FOR DUO

New Straits Times - - Sport -

su­perb, dip­ping un­der 10 sec­onds five times and win­ning his coun­try’s 100m ti­tle ahead of Wayde van Niek­erk.

The women’s 200m will be con­tested by the gold and sil­ver medal­lists from Rio — Ja­maica’s Elaine Thomp­son and Dafne Schip­pers from the Nether­lands.

Last year’s bronze medal­list in Rio, Tori Bowie from the US, is not in Doha but has al­ready made her pres­ence felt by clock­ing the year’s fastest time so far, 22.09s.

In re­cent years in the Doha leg of the Di­a­mond League, some of the best per­for­mances have come in the mid­dle and long-dis­tance races. This year could prove the same.

All three fe­male 800m fi­nal­ists from Rio — South Africa’s Caster Se­menya, Bu­rundi’s Francine Niyon­s­aba and Kenya’s Mar­garet Wam­bui — will race to­day.

They will be joined by Ethiopia’s Gen­zebe Dibaba, a for­mer 1500m world-record holder who has cho­sen an ex­tremely tough field in which to make her 800m de­but.

In the 3000m steeplechase, Kenyan-born Bahraini run­ner Ruth Je­bet, who won gold in Rio, will make her sea­son de­but. She is also the cur­rent world record holder with a time of 8:52.78s.

Off the track, there’s another clash of Olympic gold and sil­ver medal­lists from Rio, when Greece’s Eka­terini Ste­fanidi takes on Amer­ica’s Sandi Mor­ris in the pole vault.

To­day’s meet­ing marks the be­gin­ning of the eighth sea­son of the Di­a­mond League.

As with many other athletics events, it comes at a time of con­tro­versy within the sport.

The build-up has been over­shad­owed by a con­tro­ver­sial Euro­pean Athletics’ pro­posal, which could see all world records set be­fore 2005 writ­ten off as the sport tries to set a clean slate in its fight against dop­ing. AFP

AFP PIC

An­dre De Grasse (left) and Justin Gatlin (right) fin­ished sec­ond and third in last year’s Olympics 100m fi­nal.

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