Allyson Felix after her victory in the 2012 Samsung Diamond League in Doha (© Jiro Mochizuki)
At the IAAF Diamond League meeting on 10 May 10 at Qatar Sports Club, spectators will witness thrilling face-to-face battles in most of the events; and there will be at least seven duels that will be hard to forget.
Asbel Kiprop vs Silas Kiplagat, 1500m, H2H 5-8
Reigning World Champion Kiprop is taller than Kiplagat and uses longer strides but he has often been weaker in tactical races. Kiplagat, the 2011 IAAF World Championships silver medalist, has the upper hand in their head-to-head comparison, having won in their last five encounters.
Key point: Determination. They are equally fast and experienced, so it is up to who wants it more.
Hagos Gebrhiwet vs Thomas Longosiwa, 3000m, H2H 2-1
Gebrhiwet took everyone by surprise last season when he registered extremely fast times and broke the World junior record while. Longoshiwa fulfilled his long-awaited ambitions with London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medal over 5000m.
Key point: If the race goes really fast, Longosiwa’s chances appear slim. In a tactical race he might be more dangerous.
Tomasz Majewski vs Christian Cantwell, Shot Put, H2H 16-31
Cantwell recorded the best distance in 2012 with 22.31m while Majewski won the Olympic title. The American has not reached the podium at an outdoor major championship since 2009, but he is more consistent at Diamond League meetings.
Key point: Majewski is a championship specialist and usually doesn’t find his best form as early as May.
David Rudisha vs Mohamed Aman, 800m, H2H 4-2
Rudisha is far more experienced than Aman, but the Ethiopian has twice in recent years found a way to beat his famous rival. Rudisha traditionally goes in front and ignores the pacemakers, while Aman usually sits and waits.
Key point: Can Aman follow Rudisha’s pace? If he succeeds then he might cause a surprise.
Allyson Felix vs Amantle Montsho, 400m, H2H 12-2
Felix remains undefeated in Doha but she faces Montsho in the latter’s specialty. The 2011 World champion has one more advantage on her side: she has beaten Felix only twice but that was in their last two meetings.
Key point: History does count. Felix has never been beaten in Doha.
Abeba Aregawi vs Genzebe Dibaba, 1500m, H2H 2-1
The pair will stage a dramatic duel where the chances appear to be are equally shared. Aregawi finished the 2012 season with a personal best more than a second faster than Dibaba and was more than two seconds faster in the 2013 indoor season.
Key point: Aregawi prefers to emulate Rudisha and do the front-running. If Dibaba can follow the pace then she could surprise her.
Dawn Harper vs Lolo Jones, 100m Hurdles, H2H 13-14
London 2012 Olympic Games silver medalist Harper has prevailed in their last seven encounters but the last one at the Drake Relays on April 27 was really close, with Jones trailing her rival by a mere 0.05. Jones is also trying to recover after a tough 2012 campaign and her winter bobsled adventures.
Key point: Harper looks more confident although, in this event, the real obstacle is the… hurdle!
Organisers for the IAAF