De Grasse, a six-time Olympic medallist, 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 - who reached the 100m semi-final and later withdrew from the 200m - had to settle for 4 x 100m relay gold.
Having linked up with new coach John Coghlan at the end of last year, the world silver (200m) and bronze (100m) from Doha in 2019 is now focused on a return to the podium in Budapest in August.
“Looking ahead to another World Championships this year and then the Olympics in 2024, it’s important that I’m in a good place physically and mentally. I felt like I needed to switch things up and moving to a new coach is like a fresh start for me,” said the Canadian 200m record holder (19.62).
“While it was special to win the relay in Eugene, I’ve got unfinished business at the Worlds. Everything about my set up is still pretty new, but I’m grateful after a tough 2022 that we’ve got time to figure things out and prepare well, and I’m excited to get back on the track in Doha against some of the best guys on the circuit.”
At the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Doha 2022, 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 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, and Andrew Hudson (JAM), the NACAC champion over 200m with a best of 19.87.
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, on 15 April, his first ever sub-10 performance.
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.