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Ibarguen top name for IAAF Doha Diamond League

Caterine Ibarguen

Bengaluru/Doha, April 4: International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Female Athlete of the Year Caterine Ibarguen heads a star-studded field for the 2019 Diamond League season opener to be held in Doha on May 3.

The Colombian is one of six reigning world outdoor and Olympic champions to be confirmed across the first three events - long jump, pole vault and 100M hurdles - with more top names to be unveiled in the weeks leading up to the event.

The one-day spectacle will be held under lights at the the newly laid track of the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium.

The Khalifa International Stadium will launch the outdoor season in earnest and will also draw the curtain on the year when the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 are held at the same venue from September 28 to October 6, the first time the event will be staged in the Middle East.

One of the standout clashes of the meeting will be the long jump which features two reigning Olympic champions -- Ibarguen and Tianna Bartoletta from the United States.

The line-up also features Great Britain's Shara Proctor, who won silver behind Bartoletta at the 2015 World Championships, and Australia's Brooke Stratton who leads the 2019 world list with 6.74M.

The pole vault also features two reigning global outdoor champions: world champion Sam Kendricks fro the United States and Olympic champion Thiago Braz from Brazil who returned to form during the indoor season with a 5.80m clearance.

In the first track event to be announced, reigning Olympic 100M hurdles champion and 2018 Diamond League champion Brianna McNeal from the United States will be looking to improve on her runner-up finish from twelve months ago when she finished second to world record-holder Kendra Harrison - 12.53 to 12.58.

Harrison is absent this year but McNeal, who is the fourth fastest sprint hurdler of all-time with 12.26, will face a typically competitive line-up including Australia's reigning world champion Sally Pearson and Jamaica's Danielle Williams, who preceded Pearson as the world champion in Beijing in 2015.

The field also features European champion Elvira Herman from Belarus, African champion Tobi Amusan from Nigeria and Sharika Nelvis who won the US indoor 60M hurdles title in a world-leading 7.85M.

(With Diamond League inputs)

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Story first published: Thursday, April 4, 2019, 16:18 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 4, 2019
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