It was quite a night of athletics in the Khalifa International stadium in Doha, as we witnessed incredible display of throwing and sprinting on the opening day of the 2019 IAAF Diamond league (DL) for this season with athletes setting several Meeting Records (MR) and World Leads (WL) in the process.
Swede, Daniel Stahl was the first to smash the MR in Doha with his impeccable throws in the men’s Discus. The big Swede flew the disc out to 70.49m in the second round, then improved to 70.56m in the third round.
Those two efforts were the first 70m throws in the history of the DL, as the previous record was set by Piotr Malachowski which had stood since 2010. Lukas Weisshaidinger was 2nd with a best throw of 66.90m while Ehsan Hadadi was third with a 66.78m mark.
In the much anticipated showdown between Hellen Obiri and Genzebe Dibaba, it was the Kenyan who proved her mettle. Fresh off her World Cross Country championship win, Obiri powered through the final 200m to win the women’s 3000m in a WL time of 8:25.60.
Genzebe Dibaba, the world record holder over this distance indoors, couldn’t live with Obiri’s strength, playing second fiddle to her Kenyan rival. Dibaba’s 2nd place time of 8:26.20 was a Personal Best (PB) for her.
Another rivalry that trickled into this season was that of Emmanuel Korir and Nigel Amos, as both runners gave us a riveting race. After being able to beat him just once all through last season, Amos, who is a three-time Diamond Trophy claimed victory ahead of his rival
Nijel Amos in a world leading 1:44.29. Korir was 0.21-seconds back, with American Donavan Brazier running well for third.
European Champion, Dina Asher-Smith oozed class,killing the curve and cruising through the straight, as she won the women’s 200m in a WL of 22.26. Jamile Samuel ran terrifically well but had to settle for second in 22.90, while Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare was 3rd in 23.14s.
World Champion in the men’s 200m, Ramil Guyilev was untouchable as he peeled away from his opponents to win his race. Alex Quinonex was 2nd in 20.19s.
Another athlete who set an MR was South African Caster Semenya. Despite the headlines swirling round her all week, the South African was an epitome of calmness, soaring to a WL of 1:54.98. The win makes it 30 consecutive wins for Semenya. Francine Niyonsaba and Ajee Wilson were 2nd and 3rd.
In the men’s 1500m, Elijah Manangoi held off a late charge from his training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, to win in a WL of 3:32.21. That was the first time two-time Diamond Trophy winner Cheruiyot has been beaten in a DL 1500m since Monaco in 2018.
In the women’s 400m Hurdles Dalilah Muhammad handed defeat to Ashley Spencer, as she clocked a WL and MR 53.61, while Danielle Williams capitalized on a poor start from Olympic and Diamond League champion, Brianna McNeal to win the women’s 100m Hurdles in a Season’s Best (SB) of 12.66. Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan was 2nd in an SB of 12.73s.
There wasn’t fireworks that most people predicted in the shot put, with only Ryan Crouser and Tomas Walsh getting past the 22m line across the competition. Crouser, the Olympic champion, clinched the win with a best of 22.13 ahead of DL Champs Walsh’s 22.06 SB.
Catherine Ibarguen continued from where she left off last season, wining the women’s Long Jump with a mark of 6.76, while Sam Kendrick ended his day with a win in the men’s Pole Vault after opting to not go above 5.80m.