15 reigning individual Olympic and world champions - including Qatar’s Olympic and world high jump champion Mutaz Barshim - plus a host of major championship medallists, will compete at the Qatar Sports Club where five world leading performances, two meeting records, and three area and national records were set 12 months ago.
Across a high quality programme, event highlights are expected to include the women’s 100m, 1500m and pole vault, and the men’s 200m, 3000m and javelin.
Reigning world 200m champion Shericka Jackson (JAM) will open her Wanda Diamond League campaign over 100m in Doha, in an exciting line-up that includes former world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith (GBR).
Jackson - who ran a world-leading 10.82 (-0.1m/s) in Kingston on 22 April - is the first athlete in history to win a full set of World Championships medals across three sprint disciplines (100m, 200m, and 400m). She is a five-times Olympic medallist, most recently winning 4 x 100m relay gold and 100m and 4 x 400m bronze in Tokyo. At the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, in addition to winning 200m gold in a Jamaican record (21.45) - the second-quickest of all time - she took silver in the 100m and 4 x 100m. Her 100m best is 10.71 from the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco in August 2022.
Asher-Smith, who won world bronze over 200m in Eugene 2022, is the British 100m record holder with a best of 10.83 set at the World Athletics Championships in Doha 2019, where she finished second. She also holds the British 200m record (21.88). Twice an Olympic 4 x 100m relay bronze medallist, she won the Wanda Diamond League 100m crown in 2019.
Jackson has won four of the five previous meetings between the two over 100m.
The quality of the field extends beyond the highly decorated duo and also includes three of the USA’s World Championships winning 4 x 100m relay team, Melissa Jefferson (10.82 PB), Abby Steiner (10.90 PB) and Twanisha Terry (10.82 PB), plus former NCAA champion Sha’Carri Richardson (USA) who ran a wind-assisted 10.57 in Florida in early April (her legal best is 10.72).
Terry won the 100m at the Botswana Golden Grand Prix in Gaborone, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, on 29 April (11.05). Richardson finished second over 200m (22.54).
Two-time Olympic and world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon (KEN) headlines the women’s 1500m at the Wanda Diamond League season opener.
The 29-year-old national record holder ran the second-fastest 1500m time ever in Monaco last summer (3:50.37). Arguably the greatest female 1500m runner of all-time, she now holds seven of the 20 fastest times in history and is the athlete with the most sub-four minute performances.
Since giving birth in 2018, the Patrick Sang-coached athlete, who trains alongside marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge, has gone from strength to strength. She returned to action in 2019 and finished second at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. She retained her Olympic title in Tokyo, 2021, and in July 2022 she regained the global title she had first won in London 2017 with a commanding victory in Eugene.
Joining Kipyegon in Doha will be exciting young talent Birke Haylom (ETH), the world under-20 1500m champion, in addition to a host of global medallists including Lemlem Hailu (ETH), the world indoor 3000m champion; Konstanze Klosterhalfen (GER), the European 5000m champion and 2019 world 5000m bronze medallist; and Ethiopian duo Axumawit Embaye and Hirut Meshesha, who finished second and third respectively over 1500m at the 2022 World Indoor Championships.
Women’s pole vault
In an incredible field that reunites the podium trio from the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Olympic and world pole vault champion Katie Moon (USA) will take on Sandi Morris (USA) and Nina Kennedy (AUS) in Doha.
Moon (née Nageotte) is the 2022 world indoor silver medallist and has a personal best of 4.95m from 2021, a mark that ranks her fourth on the global all-time list. In her first international competition of 2021 - a precursor to a wonderful summer - she took victory in Doha, winning a much anticipated competition in spite of jumping on new poles after hers had broken in transit.
World silver medallist Morris, runner-up at the last three editions of the global showpiece, is a two-time world indoor champion and Olympic silver medallist from Rio 2016. She is the US (outdoor) record holder with a mark of 5.00m, the third-best jump ever.
Kennedy, the 2022 Wanda Diamond League champion and Australian national record holder (4.82m), is the world bronze medallist and reigning Commonwealth Games champion.
In addition to the top three from the 2022 World Athletics Championships, the impressive line-up also includes Olympic bronze medallist and British national record holder Holly Bradshaw; former Olympic, world and European champion and Greek national record holder Katerina Stefanidi; European indoor and outdoor champion and Finnish national record holder Wilma Murto; world indoor and European outdoor bronze medallist and Slovenian national record holder Tina Sutej; 2018 Commonwealth Games champion and Canadian national record holder Alysha Newman; and the USA’s 2019 World University Games bronze medallist Bridget Williams.
In an intriguing matchup over 200m, Olympic 200m champion Andre De Grasse (CAN) will go up against world 400m champion Michael Norman (USA), world 100m champion and Olympic silver medallist Fred Kerley (USA), and Olympic and world 200m silver medallist Kenny Bednarek (USA)
at the Seashore Group Doha Meeting.
De Grasse, a six-time Olympic medallist with a national record best of 19.62, had an interrupted build-up to the World Athletics Championships in Eugene last summer after injury and illness hampered his preparations. While Norman, Kerley and Bednarek enjoyed individual success, the 28-year-old world silver (200m) and bronze (100m) medallist from Doha in 2019 - who reached the 100m semi-final and later withdrew from the 200m - had to settle for 4 x 100m relay gold.
At last year’s Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha, Kerley - who has a legal best of 19.76 for 200m - clocked a windy 19.75 to finish runner up to eventual world champion Noah Lyles, with De Grasse in fourth. At the 2021 event, Bednarek, who has a best of 19.68, got the better of De Grasse with the pair finishing first and second respectively. Norman, a former world under-20 200m champion, has a best of 19.70 from the Diamond League meeting in Rome in 2019. The versatile sprinter won the Doha 400m in 2021, with Kerley third.
In addition to De Grasse and the talented American trio, the men’s 200m at the Doha Meeting will also include Joseph Fahnbulleh (LBR), the NCAA champion over 100m and 200m and Liberian record holder (19.83) who finished fourth over 200m at the World Championships. Fahnbulleh’s season has already got off to a fast start with a 9.98 100m PB at the Tom Jones Memorial in Gainesville, Florida (15 April), his first ever sub-10 performance and a national record-equalling mark. He finished third over 200m in Gaborone (20.14) on 29 April, with De Grasse in seventh (20.41).
Reigning Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali (MAR) will headline an impressive men’s 3000m.
El Bakkali, the reigning Wanda Diamond League champion (3000m SC), remained unbeaten throughout 2022 having opened his season with victory in Doha. Prior to winning the world title in Eugene, he clocked a world lead of 7:58.28 at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Rabat, only marginally outside his lifetime best of 7:58.15, set in 2018. He closed the year with a national record of 5:14.06 in the 2000m SC, a mark which moved him to third on the world all-time list.
In an incredible Doha line up, he will be joined by Ethiopia’s Olympic and world 3000m SC silver medallist Lamecha Girma, the world indoor 3000m record holder who clocked 7:23.81at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in February to improve a record that had stood for 25 years. He is also a world indoor silver medallist.
The pair, who are ranked 10th and 12th on the 3000m SC all-time list, have never gone head to head over a flat 3000m, but El Bakkali, who took world 3000m SC silver in London 2017 and bronze in Doha 2019, has defeated Girma on each of their last five battles over the barriers.
A talented group of athletes will join the indomitable duo including Selemon Barega (ETH), the Olympic 10,000m champion and world indoor 3000m champion; Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN), Olympic 1500m silver medallist and former world champion; Oscar Chelimo (UGA), world 5000m bronze medallist; and Ishmael Kipkurui (KEN), the world cross country U20 champion.
Unfortunately, Yomif Kejelcha (ETH), a two-time world indoor 3000m champion (2016 and 2018), former world 10,000m silver medallist and world mile indoor record holder, has withdrawn.
Olympic javelin champion and world silver medallist Neeraj Chopra – the Indian national record holder with a best of 89.94m – will join world champion Anderson Peters (GRN) and Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) in a much-anticipated javelin competition at the Qatar Sports Club.
Chopra is an inspirational figure and has blazed a trail for Indian athletes throughout his career to date. He was the first Indian track and field athlete to set a world record (under-20) when he threw 86.48m to win the 2016 World U20 Championships, which was also the first time an Indian athlete had won a global track and field title.
He won javelin gold at the 2018 Asian Games, the first Indian athlete to do so, and made history in Tokyo when he became the country’s first Olympic gold medallist in track and field. He won Commonwealth Games gold in 2018 and was crowned 2022 Wanda Diamond League champion.
Due to injury, Chopra missed out on the incredible javelin competition at the 2022 Doha Meeting where two national records were broken, including the fifth-longest throw in history by Grenada’s two-time world champion Peters (93.07m), a mark only just outside Thomas Röhler’s 93.90m impressive meeting record from 2017.
Peters returns for the 2023 edition of the Doha Meeting, alongside Olympic silver medallist Vadlejch – European silver medallist and bronze medallist in Eugene - who also recorded a PB in Doha 2022 with his first ever throw over 90m (90.88m).
Alongside the decorated trio, the Doha Meeting also welcomes European champion Julian Weber (GER), the Olympic and world fourth-place finisher with a best of 89.54m; former Olympic champion and Trinidad & Tobago national record holder Keshorn Walcott (90.16m); and former world and Commonwealth champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist Julius Yego, the Kenyan record holder (92.72m).
An impressive total of 15 reigning individual Olympic and world champions are due to compete across at the Seashore Group Doha Meeting. In addition to those reigning champions listed above, that impressive roster includes Olympic and world triple jump champion Pedro Pichardo (POR); Olympic discus champion Daniel Stahl (SWE); world discus champion Kristjan Ceh (SLO); Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai (UGA); and Olympic 100mH champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (USA).
Mohammed Al Fadala, Qatar Athletics Federation president, said: “We are proud to host the opening meeting of the 2023 Wanda Diamond League and I believe that this year we have put together the highest quality fields we’ve ever seen in Doha.
“As an ambitious nation, we must continue to grow the reputation of the Seashore Group Doha Meeting on the global circuit and to build on the positive momentum generated as a result of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Sport is important to our country and we have a big part to play. We once again look forward to welcoming the best athletes in the world to the Qatar Sports Club and to enjoying their inspiring performances.”
The full start lists are available here: https://doha.diamondleague.com/programme-results-doha/
The 2023 Wanda Diamond League comprises 14 meetings in total*, starting with Doha at the Qatar Sports Club on 5 May and concluding with a single final across two days in Eugene (16-17 September). Each of the 13 series meetings will be broadcast globally in a live two-hour programme.
*In an update to the 2023 calendar, the Shanghai meeting scheduled for July will no longer take place.