Records tumbled at the IAAF Doha Diamond League in Qatar like a pack of cards as no fewer than 10 World Leads (WL) were set, following record breaking feats in several events in the first leg of the series, which had 12 reigning Olympic Champions and 10 World Champions in attendance.

The world’s fastest man in 2014 and Diamond Trophy winner, Justin Gatlin ran the race of his life, setting a Personal Best (PB), WL and Meeting Record (MR) of 9.74s, eclipsing Olusoji Fasuba’s nine-year old MR of 9.85s, making it the fastest time run by any athlete since 2012. Only Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake ran faster that year, clocking 9.63s and 9.69s respectively.

Gatlin’s compatriot, Michael Rodgers and Trinidad and Tobago’s Keston Bledman followed in 2nd and 3rd respectively, clocking 9.96s and 10.01s. Kim Collins and Femi Ogunode followed with SBs of 10.03s and 10.04s.

London 2012 200m women’s champion, Allyson Felix was in brilliant form as she posted a scorching WL and MR of 21.98s, equalling the Diamond League Record (DLR) set by Veronica Campbell-Brown in 2010. This makes it the first sub-22s run since the London 2012 Games where the American clocked 21.88s to win GOLD.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Murielle Ahoure who had a great start before losing her lead, followed in 2nd with an SB of 22.29s, while Antonique Strachan of the Bahamas placed 3rd with an SB of 22.69s.

Another outstanding athlete was 23-year old Jasmin Stowers who towered above an elite field in the women’s 100m hurdles, setting another WL, DLR and MR of 12.35s. The hitherto unknown hurdler had never been to an international competition, save the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships, where she placed 4th. However, she has set herself up as a likely contender for a medal at the World Championships in Beijing in August.

Sharika Nelvis clocked a Personal Best (PB) of 12.54s while European Champion, Tiffany Porter followeds in 3rd in 12.65s. Olympic Champion, Sally Pearson finished 4th while 2014 Diamond Trophy winner, Dawn Harper-Nelson almost tripped over a hurdle and had to settle for a distant 8th position.

Bershawn Jackson coasted to victory in the men’s 400m Hurdles with a WL and MR of 48.09s as Olympic Bronze medallist, Javier Culson followed with an SB of 48.96s, while Thomas Barr finished 3rd in 48.99s (SB). South Africa’s Lj van Zyl placed 6th with a time of 49.52s.

It was a USA 1-2 in the women’s 400m race as the world’s fastest woman in 2014, Francena McCorory upstaged Olympic Champion and world leader, Sanya Richards-Ross with a time of 50.21, while the later posted 50.79, with Commonwealth Champion, Stephenie McPherson coming 3rd.

Making her debut at the Diamond League was Zambia’s Kabange Mupopo who would have enjoyed a better placing than 7th position in an SB of 51.88s. However the Zambian slowed down considerably as she approached the finishing line.

In other events, Britain’s Mo Farah was beaten to the 3000m title by Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet who clocked a WL of 7:38.08s while Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman stole the limelight from 800m world champion, Mohammed Aman and Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, to win the 800m event with a WL of 1:43.78s.

Pichardo & Taylor jump over 18m in the Triple Jump!

One of the highlights of the meeting was the historic leap made by Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo in the men’s Triple Jump event, setting a staggering PB, NR, MR and DLR of 18.06m, making him the third greatest jumper EVER, behind World Record holder, Jonathan Edwards (18.29m) and Kenny Harrison (18.09m).

His performance inspired a PB from Olympic Champion, Christian Taylor who jumped 18.04m to become only the 5th man in history over 18m. This is the first time two men have gone wind legal over 18m in same meet, putting up a brilliant show for Doha’s crowd to witness one of the most inspiring pages of Triple Jump history!

World champion, Teddy Tamgho finished had an SB of 17.24m and eventually pulled out of a jump with an injury but his distance was good enough for 3rd place, while Nigeria’s Tosin Oke settled for 6th position with a distance 16.83m.

Sprinter cum long jumper, Tianna Bartoletta made a world leading leap of 6.99m, and was followed by Great Britain’s Shara Proctor who jumped an NR of 6.95m. Canada’s Christabel Netty placed 3rd wth 6.93m. World Champion, Sandra Perkovic won her event as usual while Germany’s Nadine Muller placed 2nd with 65.13m in the women’s Discus throw.

The Finnish duo of Tero Pitkamaki and Antti Ruuskanen dominated the men’s Javelin Throw with a WL of 88.62m and 86.61m respectively, while world champion Vitezslav Vesely came 3rd in, 83.67m, with Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman finishing 4th with an SB of 83.14m.

Felix & Gatlin

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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