Less than one month remains before the 2015 IAAF Diamond League season gets underway in Doha on 15 May.
For a sixth successive season, the Qatari capital will once again host the opening fixture of the world’s leading series of one-day international meetings.
But the Doha International Meeting pre-dates the beginning of the IAAF Diamond League. First held in 1997, throughout 18 years of action there have been many brilliant performances, record-breaking attempts and fantastic head-to-head clashes.
Here is an in-depth look at the meeting records of the 16 events that will be contested in Doha next month.
Men’s 100m – Olusoji Fasuba (NGR) 9.85
Nigeria’s Fasuba ran an African record to win the meeting in 2006. He had never broken 10 seconds for 100m before that competition, but the then 21-year-old clocked 9.93 in the heats before his record-breaking run in the final.
Men’s 800m – David Rudisha (KEN) 1:43.00
On three occasions in Doha, the winner of the men’s 800m has come close to breaking 1:43. Rudisha came closest to doing so with his 1:43.00 victory in 2010. One year before that, Abubaker Kaki had set a meeting record of 1:43.09. And then in 2012, the year Rudisha won the Olympic title in world record time, the Kenyan clocked 1:43.10.
Men’s 3000m – Yenew Alamirew (ETH) 7:27.26
A fantastic 3000m race in 2011 saw three athletes run faster than 7:28 for the first time in history, topped by Alamirew’s IAAF Diamond League record of 7:27.26. The top three finishers in that race went to ninth, 10th and 12th respectively on the world all-time list.
In a race that saw record depth, 12 athletes ran faster than 7:35 and 16 athletes went quicker than 7:38.
Men’s 400m hurdles – LJ van Zyl (RSA) 48.11
In the year in which he broke the national record and took world bronze, South Africa’s van Zyl triumphed in Doha with a meeting record of 48.11, breaking the mark of 48.29 that had been set by Samuel Matete in 1999.
US athletes have won the 400m hurdles five times in Doha, but the first sub-48-second performance is yet to happen.
Men’s pole vault – Konstadinos Filippidis (GRE) / Malte Mohr (GER) 5.82m
The event was not held in Doha from 1999 until 2011, but since it returned to the programme, Sergey Bubka’s meeting record of 5.80m has been bettered twice in as many meetings.
Mohr vaulted 5.81m in 2011 and then added one centimetre to the mark in 2013 along with Filippidis. For the Greek vaulter, who won on count-back in 2013, his mark of 5.82m in Doha was a national record and remains his PB.
Men’s triple jump – Teddy Tamgho (FRA) 17.49m
The world indoor record-holder jumped a meeting record of 17.49m in 2011 to add two centimetres to the mark set one year earlier by Cuba’s Alexis Copello. Both athletes, along with 2013 Doha winner and Olympic champion Christian Taylor, will be in this year’s line-up.
Men’s shot put – Ryan Whiting (USA) 22.28m
The men’s shot put meeting record has been broken on five of the past six occasions that the discipline has been contested in Doha. Whiting, the two-time world indoor champion, produced a toss of 22.28m in 2013 to smash compatriot Christian Cantwell’s 21.81m record set in 2010. The mark still remains Whiting’s personal best and at the time was good enough for 12th place on the world all-time list. It is also the second-best mark ever achieved at an IAAF Diamond League meeting.
Men’s javelin – Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 90.13m
Thorkildsen’s winning mark in Doha in 2006 was his first ever throw beyond the 90-metre barrier and kick-started a four-year winning streak in the Qatari capital. The two-time Olympic champion from Norway has gone on to surpass that mark on another seven occasions throughout his career. His Doha meeting record is more than four metres farther than any other athlete has ever managed to throw at this competition.
Women’s 200m – Ionela Tirlea (ROU) 22.35
The Romanian all-rounder broke two meeting records at the 1999 edition of the meeting. The first came in the 400m hurdles with 54.27 and she followed it with a huge PB of 22.35 in the 200m. Both marks still stand as meeting records and are the oldest ones on the books.
Women’s 400m – Allyson Felix (USA) 49.83
Multiple world champion Felix won five times in succession over the long sprint in Doha between 2007 and 2011. Her fastest victory came in 2008 when she broke her own meeting record with 49.83, having earlier won the 100m in a meeting record of 10.93.
Women’s 1500m – Abeba Aregawi (SWE) 3:56.60
Since 1998, the women’s metric mile has been held 11 times in Doha. Before 2013, no one had come close to running faster than four minutes for the distance, but then three women achieved that feat in one race. Aregawi’s winning time of 3:56.60 smashed the meeting record by more than five seconds. It is also the second-best time ever in the IAAF Diamond League, bettered only by Aregawi’s own series record of 3:56.54 set one year earlier in Rome.
Women’s 3000m steeplechase – Lidya Chepkurui (KEN) 9:13.75
The steeplechase meeting record has been broken on the two most recent occasions the event has been held in Doha. With Milcah Chemos having clocked 9:16.44 in 2011, Kenyan compatriot Lidya Chepkurui bettered that mark by a comfortable margin in 2013 with a PB of 9:13.75. Three months later, she improved on that PB when taking the silver medal at the World Championships.
Women’s 100m hurdles – Priscilla Schliep (CAN) 12.52
Since Schliep clocked 12.52 in 2009, the meeting record has come under constant pressure in Doha. The four winning marks since then have all been within 0.11 of Schliep’s time. Had it not been for an illegal tailwind of 2.1m/s, the meeting record would belong to Delloreen Ennis-London with her 12.51 in 2004.
Women’s high jump – Blanka Vlasic (CRO) 2.05m
No other woman has jumped two metres or higher in Doha, but Vlasic has done it on three occasions. After setting a meeting record of 2.04m in 2007, she came within one centimetre of that mark in 2008 and then bettered it in 2009 with 2.05m. The Croatian added a fourth consecutive victory in 2010.
Women’s long jump – Brittney Reese (USA) 7.25m
Reese’s 7.25m leap in 2013 is not only a meeting record, but is also an IAAF Diamond League record, a personal best, and the world’s longest leap since August 2004. Three women jumped beyond seven metres at the 2013 edition of the meeting, but Reese’s 7.25m was the only one that had a legal following wind.
Women’s discus – Sandra Perkovic (CRO) 68.23m
In 2013, Perkovic smashed the oldest Doha meeting record. Ellina Zvereva’s 66.42m had stood since 1998, but the Croatian bettered it in the first round with 67.37m and rounded out her series with 68.23m. The Croatian now holds meeting records at seven of the 14 IAAF Diamond League competitions.
Organisers for the IAAF