Christian Taylor at the 2016 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha (© Hasse Sjogren)
Further global athletics stars have confirmed that they will open their 2017 IAAF Diamond League seasons in Doha, setting up an unmissable start to the 14-meeting series on 5 May at Qatar Sports Club.
Olympic champions Christian Taylor and Kerron Clement will be among 10 global medallists that will star in the men’s triple jump, 400m hurdles and 100m.
Taylor vs Claye vs Dong
The men’s triple jump promises yet another exciting competition when all three Olympic medallists – Taylor, Will Claye and Dong Bin – meet again.
The USA’s Taylor has been in unstoppable form over recent years and last year became the youngest back-to-back winner of Olympic triple jump titles. The world champion has won the past five successive Diamond Race titles in the event and will be looking to win his third Doha Diamond League crown.
Taylor’s main challenges will come from teammate Claye, who finished runner-up to Taylor at the 2016 and 2012 Olympic Games, and China’s Dong, the world indoor champion who jumped just one centimetre short of the Asian record in Rio to claim the bronze.
Gatlin vs De Grasse in the 100m
The men’s 100m also promises to set Qatar Sports Club alive with a thrilling line-up that features sprint legends and rising stars.
Justin Gatlin, whose silver in Rio saw the then 34-year-old become the oldest man ever to win an Olympic 100m medal, will face fierce competition from 22-year-old sprint sensation Andre de Grasse of Canada, who claimed 200m silver and 100m bronze at the 2016 Games to add to his 2015 World Championships bronze.
Also challenging will be former world record-holder, Olympic 4x100m champion and last year’s Diamond Race winner Asafa Powell, six-time Olympian and 2003 world champion Kim Collins, and Qatar’s Asian record-holder Femi Ogunode.
Samba to challenge Clement in 400m hurdles
There will be further Qatari action in the men’s 400m hurdles when new sensation Abderrahman Samba lines up against Olympic champion Kerron Clement of the USA and Olympic silver medallist Bonface Mucheru of Kenya.
The 21-year-old Samba stunned the world in South Africa just last week when he ran a world-leading time and a huge personal best of 48.31 in just his third race at this distance. Clement’s Olympic victory ended a seven-year wait between his last global success which came at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin. Clement also won the 2007 world title in Osaka and silver at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and was touted as the man to dominate his event for a generation before injury hampered his progress. However, Clement came back with a vengeance last year with further victory in the 2016 Diamond Race, and an exciting season awaits with the IAAF World Championships London 2017 on the horizon.
Organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar
5 May – Doha, QAT
13 May – Shanghai, CHN
27 May – Eugene, USA
8 Jun – Rome, ITA
15 Jun – Oslo, NOR
18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
1 Jul – Paris, FRA
6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI
9 Jul – London, GBR
16 Jul – Rabat, MAR
21 Jul – Monaco, MON
20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR
24 Aug – Zurich, SUI
1 Sep – Brussels, BEL