The Wanda Diamond League opener sees Barshim, a three-time Diamond Trophy winner, return to his home city and the scene of his gold medal triumph at the World Athletics Championships last October.
Two years ago, on his way to a third Diamond League title, he broke a curious hoodoo when he claimed his first ever victory at the Doha Diamond League meeting with a world-leading jump of 2.40m
This year, the 28-year-old is joined on an impressive start list by fellow world champions Hellen Obiri (Kenya), Anderson Peters (Grenada) and Beatrice Chepkoech (Kenya).
Obiri, multiple global medalist and most recently world 5000m champion, is an experienced Diamond League competitor who ran 8:25.60 to win the 3000m at last year’s Doha Diamond League, while Peters - who won javelin gold in the 2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships - is a two-time NCAA champion and will make his Diamond League debut.
Chepkoech, world 3000m steeplechase champion, is the current World Record holder with a best of 8:44.32. The 3000m steeplechase is no longer a Diamond League core discipline, but the event will feature in ten meetings across the season (five male/five female), including Doha.
For the first time in its 22-year history, the Doha Diamond League meeting will be held over two days across two different venues. The Qatar Sports Club will host the main programme, but in an innovative development, the men’s high jump – featuring Barshim – will take place at the Amphitheatre of the Katara Cultural Village on the evening of 16 April.
“After such an amazing experience winning gold at the World Championships in Doha, I’m excited that my first competition of the 2020 season will also be in Doha – especially in the Amphitheatre which will provide a spectacular venue for the high jump competition,” says Barshim who has a best of 2.43m, the second highest jump of all time.
“Doha is unique and we should celebrate what it has to offer culturally, as well as from a sporting perspective. We provided a fantastic show during the World Championships and I want to encourage those supporters to come back out on April 16 and 17 so they can once again witness world class athletics in this city.”
In addition to the confirmed global champions, World Championships bronze medalists and Asian Games champions Abderrahman Samba (400m hurdles) and Abdalelah Haroun (400m) will also compete in Doha.
“We are excited with the lineup of stars for the 22nd edition of the Doha Diamond League. Although this year’s event coincides with the athletes’ Olympic preparations, the large number of Olympic and World Championships medalists confirmed for the event is an indication of the importance of the Doha meet and we look forward to a highly successful competition,” said Qatar Athletics Federation president, HE Dr. Thani Alkuwari.
The 2020 Wanda Diamond League comprises 14 meetings - commencing with Doha - leading to a single final at the end of the season. Each meeting will be broadcast globally in a fast-paced 90-minute programme.
Tickets for the Doha Diamond League are available at: https://www.q-tickets.com/iaaf/eventdetails.aspx?k1=bmuk7ZHWVwY=