Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop and Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman the men’s current 1500m and 800m world champions, race each other in Doha Qatar on Friday May 15th as a stellar field gathers for the 2015 Diamond League opener.
The pair’s race is among a number of highlights in a meet which has attracted some of the sport’s biggest names, including controversial US sprinter Justin Gatlin, Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah and America’s 200m Olympic champion Allyson Felix, who will be seeking an 11th victory in Qatar.
Ethiopia’s Aman and Kenya’s Kiprop clash in the 800m, the distance which the former is currently the world champion, both indoors and outdoors.
But it is the 21-year-old’s first race of the season and although he won at the same meet in Qatar last year, he is likely to come under pressure from Kiprop, the current 1500m world champion who won over 800m in Doha in 2011.
Another middle-distance highlight is the Doha debut of Farah. The Briton, the current world, Olympic and European champion at 5,000m and 10,000m said on Twitter that he was “good to go” and has been pictured enjoying himself on a Doha beach.
But he has been warned he will be challenged by Kenya’s Isaiah “Chairman” Kiplagat, said earlier this week: “I will see where I belong at the Doha meeting. The season is starting and every athlete wants to win. But I have to see how I fare on with the best and that is why it is important to put in my best against Farah.”
In the men’s 100m, Gatlin will try to continue the exceptional form he showed last season. The resurgent American won all of his fifteen 100m races last year and set the world’s fastest time over the distance in 2014, clocking 9.77 seconds.
The 33-year-old, who has seen out a four-year doping ban, looks already in good form in 2015, having been part of a victorious US team at the World Relays earlier this month.
Another athlete making a Doha debut is the 400m Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who unlike many of the athletes who are just starting out their 2015 season, has already shown she is in top form. Last weekend, at the Jamaica Invitational, she ran 49.95 at 400m, the best time so far this year.
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
May 15 – Doha; May 17 – Shanghai; May 30 – Eugene, United States; June 4 – Rome; June 7– Birmingham, England; June 11 – Oslo; June 13 – New York; July 4 – Paris; July 9 – Lausanne; July 17 – Monaco; july 24 (two days) – London; July 30 – Stockholm; Sept 3 – Zurich; Sept 11 – Brussels.