Doha Diamond League 2023: Neeraj Chopra and other top stars to follow
Several Olympics and World champions will be taking the field in Qatar.
Doha Diamond League 2023 is around the corner. The first of the 14 international meets for the season will be on 5th May 2023. The first meet in Doha will have 14 Diamond League events apart from the Qatari national events. Indian participants include the Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Neeraj Chopra and the triple jumper Eldhose Paul.
The list of the Doha Diamond League 2023 events are Pole Vault Women, Discuss Men, Triple Jump Men, 400m Women, 3000m Steeplechase Women, High Jump Men, 400m Hurdles Men, Javelin Throw Men, 100m Hurdles Women, 800m Men, 100m Women, 3000m Men, 200m Men and 1500 Women.
We take a look at some of the high-profile international and Indian athletes that will be participating:
Neeraj Chopra – Javelin Throw Men
Neeraj Chopra will be competing in his first event of the 2023 season. The 25-year-old is the Diamond League defending champion as he took advantage of the absence of the favourite, Grenada’s Anderson Peters, due to an injury. However, the 2023 season will be much more competitive for the Indian athlete, given the star-studded starting lineup for the event.
While World No. 1 Anderson Peters will be his biggest competition, the challenges wouldn’t just be the Grenadian. Neeraj Chopra will also have to do better than the likes of Tokyo Olympics medalist Jakub Vadlejch, Finland’s Oliver Helander and the German Julian Weber. And although these are a few of the names who can perhaps throw beyond the 85m mark, it would be wrong to bet against others to match or even better the feat.
As for the conditions, it works in favour of the Indian more than his European competitors, just like it did in Tokyo. And that will give Neeraj Chopra some confidence going into his first competition of the season. Finishing in the top three and a best throw of around the 88m is what one can expect from Neeraj, given he is fit and ready.
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Eldhose Paul – Triple Jump Men
Eldhose Paul will compete in his first Diamond League event in Doha. Thus, he will add one more first to his list of many firsts since last year. To name a few, he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in his event and the first Indian triple jumper to qualify for the World Athletics Championships.
Eldhose Paul will be the new kid around the block when he takes the field against the bests of the bests in Qatar. The 26-year-old has a personal best of 16.99m, the only one not to have breached the 17m mark among the ones participating on Friday. So naturally, crossing the 17m mark will be Eldhose’s most realistic yet challenging objective.
As for the ones he will be going up against, the list includes Tokyo Olympics medalists Portugal’s Pedro Pichardo, China’s Zhu Yaming, Burkina Faso’s Hugues Fabrice Zango and the defending Diamond League champion Andy Diaz Hernandez of Cuba.
Shericka Jackson – 100m Women
Shericka Jackson will be the only Jamaican in the 100m event, a big surprise given the talents the island possesses and the number of athletes (four) the USA have representing them. She will be the favourite alongside Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith and USA’s young gun Sha’Carri Richardson.
Andre De Grasse – 200m Men
Canada’s Andre De Grasse will be the favourite against Tokyo Olympics silver medalist and arch-rival Kenneth Bednarek in the 200m Men event. Again, Bednarek is coming along with three other US athletes in the event, whereas Canada will have two representatives.
Mutaz Essa Barshim – High Jump Men
High jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim will be playing in front of his home crowd and will be the favourite in the men’s category. He will, however, miss his Italian friend Gianmarco Tamberi with whom he shared the Tokyo Olympics gold medal in the high jump event. The Italian athlete decided to give the event a pass. The two athletes share five Diamond League titles between them.
Katie Moon – Pole Vault Women
Tokyo Olympics gold medalist and the reigning World Champion Katie Moon will have a point to prove when she takes the field in the Pole Vault Women’s competition. The 31-year-old had a disastrous outing last season in the Diamond League as she failed to be anywhere near her best in the three Diamond League meets. She will, however, have to rise higher than the likes of Holly Bradshaw of Britain and Katerina Stefanidi of Greece.
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