The first meeting of the 7th IAAF Diamond League series got off to a grand start at the Qatari capital Doha on Friday May 6, 2016. Doha produced 12 world-lead performances highlighted by Tori Bowie’s superb victory in women’s 100m sprint and a strong challenge for women’s triple jump queen Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia. World champion Ibarguen faced the heat from Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas before she could produce her best effort to edge out Rojas. USA’s Sandi Morris equaled women’s DL pole-vault record and another American Ameer Webb won men’s 200m in a DL record time. USA’s LawShawn Merritt began his DL campaign with victory in 400m while there were dominant middle distance running performances by Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop in 1500m and Ethiopian Almaz Ayana in women’s 3000m. Expectedly, Poland’s Piotr Malachowski clinched top honors in discus throw by beating Belgium’s Philip Milanov. USA’s Erik Kynard won the much awaited high jump with a world-lead leap of 2.33m while home favorite Mutaz Barshim couldn’t even cross 2.29m.
In one of inaugural meeting’s signature event at Doha, USA’s Tori Bowie topped the field in women’s 100m. The US champion led a strong field to win in 10.80s for the meeting record and also a world-lead. Bowie was closely challenged by Netherlands’s rising star Dafne Schippers, who ran close to Bowie until 75 meters. However, with 25 meters left, Bowie pulled away to edge out Schippers by 0.03 seconds. Double Olympic 200m champion Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown finished third in 10.91.
The women’s triple jump proved to be an intriguing affair with the Colombian world champion Caterine Ibarguen needing to work extra hard before holding off a spirited challenge from Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, who is the world indoor champion herself. Ibarguen led early at 14.77m, but Rojas surpassed Ibarguen with a 14.79 Venezuelan record in third round. When Ibarguen fouled in her fourth attempt, Rojas looked like taking the cake. However, a fifth-round attempt of 15.04m from Ibarguen settled the issue in her favor. The 32-year old Caterine Ibarguen is eying for the over 20-year old world record in women’s triple jump, set by Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets in August 1995. But Rojas is just 20 and her mind could be set for the same objective. In men’s triple jump, USA’s Christian Taylor won for the second time at Doha with a world-lead leap of 17.23m while China’s Bin Dong of China finished second at 17.07m.
US woman Sandi Morris equaled the DL pole-vault record with a leap of 4.83m, another world-lead at Doha. The 23-year old Morris had vaulted 4.95m in Portland’s World Indoor meet in March 2016 to take the silver. Switzerland’s Nichole Buchler was second with 4.78m for the Swiss national record while Katerina Stefanidi of Greece finished third with 4.73m.
In men’s 200m sprint, USA’s Ameer Webb topped the field in a DL record and his career-best time of 19.85s. Panama’s Alonso Edward was second at 20.06 followed by Femi Ogunode of Qatar in third place (20.10). USA’s LawShawn Merritt won men’s 400m in 44.41 seconds. Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Cedenio was second in 44.68 and Qatar’s Abdallelah Haroun third in 44.81. In men’s 110m hurdles, Jamaica’s Omar McLeod finished winner in 13.05, ahead of compatriot Hansle Parchment’s time of 13.10s. Spain’s Orlando Ortega finished third in 13.12.
In men’s 1500m, Kenyan Asbel Kiprop ran a nearly solo race to finish his third victory at Doha. By the 800m mark, Kiprop was so far ahead that it looked like a one-horse race. The triple world champion Kiprop won in the world-lead time of 3:32.15 and his teammates Elijah Manangoi and Silas Kiplagat finished second and third in 3:33.67 and 3:33.86 respectively. Ethiopian woman Almaz Ayana won 3000m in an even more dominant style. No one could reach close to the reigning world 5000m champion Ayana, who crossed the line in 8:23.11. Kenya’s Mercy Cherono was second in 8:26.36 and Ethiopian Gelete Burka third in 8:26.49. The Doha DL saw another world-lead in women’s 800m won by South Africa’s former world champion Caster Semenya in 1:58.26. Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu was second in 1:59.14 and Kenyan Eunice Sum third in 1:59.74. Kenya’s Conseslus Kipruto won men’s 3000m steeplechase with the world-lead time of 8:05.13 ahead of compatriot Jairus Birech, who could clock only 8:08.28.
In men’s discus, Poland’s Piotr Malachowski edged out Belgium’s Philip Milanov. Malachowski’s final attempt of 68.03m proved decisive after Milanov had taken the lead with his round-five heave of 67.26m. in women’s shot put, USA’s Tia Brooks reached 19.48m to beat Hungary’s Anita Morton by 26cm. South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen won the women’s javelin with a throw of 65.14m, nearly 2 meters clear of second-placed Australian Kathryn Mitchell, whose attempt landed at 63.25. China’s Asian record holder Lu Huihui was third at 62.42m.
In a disappointment for home fans, Mutaz Barshim bowed out of high jump with a clearance of just 2.29m and finished seventh. The event was won by USA’s Erik Kynard in a world-lead jump of 2.33m. China’s Zhang Guowei was second at 2.31m.
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