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Doha Diamond League- Ogunode targets home win in the 200m. Felix and Schippers to face-off in Doha 100m

Doha, 6 Apr 2016 - Reigning world champions Allyson Felix and Dafne Schippers will meet in a scintillating 100m clash at the Doha 2016 meeting on Friday 6 May, in what promises to be among the most anticipated head-to-head battles at the opening competition of the 14-meeting IAAF Diamond League series.

Few athletes are as familiar with Doha’s inviting early season conditions as Felix who will be chasing her 12th victory on the Qatar Sports Club track, and her fourth over 100m.

“It’s always great to be back in Doha and start my international season there,” said Felix, whose 11 victories in the Qatari capital also include three in the 200m and five straight in the 400m from 2007 to 2011. In 2012 she won the short dash in 10.92, still the meeting record, as a prelude to her Olympic 200m triumph in London.

In 2015 the 30-year-old Felix added the world 400m title to her long list of achievements, an important stepping stone to her Olympic 200m/400m double aspirations later this summer. 

“It will be a great early season test three months before the Olympic Games. The conditions in Doha are always just about ideal, and the competition very strong.”

The test will indeed be a tough one for the three-time 200m world champion, 2012 IAAF Athlete of the Year and three-time Diamond Race winner who’ll take on Schippers, the rising sprint star who won the world 200m title last summer in Beijing with a sterling 21.63 run, a performance which elevated the 23-year-old Dutchwoman all the way up to the No. 3 position all-time in what was just her second season as a full-time sprint specialist.

“I have heard so many great things about Doha, about the competition and about the fast track,” said Schippers, who also raced to world championships silver last year in the 100m clocking a personal best 10.81. Her transformation to international sprint star has been nearly as swift, coming just two years she won bronze in the heptathlon at the 2013 world championships.

Schippers was victorious in the pair’s last meeting, beating Felix in the Diamond League final in Brussels last September 22.12 to 22.22.

I am really looking forward to running against Allyson, one of the best sprinters of all-time. As always, though, the entire field will be very strong.”

The field will also include Tori Bowie, the reigning US champion and 2015 world bronze medallist over the distance; Murielle Ahouré of Cote D'Ivoire, who raced to 100m and 200m silver at the 2013 world championships; and Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown, whose long list of accolades include back-to-back Olympic 200m titles in 2004 and 2008 and a bronze medal at the 2015 world championships.  

The Doha Diamond League also announces a stellar field in the men's 110m hurdles, which includes Jamaican Omar McLeod who'll be looking to extend the momentum that propelled him to world indoor gold in Portland last month to his 2016 outdoor debut.

“As a fan of the sport I am always amazed by the sprints and hurdles field assembled in Doha, I am excited to be a part of the 2016 constellation and look forward to the event.” McLeod will bring a 12.97 career best to the start line.

The field will also include Aries Merritt of the US, the reigning Olympic champion and world record holder who underwent a kidney transplant surgery just four days after taking bronze at last year's world championships. His 13.04 performance in Beijing was the fastest since his stunning 12.80 world record at the Brussels Diamond League, despite running with just 20 percent kidney function.

David Oliver of the US will return looking for a fourth Doha victory. The 33-year-old former world champion set the current meeting record of 12.95 in 2008.

McLeod's teammate Hansle Parchment (12.94), the runner-up at last year's world championships and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist, and Frenchmen Dimitri Bascou and Darien Garfield, who were fifth and eight at last year’s world championships, respectively are other notable entrants.

The women's 400m hurdles field is led by two-time reigning world champion Zuzana Hejnova. The 29-year-old Czech, who also struck Olympic bronze in London, will be targeting the 54.27 meeting record set by Ionela Tirlea-Manolache in 1999.

In an intriguing match-up, she'll be facing Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain who raced to world indoor gold over 400m last month. Adekoya won this event in Doha two years ago.

Cassandra Tate of the US, last year's world bronze medallist, Jamaica's Olympic and world finalist Kaliese Spencer and Dane Sara Petersen, fourth at last year’s world championships, are also in the field.

And in the men's 200m, the spotlight will fall on home favourite Femi Ogonude who'll be targeting a solid early season start on home turf.

"I really want to give local fans a Diamond League win for Qatar at home," said Ogunode, who finished seventh in the event at the world championships last year in the finest season of his career. The 24-year-old clocked 9.91 in the 100m in June and capped his campaign with a 19.97 victory in Brussels, both Asian records.

Panama's Alonso Edward, the Diamond Race winner in the event in 2014 and 2015 is also in the field, along with Jamaican Nickel Ashmeade, who won in Doha in 2014.

Gurmeet Singh of India wins Asian 20km walking championship in Nomi

Nomi, 20th Mar 2016: Gurmeet Singh of India completed his medal set in the Asian 20Km walking Championship with a Gold medal winning performance of 1:20:29s just outside his personal best. Gurmeet beat host Japan’s Isamu Fujisawa (1:20:49) in the close fight in the last 5km.

Isamu could not better his season best performance of 1:18:45 set during National Walking championship in Kobe a month before. Kazakhstan’s Georgiy Sheiko won Bronze medal in 1:21:52. Walkers from 11 Asian countries took part in the championship race. 

In the women’s 20km walk race, Rui Liang (梁瑞) of China set new personal best of 1:28:43 on her way to win Gold medal. Rui missed out on the China’s Olympic trials last week where she could not finish race.

Japan’s Kumiko Okada finished on the runners up position with a performance of 1:30:03, South Korea’s Lee Geongeun took bronze medal in 1:33:57s beating India’s Sapana (1:33:57) to 4th place in the last km.

Asian Athletics Association walking committee held its meeting at Nomi to discuss further development of walking events in Asia.


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Bahrain continued their recent dominance of the Asian Cross Country Championships, taking clean sweeps of the medals in three out of the four categories and all four team titles on home soil at the 13th edition of the biennial championships in Manama on Monday (29).

The senior titles went to Albert Rop and Eunice Chumba.

Rop’s win was not much a of a surprise given his pedigree, which includes finishing 11th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Guiyang 2015, and he put more than 20 seconds between himself and the rest of the field before crossing the line in 32:36.

Issac Korir took second in 32:59, having al,so had to settle for second in Japan two years ago, while 2014 champion Ayalew Awake was third in 33:07.

Chumba’s win was closer more of an upset. She finished in 29:36 to beat established internationals Ruth Jebet and Mimi Belete, who were second and third respectively in 29:42 and 29:46.

The closest race of the day was the junior men’s event, but Ali Abdi eventually prevailed in 26:18, leading home his compatriot Desalegn Derara by two seconds, with their team mate Ibrahim Abdi, a distant third in 27:11.

The junior women’s title went to IAAF World Youth Championships Cali 2015 1500m silver medallist Dalilah Abdulkadir Gosa who showed impressive stamina over a longer distance when she won in 21:55.

Gosa will still be young enough to run in the junior women's race at next year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Her team mate Mokonin Desi came home six seconds in arrears and the only non-Bahraini individual medallist of the day was Japan’s Yuka Mukai, who was third in 22:07.

No less than 18 nations took part in these championships.

Medal Tally


1. Bahrain (G- 4/S- 4/B- 3 ), 2. Japan (S-1)


1. Bahrain (G-4), 2. Japan (S-3), 3. China (S-1), 4. Iran (B-2), 5. Jordan (B-1)

Photo Gallery

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IAAF Diamond League 2016 to set off from Asia

Doha, 7 March 2016 - On May 6 Doha (Qatar) will play host to the kick-off meeting of the IAAF Diamond League series for a seven successive season and as is always the case a large amount of the world’s elite athletes have chosen to open their outdoor campaign in the Suhaim Bin Hamad stadium. Among them, the reigning Olympic triple jump champions, Christian Taylor and Olga Rypakova, as well as the two-time World champion Caterine Ibarguen.

“Although the Doha 2016 coincides with the athletes’ Olympic preparations and is, as always, held at the beginning of the outdoor season, we have invited and bringing on a large number of Olympic and World Championships medalists, like Christian Taylor, Caterine Ibarguen and Olga Rypakova. This early announcement already shows that the meeting will be of a very high calibre with top athletes competing. 

“By having in Doha elite athletes, we raise the awareness for our sport and we continuously engage, inspire and motivate a growing number of young athletes. The recent successful campaign of our national team at the Asian Indoors Championships held in Doha confirm the rapid progress athletics enjoy in Qatar”, stated the Qatar Athletics Federation President Dahlan Al Hamad who also commented on the recent addition of Rabat to the Diamond League calendar:

“I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Rabat and Morocco to the Diamond League family. The ‘International Mohammed VI’ meeting has been quite successful throughout all the years of existence and fully deserves its inclusion to the top-tier one-day events family.” 

Taylor, a four-time Diamond Race winner (2012-2015), came a measly 8cm away from breaking the mythical 18.29m world record Jonathan Edwards set way back in 1995. The American reigning Olympic and World Champion, whose 18.21m winning mark last year at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing awarded him his second global title and elevated him to the world’s No. 2 spot, returns to Qatar to snatch his second IAAF Doha Diamond League victory and reclaim the meeting record he lost last year after a dramatic duel “combat” to Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo.

The 2015 triple jump competition in Doha was a real cracker, producing for the first time ever two marks beyond 18m by two different athletes on the same day. Taylor leaped 18.04m a new personal best in his last attempt, but fell short a mere two centimeters of Pichardo’s 18.06m early lead.

“That was a special day for me, as I exceeded 18m for the first time in my career. I am really looking forward to returning to Doha and enjoy the meeting’s favourable conditions which always help athletes reach peak form.

“2016 is a special year with the Olympics ahead on schedule. Triple jump has reached unprecedented heights in recent years, but I am looking for nothing less than a second Olympic gold.

“What better way to start the season, than going after that respectable meeting record. It would be a huge stepping stone in my preparation towards the Olympic Games. But of course, coming out with a Diamond League win would just be an added bonus”, said Taylor who possesses four of the twelve achieved 18m+ jumps in the history of the event (Edwards has also four on his account, Pichardo two, while Kenny Harrison and Teddy Tamgho own one apiece).

The women’s triple jump is not short of high calibre athletes as well. London Olympic champion and recently crowned Asian indoor champion in the Aspire Dome’s track, Olga Rypakova as well as the reigning World Champion Caterine Ibarguen have already signed in for the IDL Doha 2016 and lead a quality line-up which also features the 2015 World Champs silver medallist Hanna Knyazheva-Minenko and the Commonwealth Games champion Kimberly Williams.

31-year-old Rypakova, who returned to action and to medal positions in 2015 (bronze in Beijing) after giving birth to her second child, has yet to lose a triple jump competition in Doha, registering a Diamond League win in 2012 and three indoor victories. In 2010 she claimed the IAAF World Indoor title, while she also grabbed two Asian Indoors gold medals – her maiden in 2008 and a second one in her most recent triumph a few days ago with a new season best jump of 14.32cm. 

The Kazakh’s 2010 World Champs winning performance of 15.14m remains her indoor personal best (15.25m outdoors – No. 8 all-time) and the only mark beyond 15m registered on Qatar soil.

London silver medallist Caterine Ibarguen took the baton from the 2012 winner Rypakova to top the Diamond Race rankings over the past three seasons (2013-2015). Since 2013 she has completely dominated the event winning the World title in 2013 in Moscow and in 2015, while she also emerged victorious in 18 Diamond League events. 

The 32-year-old triple jumper from Colombia has competed only once before in Doha in 2014, but needed no more visits to claim the meeting record with 14.43m. Her 15.31m personal best ranks her fifth on the all-time lists. 

Qatar emerged top in the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship 2016


DOHA – Mohamed Al-Garni of Qatar successfully defended his second title of the weekend to highlight the final day of the 7th Asian Indoor Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha.

Five more championship records fell on the third day of competition, but it was Al-Garni’s in the 3000 metres, which propelled him to a second successive Asian indoor double-double triumph, that stood out from the rest.

Biding his time behind Bahraini Albert Rop for much of the race, Al-Garni took the lead for good as he entered the back straight for the final time. Unlike the early celebration in Saturday’s 1500 metres that likely cost Al-Garni the Asian record, this time his finish was more subdued: just a raised arm two strides before the finish as he powered through the line in 7:39.23 to equal the fifth fastest time of the year. 

"It wasn’t my plan to stay behind Rop, it was his tactic to make me tired after he watched me running the 1500m yesterday," Al-Garni said. "Still I was able to stay close behind him and make the final kick in the last lap."

Al-Garni said he still hasn't decided whether he'll contest the 1500 or 3000 metres at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, USA, or even if he'll compete there at all.

"We still have time to decide," he said, but added, "I feel very strong this year. I have been one hundred prepared focused in my training."

Rop finished just a few strides behind in 7:40.27 with Qatari Said Aden Said taking third with a personal best of 7:44.69 to collect his second bronze in as many days.

Balla Powers to 800m Gold

Qatar’s first gold of the afternoon came in a thrilling men’s 800 metres contest where Abdulrahman Musaeb Balla took the victory as expected. 

It was a strong run for the two-time Asian champion who took command from the outset and was never headed en route to a 1:46.92 championships record.

"I wanted to win and set a new area record as well, but I didn’t recover in time after the unsuccessful attempt to beat the Asian record in Stockholm," said Balla, who clocked 1:45.93 in the Swedish capital, 0.7 seconds outside of Yusuf Saad Kamel’s continental mark. "Nevertheless, victory makes me really happy. I expect a very good result in Portland at the World Championships as well as at the Olympics."

Behind him an intense battle ensued. 

Qatari teammates Abubaker Haydar Abdalla and Jamal Hairane shadowed Balla, trying to gain and hold position for a host nation sweep. But Mostafa Gholamerza Kordiyani of Iran wouldn't relent. Heading into the the homestretch, first Hairane and then Kordiyani found another gear to overtake Abdalla to finish second and third in 1:48.05 and 1:48.26 respectively.

A similar scenario played out in the women’s race. 

Marta Hirpato of Bahrain settled into the leading positions about 80 metres into the race, with Nimal Waliwarsha Arachchige of Sri Lanka and Japan’s Yume Kitamura giving chase. The order remained three-and-a-half laps later with Hirpato powering away to win in 2:04.59 to the Sri Lankan’s 2:04.88. Kitamura was later disqualified for a lane infraction elevating Tatyana Neroznak of Kazakhstan to bronze.

Almandeel Successfully Defends 60m Hurdles Title

Another successful title defence came courtesy of Abdulazeez Almandeel of Kuwait who prevailed in 7.60 in the 60 metres hurdles. His time was his second national record and championships record in as many days and landed him among the season's top-10.

"I am so excited with my time," said Almandeel, who arrived in the Qatari capital with a career best of 7.74. a new national and Championships record. "I feel I can run faster in Portland and secure a place in the final."

His teammate Yaqoub Alyouha, who clocked 7.65, finished second with Zhang Hong Lin (7.73), also of China, in third.

In the women’s contest it took a photo reading to separate Kazakhstan’s hurdling Anastasiyas. The verdict went in favour of Anastasiya Soprunova over teammate Pilipenko by a scant two one-thousandths of a second as each were credited with 8.17.

The penultimate event, the women's 4x400 metres relay, witnessed another Asian record courtesy of Bahrain. The Quartet --Alwa Eid Naser, Uwaseun Yusuf Jamal, Iman Essa Jasim and Oluwakemi Adekoya-- clocked 3:35.07 to eclipse the mark set by an Indian quartet at these championships in 2008.

Qatar won the men's event in 3:08.20, also a championships record, more than three seconds clear of runners-up Iran.

Elsewhere, Favourite Svetlana Radzivil won the women’s high jump at 1.92m, ahead of teammate Nadiya Dusanova (1.88m) to lead a 1-2 finish for Uzbekistan.

Akihiko Nakamura won the men’s heptathlon to capture Japan’s first gold of the championships, tallying 5831 points. China’s Hu Yufei (5745) was second with Marat Khaaydarov (5619) of Uzbekistan third.

Zhang Yaoguang of China won the long jump with 7.99m ahead of India’s Prem Kumar Kumaravel (7.92m) and Ming Tai Chan (7.85m) of Hong Kong.

Liu Yang, also from China, was the winner in the men’s shot put with a 19.30m toss.

Qatar topped the gold medal standings with six, followed by China with five, and Kazakhstan with four. China won 13 medals in all, followed by Qatar and Kazakhstan with 10 apiece.