The Doha leg of the 2021 IAAF Diamond League season is set for the Khalifa International Stadium from Doha, Qatar on the evening of Friday 28 May 2021.
This second event in the Diamond League series for 2021 following this past weekend’s opener at Gateshead in England will be headlined by world 1500m champion Timothy Cheruiyot returning to the scene of his global triumph.
The 25-year-old Kenyan, who competed over 800m in last year’s Doha meeting, will relish the opportunity to return to his number one event and avenge his 2019 Diamond League performance where he finished second his only defeat of the year.
The loaded field also includes Adam Ali Musab, Qatar’s world-leading 1500m star and Stewart McSweyn, Australia’s 1500m national record holder, as well as Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega and Samuel Tefera, the World Championships 5000m silver medallist and world indoor 1500m champion respectively, in addition to Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the 2019 world bronze medallist in the 3000m steeplechase.
“I can’t wait to be on a start line again and have great memories of competing in Doha, especially winning gold at the 2019 World Championships,” said Kenyan star Cheruiyot.
“With Doha being my season’s opener, it is an important race to assess my shape at the start of an Olympic summer. I look forward to delivering a confident performance.”
Another event to watch sees world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri and world record holder Letesenbet Gidey resume their rivalry as they line up over 3000m.
Gidey, silver medallist over 10,000m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships, broke the world 5000m record in Valencia (14:06.62) in October last year.
“I’m happy to start my season in Doha,” said Gidey, the Ethiopian national record holder for 3000m (8:20.27). “It will be my first race as a world record holder and I feel excited to see where I am in terms of condition. It will be a very important stepping stone towards the Olympic Games later in the season.”
Kenya’s Obiri, who defeated Gidey in their most recent clash (over 5000m) at the 2020 Monaco Diamond League in a time of 14:22.12, said:
“After my half marathon debut in April I’m looking forward to getting back on the track, especially at the Doha Diamond League meeting where I will be going for my fourth 3000m win.
“I ran the Kenyan record there in 2014 (8:20) and the second fastest 3000m in my career there last September (8:22).
Doha is also the place where I won my last World Championships title in 2019, but this year it is all about the Olympic Games as that is the only major gold medal that I’m missing and I’m working hard to change that this year.
The 3000m and 5000m races are very competitive at the moment and I expect we will see some fast times in the next few months and in Tokyo.”
The action is live on DStv SuperSport on Friday from 4pm and SuperSport GOtv Select 1.