Glad Opening Day! 2022 Diamond League Season Kicks Off With Stellar Meet in Doha


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Happy Opening Day! 2022 Diamond League Season Kicks Off With Stellar Meet in Doha


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By Jonathan Gault
Might 12, 2022

The primary Diamond League meet of the season is one among’s favourite days on the operating calendar. The Diamond League is what the NFL is to soccer or the Champions League is to soccer — the very best athletes of their sport going through off regularly. In a sport that may be frustratingly onerous to observe, the Diamond League is the closest factor we now have to stability. The meets are (principally) in the identical place from yr to yr, they don’t drag on all day (the TV window is simply two hours), and whereas showdowns between the perfect in every occasion don’t occur as a lot as we’d like, you possibly can tune right into a Diamond League occasion and know that many of the races will likely be of a reasonably prime quality. Plus within the US you don’t must go looking for watch each meet: you possibly can watch all of it for $5 a month should you subscribe to Peacock Premium. All in all, the Diamond League a fairly good factor.

As we depend right down to Friday’s Doha Diamond League, we’re doubly excited. First, as a result of it’s Opening Day! Meaning an opportunity to see stars who've competed sparingly or by no means in 2022 like Donavan BrazierReligion Kipyegon, and Dina Asher-Smith. We’re additionally excited as a result of the 2022 Doha fields are spectacular. How about Brazier towards Noah Kibet and Ferguson Rotich within the 800? Kipyegon towards Francine Niyonsaba within the 3000? Or, better of all, world champ Noah Lyles and Olympic champ Andre De Grasse squaring off towards Fred Kerley within the 200? There are big-time matchups up and down the schedule.

Article continues under participant is so excited, actually, that we’re operating a mini prediction contest. Give us the winner and successful time of the lads’s 200 in addition to Donavan Brazier’s time within the 800. Closest prediction in every occasion wins the shirt of their alternative. Enter under.

MB Diamond League is BACK on Friday in Doha- Stacked Males’s 200m, Return of Donavan Brazier – Prediction Contest Thread

Plus be sure to head to instantly after the meet is over as we’ll be doing a LIVE video present recapping the meet shortly after it wraps up at 2 p.m. ET on Friday.

To get you prepared for a fantastic meet, right here’s one man’s have a look at the highest 10 occasions in Doha on Friday.

What: 2022 Doha Diamond League
The place: Qatar SC Stadium, Doha, Qatar
When: Friday, Might 13. DL monitor occasions (and the Peacock broadcast) start at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Find out how to watch: This meet will likely be streamed dwell in america on Peacock from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET on Friday. For full TV/streaming particulars, see under.

Full Doha schedule/entries/outcomes * TV/streaming data

10. Girls’s 400 (12:04 p.m. ET): Miller-Uibo vs Paulino

The Olympic and World Indoor champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo ran 49.91 her final outing, however that was a month in the past. One thing tells me she is going to go even sooner towards a subject that includes Olympic silver medalist Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic.

9. Males’s steeplechase (1:47 p.m. ET): Olympic rematch — will anybody stand up and take over this occasion?

The cool factor about this race is that all the high guys from 2021 will likely be right here. The highest 5 from final yr’s Olympic ultimate — Soufiane El BakkaliLamecha GirmaBenjamin KigenGetnet Wale, and Yemane Haileselassie — are all entered. The dangerous information is the steeple form of sucked final yr. Kigen had the quickest time on the earth in 2021 at 8:07.12. Exterior of the 2020 COVID yr (the place there have been nearly no elite steeples), that was the slowest world chief in 27 years. 8:17 received the Diamond League ultimate.

However there’s nonetheless expertise on this occasion, even when injury-plagued Evan Jager and Conseslus Kipruto (neither of whom is operating Doha) can’t return to their former heights. El Bakkali is a sub-8:00 man. Girma is a two-time silver medalist on the age of 21. Wale would be the greatest query mark. He’s run 7:24 and 12:53 on the flat however solely 8:05 within the steeple. He’s additionally solely 21 (formally) — may he take over the occasion if every part clicks?

There’s one American within the Doha subject: Hillary Bor, who has received the final two US titles in Jager’s absence. Bor has produced some spectacular DL performances prior to now, nearly successful Doha in 2019 and taking the DL opener in Gateshead final yr, however he didn't make the Olympic ultimate in Tokyo. After operating 13:10 indoors and 43:14 to complete third on the US 15K champs in March, how will he fare in his steeple opener?

El Bakkali is essentially the most completed and constant member of the steeple crew proper now so that you’d must name him the favourite for Friday and the most secure decide for Worlds this yr. Will anybody stand up and problem him?

8. Girls’s 200 (1:36 p.m. ET): Dina Asher-Smith returns

One of many shames of the 2021 Olympics is that we didn’t get to see Dina Asher-Smith at her greatest. Six weeks out from the Video games, the British star was within the form of her life, assured she may go even sooner than the ten.83/21.88 nationwide information that delivered silver and gold medals on the 2019 Worlds. However a torn hamstring precipitated her to overlook a piece of time simply forward of the Olympics, and Asher-Smith wound up lacking the 100 ultimate in Tokyo and withdrawing from the 200 totally.

Asher-Smith did race after the Olympics however solely confirmed glimpses of her greatest self. Now, with an offseason to heal, she’ll run her first 200 of the yr towards a subject that includes Olympic 100 bronze medalist Shericka Jackson and Olympic 200 bronze medalist Gabby Thomas. Asher-Smith will likely be keen to indicate each what she may have finished if wholesome in Tokyo final yr.

7. Males’s pole vault (11:10 a.m. ET): Duplantis & Nilsen prepared the ground

Any pole vault competitors with Mondo Duplantis is mechanically price watching as a result of there’s an opportunity he would possibly set a world report. Doha will likely be his out of doors opener — the primary time he’s jumped since he invented the 6.20 membership at World Indoors in March — and he’ll tackle a subject that features 5 of the highest six from Tokyo, highlighted by silver medalist Chris Nilsen of the US.

6. Males’s excessive leap (12:15 p.m. ET): Barshim and Tamberi, reunited

One of the vital in style moments from final yr’s Olympics was when longtime pals Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi of Italy each received gold medals after one of many biggest excessive leap competitions in Olympic historical past. That is the primary time they’ve competed collectively since, which is a pleasant likelihood for them to reunite…and likewise a rattling good competitors, since no different occasion in Doha options two reigning Olympic champions. Throw in World Indoor champ Sanghyeok Woo of South Korea and US champ JuVaughn Harrison in his Diamond League debut and that is fairly a subject.

5. Males’s 400 hurdles (12:35 p.m. ET): Benjamin vs. dos Santos vs. Samba

No, it’s not Rai Benjamin vs. Karsten Warholm (it’s turning into clear that we’re solely going to get that matchup yearly transferring ahead — possibly twice if each really feel like operating the DL ultimate). However it’s nonetheless fairly rattling good. Between Benjamin (#2, 46.17), Alison dos Santos (#3, 46.72), Abderrahman Samba (#5, 46.98), and Kyron McMaster (#8, 47.08), this subject options half of the eight quickest males ever to stroll the Earth. The 400 hurdles could be a stacked occasion proper now even when Warholm and Benjamin didn't exist.

What I’m involved in seeing is whether or not dos Santos can flip the Large Two right into a Large Three. At simply 21, he’s nearly three full years youthful than Benjamin and his 46.72 pb is quicker than each Warholm (48.22) and Benjamin (47.02) on the identical age. Dos Santos has by no means overwhelmed Benjamin, and in Tokyo, he was .55 behind him. Can he shut the hole in Doha?

4. Males’s 1500 (1:23 p.m. ET): Is Timothy Cheruiyot nonetheless the person?

Few athletes dominated a Diamond League self-discipline as completely as Timothy Cheruiyot has dominated the 1500/mile since 2018. The 26-year-old Kenyan has received 17 of his 19 DL races in these occasions over the past 4 years, together with 5 straight Diamond League finals. It’s El Guerroujian stuff.

Final yr, nevertheless, a challenger lastly emerged as Jakob Ingebrigtsen, after shedding his first 12 matchups with Cheruiyot, beat him twice in a month, first on the Olympics in Tokyo after which, convincingly, on the Prefontaine Basic in Eugene. A altering of the guard? Not so quick. Cheruiyot battled again and held off Ingebrigtsen to win a basic of their ultimate matchup of 2021, the DL ultimate in Zurich.

Ingebrigtsen isn’t entered in Doha, however Cheruiyot is, together with a bunch of proficient guys. Charles SimotwoAbel Kipsang, and 19-year-old Kamar Etiang, the three males who beat Cheruiyot eventually yr’s Kenyan Olympic trials, are all operating and Kipsang is in high-quality type having simply run 3:31.01 at 5000+ toes in Nairobi on Saturday. Stewart McSweyn, a fixture on the entrance of Diamond League packs, can be entered for his first race of the yr — a giant check for the Aussie who has been out of motion whereas battling the results of lengthy COVID. Indoor mile world report holder Yomif Kejelcha of Ethiopia is one other identify to observe.

Cheruiyot and Kipsang have already raced one another this yr, with Kipsang destroying Cheruiyot over the ultimate 100 on the Kenyan championships on the finish of April (Cheruiyot wound up sixth within the race). That sounds dangerous on paper, however there are some things to know. First, the meet wasn’t actually the Kenyan championships — it was simply the choice meet for the African Championships in June (the World Championship trials will likely be held as a separate meet). As well as, fabled coach Renato Canova, who's conversant in the Kenyan system, weighed in on the LetsRun messageboard saying he didn't imagine Cheruiyot was making an attempt over the ultimate 100 as he had little interest in making the African Champs staff.

Contemplating Kipsang is likely one of the world’s high milers (4th on the Olympics, third at World Indoors), he could not have wanted Cheruiyot to again off to earn the victory. However we’ll know for certain who's fitter proper now after Friday’s race as there’s no approach Cheruiyot would pack it in in a Diamond League occasion.

MB: Tim Cheruiyot sixth Amongst Large Upsets at Kenyan Athletics Championships

3. Girls’s 3000 (12:17 p.m. ET): Kipyegon vs Niyonsaba must be a deal with

When Francine Niyonsaba determined to give attention to longer distance races for the 2021 season, nobody knew how it might end up. Caster Semenya — one other intersex athlete who, like Niyonsaba, selected to not decrease their testosterone ranges and subsequently can not compete within the ladies’s 800 meters — made the identical resolution and was greater than 20 seconds away from qualifying within the 5000 meters.

Niyonsaba didn’t simply qualify for Tokyo; she completed fifth within the 10k (and was on monitor to complete equally excessive within the 5k earlier than a BS DQ). After the Olympics, Niyonsaba was even higher: she received 4 Diamond Leagues (clocking 8:19 for 3k and 14:25 for 5k alongside the way in which) and ended her season with a 2000m world report in Zagreb of 5:21.

The query now's how good Niyonsaba can turn into as a distance runner. If she was in a position to make such huge enhancements in her first yr racing the longer occasions, what can she do now that she’s had a complete offseason to construct her energy? And if she continues to dominate, how lengthy till World Athletics tries to increase the restricted occasions for DSD athletes past the mile? (WA faces the same query with Christine Mboma within the sprints).

Niyonsaba will get a severe check in Doha. Kenya’s Beatrice Chebet (winner right here in 8:27 final yr) and steeple world report holder Beatrice Chepkoech (8:22 flat pb) may pose a problem, however the headliner is Religion Kipyegon, double Olympic 1500 champion and the best feminine miler in historical past. Just lately, Kipyegon has been extra involved in stepping down in distance than up as she’s solely run one 3k in her life, approach again in 2014. However that 3k was additionally actually quick — 8:23 — and Kipyegon ran that when she was 20 years outdated at a time when her 1500 pb was 3:56.98 (it’s now 3:51.07) and earlier than she had received a single world medal. If she’s near her 2021 form, she ought to have the ability to run nicely underneath 8:20 on Friday — which is what it may take to defeat Niyonsaba.

2. Males’s 800 (12:49 p.m. ET): Donavan Brazier runs his first 800 because the Olympic Trials

Picture by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Photographs for IAAF

2021 was imagined to be Donavan Brazier‘s year. After winning Diamond League and world titles in 2019 and going undefeated in 2020, Brazier entered 2021 as the Olympic 800 favorite. But Brazier struggled to run through a leg injury early in the campaign and wound up fracturing his tibia at the Olympic Trials, fading from second to dead last over the final 200 in his first 800m defeat in over two years. In his absence, the men’s 800 was a little bit of a large number globally till Emmanuel Korir took over, successful Olympic and Diamond League titles.

Brazier didn’t run an 800 indoors this yr, however he ran nicely sufficient within the 400 to make the US World Indoor staff in that occasion. Extra importantly, he was wholesome and stated he felt the very best he has in coaching because the center of 2020 — again when he was nonetheless the World #1. Although Korir is absent, the race in Doha (the town of Brazier’s world title, however a unique stadium) will function a baptism by fireplace as the sector is robust: Marco Arop and Wyclife Kinyamal (two DL wins every in ’21), Ferguson Rotich (Olympic silver), Peter Bol (Olympic 4th), and new Kenyan wunderkind Noah Kibet (silver at World Indoors) will all line up. If Brazier is a lower above the remainder of the world, as he was in 2019, we’ll comprehend it. And if he nonetheless has work to do, we’ll know that too. Both approach, we’ll have a measure of the place Brazier is at.

1. Males’s 200 (1:12 p.m. ET): De Grasse vs Kerley vs Lyles

So the caveat right here is that none of this will matter if Erriyon Knighton improves in any respect from his 19.49 opener in April. However even when Knighton completely owns the 200 meters by July, that is nonetheless an unbelievable matchup. You’ve obtained the Olympic champ Andre De Grasse, the world champ Noah Lyles, and Fred Kerley, who impressively ran down Michael Norman with a 19.80 victory at Mt. SAC in his final 200 4 weeks in the past. That’s a complete lot of sprinting star energy.

I’ll be watching Lyles closest of all. The 24-year-old struggled for lots of 2021, however the outdated Lyles got here out in his ultimate meet on the Pre Basic, the place he blasted a 19.52. After a few 60-meter pbs indoors, Lyles opened up with a low-key 19.86 in his first 200 of the yr in Clermont on Might 1. How a lot sooner can he go in Doha?

All of those guys may have seen what Knighton did at LSU. That is their likelihood to reply.


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