Jamaica’s two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce underlined her credentials for the 100m crown in Tokyo with an impressive win at the second Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha today.
The 34-year-old, who won gold ahead of Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith at the same venue at the 2019 World Championships, came home in 10.84 seconds.
The time makes her the third fastest woman in the world this year.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare was second in 10.90, but American Sha’Carri Richardson withdrew before the start.
World leader Richardson was suffering with cramps in the wake of her second-placed finish behind Asher-Smith at a wet and windy Gateshead on Sunday.
Fraser-Pryce, who missed more than a year of action around the birth of her son in 2017, is aiming for a third Olympic 100m title after winning gold in Beijing in 2008 and and London in 2012. She also won bronze in Rio in 2016.
Twenty-one-year-old Kenyan Beatrice Chebet produced an outstanding performance as she defeated a field of world class talents to win the women’s 3,000 metres in the fastest time of the year.
Chebet, who took the under-20 World Cross-Country title in Aarhus in 2019, offered further evidence of her high talents as she won the women’s 3,000m in a personal best of 8min 27.49sec – her first Diamond League victory.
Kenya’s world 5,000m silver medallist Margaret Chelimo Kipkemboi was second in 8:28.27, with compatriot Hellen Obiri, the world champion and Olympic silver medallist at 5,000m, fourth in 8:33.98 after fading over the final lap.
Meanwhile on a highly successful night for Kenyan runners world 1500 metres champion Timothy Cheruiyot laid down a marker for his Tokyo 2020 Olympics defence as he won in 3:30.48, the fastest time in the world this year.
Australia’s Stewart McSweyn was second in 3:31.57, the second fastest time of 2021, with Morocco’s world 3,000m steeplechase bronze medallist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco, taking third place in the world list with a personal best of 3:31.95, with Ethiopia’s world indoor champion Samuel Tefera fourth in 3:32.52.
Rai Benjamin of the United States, in the stadium where he won 400m hurdles world silver in 2019, set a meeting record of 47.38 in beating a world class field that included the man who took bronze behind him on that occasion home athlete Abderrahman Samba.
The Qatari athlete was fourth in a season’s best of 48.26 as Alison dos Santos of Brazil rose best to the challenge of the American by clocking an Americas record of 47.57, with third place going to Commonwealth champion Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands, who clocked 47.82.
Local hero Mutaz Barshim, who won world gold in the high jump in this stadium in 2019, equalled his season’s best of 2.30 metres but was upstaged by Authorised Neutral Athlete Ilya Ivanyuk, who cleared 2.33m to win.
Canada’s Olympic champion Derek Drouin, who has not competed since 2017 because of injuries, finished fifth with a season’s best of 2.24m on his return to big-time competition.
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas, who missed the 26-year-old women’s world triple jump record by just seven centimetres on Saturday (May 22) with an effort of 15.43m, was in slightly more conservative form tonight but still set a meeting record of 15.15m in winning comfortably.
“I enjoy this path, and when it will be Tokyo’s turn I’ll be prepared. and I’ll try to win the gold medal,” Rojas said.
Michael Norman won the men’s 400m in the fastest time run this season, 44.27, with Colombia’s Anthony Zambrano second in 44.57 and Norman’s compatriot Fred Kerley third in 44.60, one hundredth of a second ahead of London 2012 champion Kirani James of Grenada, who ran a season’s best.
Katie Nageotte, who leads this year’s rankings in the women’s pole vault with a personal best of 4.93m, won on countback from her US colleague Sandi Morris, the world silver medallist, as both cleared 4.84, a meeting record.
Britain’s Holly Bradshaw was third in a season’s best of 4.74, ahead on countback of Greece’s Olympic champion Katerina Stefanidi.
World champion Anzhelika Sidorova, competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete and returning to Diamond League action for the first time in almost two years, was seventh with a season’s best of 4.64.
The women’s discus provided further material for discussion about the controversial “final round” format for selected Diamond League field events as Valarie Allman of the United States produced the longest throw of the competition with a fourth-round effort of 65.57, but had to settle for second place after managing only 58.58 as the top three all competed in the one-throw-wins-all finale.
Yaime Perez of Cuba, who had earlier thrown 63.75, won with 61.35, with Croatia’s Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic, who had a best of 63.60, finishing third after failing to record a distance.
Nora Jeruto of Kenya won the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 9:00.67, the fastest run so far this year, and her compatriot Wycliffe Kinyamal followed up with the fastest men’s 800m time clocked in 2021, 1:43.91, finishing ahead of compatriot Ferguson Rotich who recorded 1:44.45.
Britain’s Daniel Rowden was third in 1:44.60, inside the Olympic qualifying time – which means Britain now has six men qualified.
Kenny Bednarek of the United States maintained his winning form in the men’s 200m with victory in a season’s best of 19.88 from Canada’s Rio 2016 silver medallist Andre De Grasse, who ran a season’s best of 19.89.
Kenya’s world 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon won the women’s 800 metres in a season’s best of 1:58.26.
New Zealand’s world shot put champion Thomas Walsh won with a best of 21.63. (Insidethegames)