Mo Farah, Allyson Felix and Justin Gatlin among athletes in action as the IAAF Diamond League returns for 2015
The Diamond League series again gets underway in the Qatari capital in 2015, with Britain’s double Olympic, world and European champion Mo Farah among the top names in action in Doha on Friday (May 15).
The men’s 3000m brings down the curtain on the meeting and promises to be the highlight of the night as Farah faces one of his toughest ever propositions in a grand prix event.
He is up against seven men who have run quicker than his PB of 7:36.85, including Yenew Alamirew, Hagos Gebrhiwet, Thomas Longosiwa, Imane Merga and Edwin Soi.
Asked at the pre-event press conference whether breaking Mohammed Mourhit’s European record of 7:26.62 set in 2000 is possible, Farah said: “It is possible but at the same time you’ve got to respect the guys and race instead of go for times.”
He added: “Training has been going well and I wanted to come here and test myself.”
As controversial as Justin Gatlin may be, the twice convicted doper was a class apart in the sprints last year. Here he will be in action against the likes of Britain’s James Dasaolu, Jamaica’s Nesta Carter and American Michael Rodgers.
Gatlin will look to continue a 15-race winning streak on Friday and said: “Doha is the tone-setter for the season. Doha has always been a special place for me. Hopefully we’re going to see a good time, some special times, coming out of that race.”
Britain’s Tiffany Porter has been in great form this season and in the 100m hurdles she goes against the only woman who has run quicker than her 12.56, American new find Jasmin Stowers. Olympic champion Sally Pearson and Beijing 2009 winner Dawn Harper-Nelson add to a stunning field.
Commenting on Stowers’ recent 12.39 clocking, Pearson said: “Obviously very impressed. I’m looking forward to racing her.”
Jack Green continues his comeback and contests the 400m hurdles as part of a field also including the likes of LJ van Zyl, Felix Sanchez, Javier Culson and Bershawn Jackson.
Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo is in triple jump action following his world leading 17.94m last Friday. He faces the likes of USA’s Olympic champion Christian Taylor and France’s world champion Teddy Tamgho.
The women’s long jump comprises two Brits, Shara Proctor and Lorraine Ugen, facing 2014 world No.1 Tianna Bartoletta.
Max Eaves makes his overseas Diamond League debut in a pole vault competition missing world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie who has been forced to withdraw after injuring his shoulder when he fell at the finish line in a 4x100m relay event.
Other Brits taking part are high jumper Isobel Pooley and sprinter Bianca Williams, who runs against Allyson Felix in the 200m.
Mohammed Aman and Asbel Kiprop in the 800m, Sanya Richards-Ross in the 400m, Abebe Aregawi and Sifan Hassan in the 1500m and Sandra Perkovic in the discus are also part of what promises to be a great start to the Diamond League season.
» A timetable and entry lists can be found here. Fans in the UK can catch the action live on British Eurosport 2 from 5pm on Friday, while there will also be a highlights programme on BBC One from 1pm on Saturday