna Bartoletta (Long Jump) and Dani Samuels (Australia – Discus Throw).
In addition 11 athletes who won the 2015 Diamond Race and 12 season winners from previous years will entertain all those athletics fans who will be lucky enough to secure a ticket for the IDL kick-off meeting and the millions of TV viewers who will watch the grand opening of the outdoor season.
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