Several athletes were more than delighted to prove their readiness for the 2017 World Championships in London, as no fewer than six World Leads (WL) and three Meeting Records (MR) were set at the Hamad Bin Suhaim Stadium on Friday at the Doha Diamond League.
Olympic Champion in the men’s Javelin throw, Thomas Rohler emerged the standout performer of the meeting which kicked off the IAAF Diamond League series in 2017.
Rohler inspired a 1-2 for Germany in the event, following hot on the heels of teammate Johannes Vetter at the initial stages of the competition. The Rio 2016 Champion opened his campaign with a modest mark of 82.94m, before improving to 85.52m on his second attempt.
He moved on to 88.12m on his third, before sending the crowd roaring by smashing his Personal Best of 91.28m, replacing it with a superior mark of 93.90m which is a World Lead (WL), National Record (NR), Meeting Record (MR) and Diamond League Record (DLR)!
This new mark propels him to the No.2 spot on the all-time standings, with only World Record (WR) holder Jan Zelezny ahead on the list. What a massive boost for the 25-year old who narrowly missed being on the podium in Beijing two years ago after finishing 4th.
Vetter followed with a PB of 89.68m as Jakub Vadlejch threw a Season’s Best (SB) of 87.91m in 3rd position. Rio 2016 Silver medallist Julius Yego is yet to regain the form that saw him win GOLD in Beijing as he finished 7th in Doha with an SB of 81.94m.
Another Olympic Champion Caster Semenya showed no signs of slowing down as she dominated her event yet again, destroying the women’s 800m field with her WL and MR of 1:56.61. Rio 2016 Bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera Wambui and former World Champion Eunice Sum followed in SBs of 1:57.03 and 1:58.76 respectively.
Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu was inspired to a PB of 1:58.92, while WR holder in the 1500m Genzebe Dibaba was relegated to 5th place in a time of 1:59.37.
The Top 2 contenders in the women’s 3000m Steeplechase, Ruth Jebet and Hyvin Kiyeng rekindled their rivalry at the Doha Diamond League. Olympic Silver medallist Kiyeng came prepared to end Jebet’s 2016 unbeaten streak.
It was a hard-fought victory for the Kenyan who overtook her rival in the final lap, storming to a WL and MR of 9:00.12 while teammate Beatrice Chepkoech overtook Jebet with less than 10m to go, clocking a PB of 9:01.57. The Olympic Champion followed in an SB of 9:01.99 while Celliphine Chepteek Chespol placed 4th with a World U-20 Record of 9:05.70.
Another WL was recorded in the men’s 1500m where Elijah Motonei Manangoi dominated the race with a scorching time of 3:31.90, finishing ahead of Silas Kiplagat (3:32.23) and Bethwell Kiprotich Birgen (3:32.27).
Ronald Kwemoi was the man to beat in the 3000m where he raced to the title in a WL of 7:28.73, with USA’s Paul Chelimo clocking a PB of 7:31.57 in 2nd place. Yomif Kejelcha and Caleb Ndiku placed 3rd and 4th respectively in SB of 7:32.27 and 7:33.36.
Reigning World and Olympic Champion in the 3000m Steeplechase, Conseslus Kipruto also featured in the race where he finished a distant 12th with an SB of 7:49.00.