27 March, 2018

Doha: Thompson & Schippers Among World-Class Line-Up Of Olympic And World Champions

With less than six weeks to go until the Doha 2018 IAAF Diamond League, fans can expect another exhilarating evening of world-class athletics as the first headline athletes have been announced. Doha will once again kick off the Diamond League season in style as athletics’ biggest stars come together on 4th May at Qatar Sports Club for this unmissable fixture on Qatar’s sporting calendar.

The women’s 100m promises to be one of the highlights of the evening as 100m reigning Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica will go head to head with reigning 200m World Champion and Olympic silver medallist Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands, 2017 world silver medallist in the 100m and 200m, Marie-Josée Tao Lou of the Ivory Coast and fellow country-woman 2018 World Indoor Champion over 60m, Murielle Ahouré.

Elaine Thompson proved unbeatable in last year’s Diamond League series as she won every single race to be crowned 2017 Diamond League Champion. She also became the first woman since Florence Griffith-Joyner at Seoul 1988 to do the sprint double at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. However, Thompson finished in a surprise fifth place at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships with Ta Lou, Schippers and Ahouré finishing ahead of her in silver, bronze and fourth positions respectively, ensuring a fascinating showdown at this year’s Doha Diamond League.

Meanwhile the women’s 3000m will see reigning World Champion and Olympic silver medallist in the 5000m Hellen Obiri lead of strong field of Kenyans, which includes 2013 World Youth Champion and 2014 World Junior silver medallist in the 3000m, Lilian Kasait Rengeruk and fifth-place finisher at the 2017 World championships, Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi. Reigning 1500m world silver medallist and Olympic bronze medallist, Jenny Simpson of the USA, will move up to the longer distance in Doha and will provide a strong challenge for the Kenyans.

Obiri enjoyed an outstanding 2017 season, claiming the overall 5000m IAAF Diamond League title in Brussels following victories in Shanghai and Rome, as well as winning the 3000m in Monaco and taking a new meeting record over one mile at the Muller Anniversary Games in London. However, 20-year-old team-mate Rengeruk has shown strong form already this season, winning team gold at the 2018 World Cross Country Championships in Uganda and taking individual bronze, proving the youngster is one-to-watch and setting up an exciting head-to-head in May. The race promises to be a real treat for Qatar’s large Kenyan community, who always come out in force to support their athletes.

Doha first staged a major athletics event in 1997 with the Doha Grand Prix, which was elevated to the Super Grand Prix in 2005. In 2010, Doha hosted the first-ever IAAF Diamond League fixture which has continued to grow in strength every year and provides an ideal opening to the outdoor season.  The 2018 meeting will be the ninth consecutive edition.

This year, the Doha Diamond League will add an extra element of excitement as the high jump will move out of the stadium for its own special event on Thursday 3rd May at Doha’s iconic Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) Park. Fans will be able to watch the best high-jumpers in the world leap over Doha’s stunning skyline for an unmissable and memorable event. Further details will follow.