Diamond League starts in style in Doha

Amantle Montsho puts an end to Allyson Felix’s winning streak in Doha, as world junior cross country champion Hagos Gebrhiwet issues a warning in the 3000m

Montsho edges Felix in 400m Doha DL

A total of 11 world-leading marks and seven meeting records saw the Diamond League season start in style on Friday, with world 400m champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana, world 800m record-holder and London 2012 champion David Rudisha and world junior cross country champion Hagos Gebrhiwet among those victorious in Doha.

The year is young and world leads were always going to be there for the taking, but fans didn’t have to wait long to witness the first of the evening. The action kicked-off with the women’s discus where Croatian Olympic champion Sandra Perković broke the 15-year-old meeting record with 67.37m on her first throw to take her straight to the top of the world rankings.

Setting the bar high, none of her competitors were able to get close to her opening mark and she further extended her dominance with a final throw of 68.23m to win the competition. A throw of 63.92m from Zinaida Sendriute of Lithuania in the second round was enough to secure her silver, ahead of Germany’s Anna Rüh who finished third with 63.01m.

“I am very happy with the beginning of my season,” commented Perković. “I was out for a month so I was a little nervous. The atmosphere was great. My target now is the world title.”

Reese soars to 13th on world all-time list

Following in Perković’s world-leading meet record-breaking footsteps was fellow London 2012 gold medallist Brittney Reese. Having to contend with some fairly strong winds, the American long jumper didn’t get off to the best of starts. After fouling twice, Reese pulled out a jump of 7.04m to stay in the competition, before soaring to a world-leading 7.25m for a meeting record that also saw her to 13th on the world all-time list.

It was second-placed Blessing Okagbare who started the stronger, the Nigerian jumping a wind-assisted 7.14m (2.2m/s) to take the lead after her second jump to finish ahead of American Janay DeLoach-Soukup with a wind-assisted 7.08m. A jump of 6.82m from Britain’s Shara Proctor secured her sixth place in the competition, along with an ‘A’ qualifier for the Moscow World Championships.

It was also a PB, world lead and meeting record all in one for American Ryan Whiting in the shot as he followed up his win in Kingston on Saturday by throwing 22.28m in the fifth round in Doha to move to 12th on the world all-time list.

A South American record of 21.26m for Argentine Germán Lauro was more than enough to secure him second place, while American Reese Hoffa’s 21.01m to come from his first throw of the competition saw him place third. Double Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland failed to break 20m, finishing down in sixth with 19.96m.

Bondarenko sees off local hero Barshim

In the high jump, Bogdan Bondarenko was the surprise winner as he recorded an equal meeting record of 2.33m. Local hero Mutaz Barshim finished second with 2.30m while Russia’s Aleksandr Shustov was third with 2.27m. Britain’s Robbie Grabarz later admitted he had “a knee to my own face and a split lip” to show for the evening’s efforts, which saw him place fourth with 2.24m. He wasn’t the only casualty, as fellow Brit Samson Oni, who placed 11th with 2.19m, also required medical attention, and tweeted: “I’m hoping I haven’t completely snapped my tendon. If so this is not going to go down well. In hospital getting X-ray.”

Greek pole vaulter Kostadinos Fillippidis clearance of 5.82m saw him secure a world-lead, meeting record and national record mark equal to that of second-placed Malte Mohr from Germany. Mohr’s compatriot Raphael Holzdeppe was third with 5.70m. While in the javelin, Olympic and world junior champion Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago couldn’t make 80m, finishing sixth with 79.79m. Czech athlete Vítězslav Veselý stepped up to take victory with 85.09m, while Finland’s Tero Pitkämäki (82.18m) was second and Norway’s double Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen third with 81.51m.

Green takes tumble in 400m hurdles

The first event on track saw further disappointment for British 400m hurdler Jack Green who seemed to suffer a similar fate to that of the London 2012 Olympics when he clipped a hurdle and suffered a fall. Following a strong start he pulled up around the top bend and later tweeted: “”Now I have a long flight home to reflect on what went wrong. Joy!”

American Justin Gaymon also took a tumble, while his compatriot Bershawn Jackson also clattered the final hurdle, clearing the way for world-leader Michael Tinsley to capitalise on the error and take victory in 48.92 ahead of Jackson and South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks who crossed in 49.12 and 49.35 respectively.

Women’s hurdles action saw an American one-two-three  as Dawn Harper improved on her own world-leading mark set in Kingston on Saturday to cross the line in 12.60 for victory ahead of Kellie Wells (12.73) and Queen Harrison (12.74), with Britain’s Tiffany Porter recording an identical time for fourth.

Montsho wins 400m clash

With the likes of Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix, world 400m champion Montsho of Botswana and Olympic silver medallist Christine Ohuruogu all contesting the women’s 400m it was always going to be a tough one to call. In the end Montsho put an end to Felix’s winning streak at the meet, crossing the line in a world-leading 49.88 to prevent the three-time London 2012 gold medallist from making it 11 wins out of 11 in Doha. Ohuruogu never really seemed comfortable and held back before powering through on the final straight, however her time of 50.53 was her second-fastest ever mark in a pre-championship meet and certainly seems a signal of things to come.

Speaking afterwards Montsho said: “The fans helped me run this fast, and it’s a great way to start the season. I am confident I can run below 49 seconds and retain my World Championship title in Moscow.”

The women’s 1500m was an exciting affair which saw an expected battle between Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi and her former compatriot, Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba. With the pair level with Kenyan Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon at the bell, Aregawi kicked on the final straight to pull away from a tiring Dibaba who was pipped into third by world junior champion Kipyegon. Aregawi’s 3:56.60 was the first meeting record of the evening recorded on the track, with Kipyegon smashing her 4:03.82 PB by crossing the line in 3:56.98 and Dibaba also breaking the previous meet record with 3:57.54.

Rudisha reigns supreme in 800m

The men’s 800m was another highly anticipated race, with Rudisha going up against the likes of fellow Kenyan Timothy Kitum, the Olympic bronze medallist, and Ethiopian Mohammed Aman, who is the only athlete to have successfully challenged Rudisha over the last couple of seasons.

Looking fairly comfortable throughout, the Olympic champion saved himself for the kick and he had to work hard at the end. He held on to claim victory in a world-leading 1:43.87 ahead of Aman (1:44.21) who very much made his presence felt and proved he means business over the two-lap event. Kenya’s Job Kinyor finished third in 1:44.24 while Britain’s Michael Rimmer achieved the 800m World Championship ‘A’ qualifying standard by clocking1:44.97 for sixth.

A strong final kilometre from Kenyan Lidya Chepkurui in the women’s 3000m steeplechase helped her to a meeting record in a world-leading time of 9:13.75 in what was otherwise a race of quite a sedate pace. Ethiopians Sofia Assefa (9:14.61) and Hiwot Ayalew (9:17.60) followed her home.

Gatlin victorious in 100m as Gebrhiwet dominates 3000m

In the women’s 200m double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce handled the bend well for a comfortable win in 22.48. Sherone Simpson made it a Jamaican one-two (22.73), with Myriam Soumare of France in third (22.81). While in the men’s shorter sprint event, all three medallists dipped under 10 seconds and despite a slightly untidy race Olympic 100m bronze medallist  Justin Gatlin dipped to take the win in 9.97 ahead of fellow American Michael Rodgers in second and Jamica’s Nesta Carter third, both crossing in 9.99.

The final event on track made sure the evening ended on a high with world junior cross country champion Gebrhiwet sending a warning to Mo Farah as he destroyed the 3000m field with a sub-54 last lap for the tenth world leading performance of the evening. The Ethiopian finished in 7:30.36 ahead of Kenya’s Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa (7:32.01) and fellow Ethiopian Yenew Alamirew (7:32.64).

Triple jump action saw Olympic and world champion Christian Taylor, who recently moved to train under his coach Rana Reider in the UK, leap to victory with 17.25m off a shortened approach. Benjamin Compaoré of France finished second with 17.06m ahead of Russia’s Alexey Fedorov with 16.85m.

» You can find full results from Doha here

Leave a Reply