Mo Farah wins the 3000m at the London Diamond League (© Mark Shearman)
Double Olympic, world and European 5000m and 10,000m champion Mo Farah will drop down in distance and contest the 3000m at the Doha 2015 meeting, the opening competition of this year’s IAAF Diamond League on Friday 15 May, organisers announced on Tuesday (31).
It will be the 32-year-old Briton’s first appearance at the Doha leg of the IAAF Diamond League.
“I’ve heard so many great things about the track, the crowd and the competition in Doha,” said Farah. “There are always very strong fields in the distances so this will be a great early season test on the track for me. I’m looking forward to a good performance.”
At the London 2012 Olympic Games, Farah joined a short list of history’s most illustrious runners when he became only the seventh man to claim the 5000m and 10,000m double at the same Games.
He replicated this feat a year later at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, becoming only the second to win both titles at the same championship.
Farah also claimed the same double distance triumph at the 2010 and 2014 European Championships, and holds the continental records on the track over 1500m and 10,000m.
Last weekend, Farah added the half marathon record to that list after his 59:32 victory at the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Underscoring his exceptional range, that run came just four weeks after he set a world indoor best of 8:03.40 for two miles.
“We are delighted to have one of the greatest current Olympic and world champions at our meeting this year,” said the President of the Qatar Athletics Federation Dahlan Al Hamad. “Mo Farah’s first appearance in Doha will ensure that our tradition of early season distance racing excellence will continue this year.”
In Doha, Farah will face another strong field replete with runners from the traditionally strong distance running powers Ethiopia and Kenya.
Ethiopia will be represented by Hagos Gebrhiwet, the world 5000m silver medallist.
Gebrhiwet won the Doha 3000m in 2013 when he ran 7:30.36, which is still his personal best.
He’ll be joined by 24-year-old Yenew Alamirew who set the Doha meeting record of 7:27.26 in 2011; like Gebrihiwet, he has yet to run faster over the distance.
They’ll be accompanied by 17-year-old Yomif Kejelcha, the 2013 world youth 3000m and 2014 5000m world junior champion, as well as the 2014 Youth Olympic Games 3000m winner.
Leading the Kenyan contingent will be Isiah Koech, the world 5000m bronze medallist, and Thomas Longosiwa, the Olympic 5000m bronze medallist, and the latter will be racing in Doha for a sixth time.
Another strong Kenyan in the field is 22-year-old Caleb Ndiku, the world indoor 3000m champion and last year’s Diamond Race winner over 3000/5000m.
The field also includes Edwin Soi, the 2008 Olympic 5000m bronze medallist. His personal best of 7:27.55 came on the Doha track as well, when he finished second to Alamirew in 2011.
Adding regional interest, the field will also include Bahrain’s Albert Rop, the Asian record-holder over the 3000m indoors and 5000m outdoors.
Organisers for the IAAF2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September