Doha-Qatar, May 04, 2012 – Doha Diamond League, It’s true that athletics is not a team sport where two squads are facing each other but there are many examples in sport’s history when the center of attention is focused on a rivalry between two male or female athletes in a specific discipline.
At the kick off Diamond League of the season in Doha on May 11 and in every different event the lineup is as strong as that of a World Championships final. That doesn’t erase the fact though that there are also many disciplines where the expectations of a duel between two of the event’s greats are pretty high,
The list with Top 10 duels, in a random order, that will surely thrill the fans at Qatar Sport Club in Doha, is as follows:
No. 1: Men’s 100m
Asafa Powell (JAM) vs. Justin Gatlin (USA)
Powell beat Gatlin in January at a 50m indoor race, although Gatlin further improved and won the World title in March. The American leads the score by 6-3 wins in 100m. The Jamaican has a better PB (9.72 to 9.85)
No. 2: Men’s 400m
LaShawn Merritt (USA) vs. Angelo Taylor (USA)
Taylor is more a 400m hurdler but he is a keen 400m runner as well. The overall score favors Merritt who has won 15 out of 16 races against Taylor. Merritt’s personal best is 43.75 while Taylor has run 44.05.
No. 3: Men’s 800m
David Rudisha (KEN) vs. Mohammed Aman (ETH)
This rivalry is pretty new and emerged in September 2011 when Aman surprisingly beat Rudisha in Milan. Rudisha is up by 3 wins to 1 and is faster according to PBs (1:41.01 to 1:43.37) but the 18-year-old is progressing rapidly.
No. 4: Men’s 1500m
Asbel Kiprop (KEN) vs. Abubaker Kaki Khamis (SUD)
Both are equally fast in 800m and 1500m. Kiprop is better in 1500m though while Kaki prefers the 800m. They have met once in 1500m with Kiprop the winner, and twice in 800m with the spoils being shared. Kiprop’s PB is 3:30.46 and Kaki’s 3:31.76.
No. 5: Men’s 3000m
Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) vs. Augustine Kiprono Choge (KEN)
It’s hard for everyone to beat Bekele! The Ethiopian won their only clash in 3000m. He was also better than Choge in one 1500m race and three 5000m races. Bekele’s PB is 7:25.79 and Choge’s 7:28.76.
No. 6: Men’s High Jump
Mutaz Essa Barshim (QAT) vs. Jesse Williams (USA)
Mutaz has yet to win Williams in six outings but is working hard on in. In their last clash the American won on count-back. Both have jumped 2.37 in their best ever day with the Qatari having registered his PB indoors this season.
No 7: Women’s 100m
Campbell-Brown (JAM) vs. Allyson Felix (USA)
The Jamaican is running 100m and 200m while the American specializes in 200m and 400m. In 100m Campbell-Brown leads 5-0 and in 200m Felix is up 6-4. As far as the PBs are concerned Campbell-Brown has run 10.76 and Felix 10.93 (in Doha).
No. 8: Women 800m
Pamela Jelimo (KEN) vs. Janeth Jepkosgei (KEN)
The two Kenyans have many ups and downs in their career so far. In the races between them Jelimo leads by 9-6 wins, but Jepkosgei won all last six. Jelimo’s PB is much better, 1:54.01, compared to Jepkosgei’s 1:56.04.
No. 9: Women 3000m
Meseret Defar (ETH) vs. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)
Defar is in front (7-1 wins) but he last beat Cheruiyot on March 2010. The Kenyan won their most recent duel (July 2010). In 5000m Defar leads 12-4 although in the most recent score the Kenyan leads 3-1. Defar’s PB is 8:23.72i and Cheruiyot’s 8:28.66.
No. 10: Women Javelin Throw
Maria Abakumova (RUS) vs. Barbora Spotakova (CZE)
One of the fiercest field rivalries, with the most memorable moment being their clash in Daegu. In as many as 24 duels Spotakova won 13 times and Abakumova 11. The Czech owns the world record with 72.28 while the Russian has hit the second best ever, 71.99. Image © iaaf.org
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