DOHA, Qatar – Beijing world sprint champions Allyson Felix and Dafne Schippers have been scheduled for a tasty clash over 100m at the 2016 opening IAAF Diamond League – Doha 2016 – on 6 May, meeting organizers have revealed.
The pair were both outstanding throughout last season, with Dutch sprint queen Schippers winning the women’s 200m title at the IAAF World Championships and Felix landing the 400m crown at the same event.
This will be the sixth meeting between the two of the world’s best sprinters, with Schippers, who won the last battle against Felix – 22.12 to 22.22 – at the Brussels Diamond League last September, leading the head-to-head series 3-2.
“It will be a great early season test three months before the Olympic Games,” Felix, who has won 11 crowns in Doha, admitted.
“The conditions in Doha are always just about ideal, and the competition very strong.”
The field will also include Jamaican and Caribbean sprint queen Veronica Campbell-Brown, who owns a PB of 10.76 secs over the 100m and has won back-to-back 200m titles at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
American champion and the 2015 world 100m bronze medallist, Tori Bowie, who has a 100m PB of 10.80 seconds and 2013 world silver medallist over 100m and 200m, Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast who has a quick 10.81 PB for the shorter event, are also included in the line-up.
This is way Schippers will not only be focusing on Felix in a race that is slowly shaping up be among the most anticipated events at this year’s opening Diamond League competition.
“I am really looking forward to running against Allyson, one of the best sprinters of all-time,” said Schippers.
“As always, though, the entire field will be very strong.”
She added: “I have heard so many great things about Doha, about the competition and about the fast track.”
Meanwhile, when she steps on the track for the DL opener, Felix, who owns the meet record with the 10.92 secs she ran in 2012, will go in search of her fourth 100m title at the Qatar Sports Club track, and her 12th victory overall at the venue, which includes five straight in the 400m from 2007 to 2011 and three over the 200m.
In fact, the American holds the meeting record for all three events, with her 21.98 for 200m and 49.83 over 400m adding to her 100m best mark.
She owns a personal best of 10.89 secs for the 100m.
In the men’s 200m, Alonso Edward, Panama’s two-time Diamond Race winner will line-up alongside Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade, who won in Doha in 2014 and local favourite Femi Ogunode.
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL