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World leads for El Bakkali and Niyonsaba at windy Wanda Diamond League in Doha

World leading times for Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) and Diamond League 5000m champion Francine Niyonsaba (Burundi) at the Ooredoo Doha Meeting, the 2022 Wanda Diamond League opener.

Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali after the win in Doha / Photo credit: Diamond League AG
Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali after the win in Doha / Photo credit: Diamond League AG

Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali opened his 2022 campaign with victory over Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma at the Ooredoo Doha Meeting, first leg of the 2022 Wanda Diamond League season, held in Doha, Qatar on Friday 13 May.

In breezy conditions at the Qatar Sports Club, Soufiane El Bakkali hit the front on the final lap of the men’s 3000m Steeplechase with World and Olympic silver medallist Lamecha Girma on his heels with 200 metres to go.

However, the Moroccan kicked on for victory over the Ethiopian, winning by 0.01 in a world-leading time of 8:09.66. Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwott finished way behind in third place in 8:16.40.

“I’m so happy to win the first round of the diamond league,” said El Bakkali after the race. “I’m so happy that I managed to win in the last lap, after winning the last year, I hope to win this year also.”

Diamond League 5000m champion Francine Niyonsaba dictated the pace in the women’s 3000m, kicking away with half a lap left to win in a world-leading 8:37.70.

Diamond League 5000m champion Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi with the 3000m win in Doha / Photo credit: Diamond League AG
Diamond League 5000m champion Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi with the 3000m win in Doha / Photo credit: Diamond League AG

Olympic 1500m champion from Kenya, Faith Kipyegon, was second in 8:38.05 while Australia’s Jessica Hull was third in 8:40.97.

Kenya’s new kid on the block Asbel Kipsang upstaged his older compatriot and world champion Timothy Cheruiyot, who had a strapping on the back of his legs, to win the men’s 1500m with 3:35.70 to 3:36.16.

Another young Kenyan Noah Kibet, the world indoor silver medallist destroyed a high-quality 800m field to prevail in 1:49.08 ahead of Australia’s Peter Bol, who finished second in 1:49.35.

World record-holder Kendra Harrison of the USA snatched the victory in the women’s 100m hurdles, clocking 12.43 (3.8m/s) to win from Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan and Britany Anderson – who both finished equal second in 12.44.

Video Highlights – 2022 Wanda Diamond League Doha

Noah Lyles won the men’s 200m ahead of compatriot Fred Kerley in 19.72 (2.1m/s). Kerley came second in 19.75 while world indoor 400m champion Jereem Richards took third place in 20.15 with Olympic champion Andre De Grasse given the same time in fourth place.

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“Regarding the world championship, I think it is better to focus on one goal at a time. I look forward to the world championship. I can’t complain about my performance, overall I expected to execute my race as I was very close.”Tobi Amusan, Nigeria – 100m Hurdles Women

However the performance of the night belonged to 2019 World champion Anderson Peters, who prevailed in a thrilling javelin contest with a Grenadian record of 93.07m.

Peters put together a stunning series from the outset, opening with a national record of 88.96m, then following it with 87.30m and 88.51m.

Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch finished second with a lifetime best of 90.88m effort while Germany’s Julian Weber was third with 86.09m. Leandro Ramos set a Portuguese record of 84.78m in fourth position.

GALLERY:Ooredoo Doha Meeting 2022
RESULTS:Official Results – Doha Diamond League

Yomi is the founder of Africa's number one track and field website - AthleticsAfrica. A multi award-winning editor, journalism innovator, media trainer, sports and digital transformation consultant.

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