Top athletics stars set for Wanda Diamond League

 Diamond League - Monaco - Stade Louis II, Monaco - July 9, 2021 Kenya's Faith Kipyegon celebrates winning the women's 1500m [Reuters, Gonzalo Fuentes]

Seven individual gold medallists from last year’s Tokyo Olympics, along with several other world champions and Olympic relay winners, will descend on the Qatari capital for the Ooredoo Doha Meeting as the 2022 Wanda Diamond League series gets under way tonight.

The 3,000m steeplechase will no doubt provide some Olympic rematches as it reunites top five finishers from the Tokyo final.

Gold medallist Soufiane El Bakkali renews his rivalry with world and Olympic silver medallist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia, Olympic bronze medallist and Diamond League champion Benjamin Kigen, Ethiopia’s Getnet Wale, Eritrea’s Yemane Haileselassie and Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwot, winner at the recent Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi.

The women’s 3000m will be an enthralling meet-in-the-middle clash between two-time Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon and Diamond League 5000m champion Francine Niyonsaba.

Kipyegon often runs well in Doha. She has won the 800m in Doha for the past two years, she broke four minutes for 1500m for the first time here in 2013, set her 3000m PB of 8:23.55 in 2014 and earned world silver in 2019.

But Niyonsaba is one of the few runners who can match Kipyegon’s finishing speed. The Burundian set a world 2000m best last year, clocked a world-leading 8:19.08 for 3000m, won the Diamond League 5000m title and finished fifth over 10,000m at the Olympic Games.

Beatrice Chebet, the 3000m winner in Doha last year, is also in the field, as is world steeplechase champion Beatrice Chepkoech.