A Fan’s Guide To The Doha DL – Chanelle Price versus Eunice Sum, G. Dibaba vs. Cherono and Obiri, and Kemboi vs. Kipruto

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by LetsRun.com
May 8, 2014

The 2014 IAAF Diamond League season begins Friday in Doha at 12 noon ET. We’ve already previewed the sensational men’s 800 and men’s 1500s for you – LRC Oh Baby: The Diamond League Kicks Off In Style – Aman Vs. Amos At 800 and LRC Men’s 1,500: The Olympic Rematch All Fans Have Been Waiting For – Kiprop Vs. Makhloufi (+ Kiplagat & Wote)– but the rest of the mid-d/distance action is pretty spectacular as well. To be honest, we probably should have given every single event it’s own page but then there would have been no room left on the homepage.

The women’s 800 features a clash between World Indoor champ Chanelle Price and outdoor champ Eunice Sum, the women’s 3000 features indoor champ Genzebe Dibaba versus Hellen Obiri and Mercy Cherono and the steeple features a clash between Olympic champs Ezekiel Kemboi and Brimin Kipruto.

We preview the events in the order they occur. Full schedule here. The IAAF full meet preview which includes sprints and field events is here.

12:35 pm ET – Women’s 800 – World Indoor Champ Chanelle Price Clashes With The World Outdoor Champ Eunice Sum

The women’s 800 is going to be a real treat as it features the 2013 World Outdoor Champion Eunice Sum versus the 2014 World Indoor Champion Chanelle Price versus the 2014 World leader and up and coming star, 21-year old Rose Mary Almanza of Cuba.

American Chanelle Price enjoyed a sensational indoor campaign as she won the World Indoor title. She’s continued that momentum outdoors as she recently set a 1500 pb (4:16.52 previous pb 4:20.29), but she’s clearly got her hands full in this one.

The World Indoor field didn’t include anyone who was in the top 5 at Moscow but this field is led by the world champ Sum who has won 9 straight 800s, including three this year to show she’s fit. A victory for Price would be stunning, but we imagine Price would be very happy to leave this one with a nice consolation prize – the first sub-2:00.00 of her career.

Chanelle Price World Champion

Chanelle Price World Champion

If Sum falters, who has a shot at victory besides Price? We’ll be paying close attention to 21-year old Cuban champ Rose Mary Almanza. Almanza recently ran 1:59.76 at the Cuban champs in a race where second place was 2:02. A semifinalist at Worlds last year, this is her first-ever race on the DL circuit. How good can she be?

2007 World Champ Janeth Jepskosgei ran 1:58.71 last year but missed Worlds with an achilles injury. Had she run worlds, she would have likely contended for a medal. The 30 year old has already lost to Sum this year, by .7 in Kenya.

Czechoslovakia’s Lenka Masna, a finalist at 2013 World Outdoors and 2014 World Indoors, also is in the field as are the Indian (Tintu Luka) and Irish (Rose-Anne Galligan) record-holders.

Sum is far from the only talented 30+ year old in this one as the field also includes 33-year old Brit Jenny Meadows. Meadows hasn’t broken 2:00.00 since 2011 and thus has something to prove.

American Molly Beckwith is in the field and like Meadows hoping to regain her old form. On the comeback trail after missing 2013, she seems a few weeks away from being in great fitness as she only ran 2:02.82 in Indy last week.

ATHLETEDOBNATIONPB2014 SB2013 SBComments
ALMANZA Rose Mary13.07.1992CUB1:59.4h1:59.761:59.4h21-year-old is 2014 world leader and undefeated
BECKWITH Molly04.08.1987USA01:59.122:02.82injured1:59 in 2010, 11 and 2012 – missed 2013 with injury; only 5th last week in 2:02.82
GALLIGAN Rose-Anne09.12.1987IRL02:00.582:03.30i2:00.58NR holder
JEPKOSGEI Janeth13.12.1983KEN01:56.042:03.9h (alt.)1:58.712007 world champ, silvers in 2008 OG and 2009 Worlds, bronze in 2011 Worlds
JERUTO Agatha02.04.1994KEN02:03.222:05.4h (alt.)2:04.9hSeems over-matched here
LUKA Tintu26.04.1989IND01:59.17No 2014 results2:01.87Indian national record holder
MASNÁ Lenka22.04.1985CZE01:59.562:01.25i1:59.566th at World Indoors this year, 8th in Moscow.
MEADOWS Jennifer17.04.1981GBR01:57.932:01.67i2:01.02Silver medal at 2010 World Indoors, 2009 bronze outdoors.
OSKAN Shelayna20.01.1990GBR02:03.522:03.52i2:03.52Seems over-matched here
PRICE Chanelle22.08.1990USA02:00.09i2:00.09i2:00.88Reigning world indoor champ
SUM Eunice Jepkoech10.04.1988KEN01:57.382:01.201:57.38Reigning world champ says she wants to PR

1:18 pm ET – Men’s Steeple – Olympic Champs Kemboi and Kipruto To Clash

The steeplechase in Doha is primarily a Kenyan affair and that should be expected as the Kenyans have historically dominated the steeple more than any other event. Doha features the world’s greatest steepler, 5 time World and Olympic champ Ezekiel Kemboi, renewing his rivalry with the 2008 Olympic champ Brimin Kipruto, and fellow Kenyan Paul Koech.

Koech is known for running very fast, but not doing great in championship races. Koech is trying to get the 10th sub 8:00 clocking of his life and tie world record holder Saif Shaheen for the most number of sub 8:00 clockings.In a controversial decision last year, Koech was put on the Kenyan team at Worlds over Kipruto, so Kipruto will have a little extra motivation to beat Koech.

Those three are the class of the field. However, Kemboi turns 32 at the end of the month, and does not always win in the Diamond League. Koech is known for running fast in the Diamond League, but is already 32. Kipruto is 28 and didn’t run under 8:06 last year. None of that fazes Kipruto who said this week, “The world record is off the mind at the moment. It has been long since I was out and I must be rusty. The important thing is to win the race, which has some of the biggest names in the discipline.”

If there is going to be a changing of the guard, Abel Mutai, the Olympic bronze medallist is in the field, as is 2009 world youth champ Hillary Yego. 21 year old Jarius Birech, 4th at the Kenyan Trials last year, is a one to watch. Gilbert Kirui is only 20 and has run 8:06. If you’re looking for a  non Kenyan Meresa Kahsay of Ethiopia could be a name to watch. He’s the world youth champ and only 17, but is outclassed this year.

ATHLETEDOBNATIONPBSB2013 SBComment
AKDAG Tarik Langat16.06.1988TUR08:08.598:01.29 flat 3ki8:20.082012 Olympic finalist
ARAPTANY Jacob11.02.1992UGA08:14.488:16.436th in 2012 Olympic final, 12th in Moscow. Still just 22 years young.
BIRECH Jairus Kipchoge14.12.1992KEN08:03.4313:49.6hA8:08.7221-year-old has finished 4th at super-competitive Kenyan champs the last 2 years
CHEMLAL Jaouad11.04.1994MAR08:19.228:19.2220 years young; set national junior record last year
EZZINE Hamid05.10.1983MAR08:09.728:13.2730-year-old was a finalist in 2011, 2012, 2013
FAYISA Habtamu19.04.1993ETH08:24.908:24.9021 years young
KAHSAY Meresa23.05.1996ETH08:29.9208:29.9217-year-old won World Youth title in 5:19.99 last year – that’s sub-8 pace
KAMAL Abubaker Ali08.11.1983QAT08:15.808:52.1230-year-old was 8th in 2008 Olympics
KEMBOI Ezekiel25.05.1982KEN07:55.767:59.035-time World/Olympic champ turns 32 on May 25th
KIPLAGAT Benjamin04.03.1989UGA08:03.818:13.0725-year-old has been finalist in 2008, 09, 11, 13
KIPRUTO Brimin Kiprop31.07.1985KEN07:53.648:06.862008 Olympic champ might have repeated in 2012 if not tripped;screwed by Kenyan federation as they didn’t send him to Worlds last year despite finishing 3rd at Kenyan Trials
KIRUI Gilbert22.01.1994KEN08:06.968:06.96Silver medalist at WYouth in 2011, World Juniors in 2012
KOECH Paul Kipsiele10.11.1981KEN07:54.317:38.92i flat 3k8:02.63Famous for running fast early in DL; ran SB in 1st race of year last year
LAGAT Haron15.08.1983KEN08:15.8013:39 at Carlsbad8:22.95Pacer is a former Texas Tech runner and is a volunteer assistant there now
MUTAI Abel Kiprop02.10.1988KEN08:01.678:08.83Olympic bronze in 2012, 7th in 2013
NGANGA Bernard01.01.1985KEN08:05.8814:14.4hA8:19.1429-year-old journeyman
YEGO Hillary Kipsang02.04.1992KEN08:03.578:03.572009 World Youth champ

1:45 pm ET – Women’s 3000 – Genzebe Dibaba Tries To Keep It Rolling But Faces Stern Test From Obiri, Cherono and Others

The women’s 3000 is the last event of the night in Doha and women’s distance fans will certainly think they’ve saved the best for last as this field is full of quality.

The field is led by Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba who was simply sensational during the indoor campaign as she set new world records at 1500 (3:55.17), 3000 (8:16.60) and 2 miles (9:00.48). A big question for the 2014 outdoor season is what event does Dibaba excel at 1500 or 5000 as she’s repeatedly tried to move to the 5000 but had only modest success (14:37 pb), but she doesn’t have to answer that question as the IAAF is starting the year with a 3000 – a perfect event for Dibaba and the one where she won the world indoor title this year (Dibaba told us at World indoors her plan is to focus on the 3000 and 5000, not 1500).

A victory for Dibaba is certainly expected by far from guaranteed as Kenya has a slew of women in the race. At World Indoors, Kenya’s Hellen Obiri was actually gaining on Dibaba at the end of the race but had to settle for silver. She’s in fine form as she just dominated the Drake Relays 1500 last week and picked up $25,000 in the process.

The silver medallist in Moscow in the 5000 was Kenya’s Mercy Cherono. Cherono, who just turned 23 on Wednesday, is a former two time world junior champ at 3000.

The field includes budding Kenyan star Faith Kipyegon of Kenya. The 20-year old ran 3:56.98 for 1500 last year at age 19 before getting 5th at Worlds. Clearly, she’s a big time talent.

It also includes the third and fourth placers from the Moscow world championships 5000 in bronze medallist Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, who ran 14:25 for 5k last year, and Viola Kibiwott who ran 14:33. Bahrain’s two-time world 1500 champ Maryam Jamal leads the Asian charge.

ATHLETEDOBNATIONPB2014 SB2013 SBComments
ALMANZA Rose Mary13.07.1992CUB1:59.4h1:59.761:59.4h21-year-old is 2014 world leader and undefeated
BECKWITH Molly04.08.1987USA01:59.122:02.82injured1:59 in 2010, 11 and 2012 – missed 2013 with injury; only 5th last week in 2:02.82
GALLIGAN Rose-Anne09.12.1987IRL02:00.582:03.30i2:00.58NR holder
JEPKOSGEI Janeth13.12.1983KEN01:56.042:03.9h (alt.)1:58.712007 world champ, silvers in 2008 OG and 2009 Worlds, bronze in 2011 Worlds
JERUTO Agatha02.04.1994KEN02:03.222:05.4h (alt.)2:04.9hSeems over-matched here
LUKA Tintu26.04.1989IND01:59.17No 2014 results2:01.87Indian national record holder
MASNÁ Lenka22.04.1985CZE01:59.562:01.25i1:59.566th at World Indoors this year, 8th in Moscow.
MEADOWS Jennifer17.04.1981GBR01:57.932:01.67i2:01.02Silver medal at 2010 World Indoors, 2009 bronze outdoors.
OSKAN Shelayna20.01.1990GBR02:03.522:03.52i2:03.52Seems over-matched here
PRICE Chanelle22.08.1990USA02:00.09i2:00.09i2:00.88Reigning world indoor champ
SUM Eunice Jepkoech10.04.1988KEN01:57.382:01.201:57.38Reigning world champ says she wants to PR

 


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