Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gatlin, Dix and Powell for Doha Showdown

Top sprinters Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell and Walter Dix have confirmed their participation in the Samsung Diamond League meet in Doha on May 11, the organising committee announced yesterday.
Americans Gatlin and Dix will face off with Jamaica’s Asafa Powell as they prepare for the London Olympics later this year.
With Jamaican Usian Bolt single-handedly dominating the sprints over the past few years, other runners are busy plotting his down fall at this year’s Games and the Doha event gives them a chance to test themselves at the highest level.Powell, who held the world record before Bolt stormed in the athletics scene, ran 9.75 and 9.81 in Doha in 2010 but the times were wind-aided and hence not recognised.
Walter Dix, the Olympic bronze and world silver medallist in both 100m & 200m looks to maintain his 200m reign in Doha.
The American who ran a wind assisted 9.85 in 100m last weekend moved to California in November 2011 and now trains with legendary coach John Smith.
Meanwhile, in men’s hurdling action, Beijing Olympic gold medallist and former world champion LaShawn Merritt faces twice 400m hurdles Olympic champion Angelo Taylor.
Double 200m Olympic winner and reigning 200m and 60m world champion Veronica Campbell-Brown will be the woman to beat in the 100m at the Samsung Diamond league in Doha on May 11.
American Campbell-Brown, however, could face a tough challenge from 100m Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica.

Athletics officials pose with Qatar athlete Mutaz Barshim (second from right) after announcing the list of participants for the Samsung Diamond League meet in Doha on May 11 The 25-year-old just fell short of the podium at the World Championships in Daegu, finishing fourth.
Last but not least in talent from the Jamaican golden squad is double 2008 Olympic medallist – 2nd in 100m, 3rd in 200m – Kerron Stewart, the tallest (1m.75 cm) of the Jamaican charge.
Stewart along with Campbell-Brown, Fraser-Pryce and Sherone Simpson set a national record in Daegu to snatch silver behind USA who had Allyson Felix in the line up.
Local fans’ favourite Felix comes back to Doha not only to defend her unbeaten status – she has not only won all her 10 races in Doha but also holds the meet record (10.93) she shares with Kerron Stewart.
Athletes’ consultant Sandro Giovanelli underlined the competition Doha had to face, especially in sprinting events since two more meetings, in Kingston and the Cayman Islands, will take place at the same date.
Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim was a guest at yesterday’s press conference and said that the Diamond League is just a step on his preparation for this long season.
“This meeting is special to me because my family and all my friends have the chance to support me.” Mutaz said