Doha, Qatar – - A number of high-profiled athletes will make their appearances when the opening Samsung Diamond League meeting kicks-off in Doha on Friday.
Amongst the super stars down to compete are Jamaicans Asafa Powell, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce and Kerron Stewart, Americans Justin Gatlin, Allyson Felix and Walter Dix, Kenya’s David Rudisha as well as Meserat Defar and Vivian Cheruyiot of Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively.
Powell v Gatlin in Doha
After pulling out of the weekend’s Jamaica Invitational, former world record holder Powell will take on a competitive field in the men’s 100m.
The Jamaican was scheduled to race against Yohan Blake over the 200m, but a sore groin forced him to skip the home meeting.
But in Doha, Powell will come head-to-head with long-time rival Gatlin, the reigning world indoor 60m champion.
The super field will also include Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Lerone Clarke, as well as USA’s Darvis Patton and Mike Rodgers.
Campbell-Brown To Get Season Underway
In the women’s race, back-to-back world indoor 60m champion Campbell-Brown will open her outdoor season after delaying the schedule a meeting.
The reigning two-time Olympic 200m champion will have the company of Felix, Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce, Sherone Simpson and Stewart, who recently ran 10.98 to finish third in Kingston.
Felix and Campbell-Brown are old rivals over the 200m, but the latter is looking forward to meeting her American friend in the shorter distant.
“Competing against Allyson always brings the best out of me,” Campbell-Brown said. “I will also be looking to see how my technique is going.”
Other To Fields
There are also highly competitive fields assembled for the men’s 200m and 400m events.
American Dix headlines the men’s 200m, while reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt, his American countryman Calvin Smith and Great Britain’s Martyn Rooney top the men’s 400m field.
In other events on the track, Defar and Cheruyiot, who are stepping up their preparations for the London Olympics, meet in the women’s 3000m, while world champion and world record holder Rudisha of Kenya highlights the men’s 800m field.
Rudisha leads the world with a time of 1:44.33, achieved in March in an early opener in Melbourne, and he’s tipped to improve the mark on Friday.
The women’s field will see Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo, who is also the world indoor champion, going up against fellow Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei, who is a former World champion.
Fresh from her 12.51 performance in Kingston, Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica takes her form overseas to race in the women’s 100m hurdles, while Olympic champion and fellow Jamaican Melaine Walker goes into the women’s 400m hurdles as the favourite.
In field event line-ups, world champion Jesse Williams will go in the men’s high jump against Mickael Hanany of France and Cech Republic’s Jaroslav Baba, while Italian Andrew Howe and South African Godfrey Mokoena are listed in the long jump.