The Three Biggest Winners From The Doha Diamond League Opener

by Robert Johnson
May 13, 2022

In track and field, they hand out medals to the top 3 finishers. So I’m handing out my awards to my three biggest winners from the Diamond League opener in Doha.

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by Robert Johnson
May 13, 2022

In track and field, they hand out medals to the top 3 finishers. So I’m handing out my awards to my three biggest winners from the Diamond League opener in Doha.

1) Alison dos Santos – Brazil – Men’s 400h winner (47.24)

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Brazil’s Alison dos SANTOS celebrates after winning the 400mH men final at the Diamond League track and field meeting in Doha on May 13, 2022. Courtesy Diamond League AG.

It’s not like Alison dos Santos of Brazil entered Doha as an unknown. He was already the third-best hurdler in history at 46.72 – a time which earned him Olympic bronze last year.

But he’d never beaten Rai Benjamin before tonight (0 for 4). And to run 47.24 on a windy as hell night is remarkable. It got me thinking. Do you realize that he’s by far the youngest of the Big 3 in the 400 hurdles? Might he end up being the Novak Djokovic of the event?

Age of the 3 fastest 400 hurdlers in history
Karsten Warholm – 26 (born February 28, 1996)
Rai Benjamin – 24 (born July 27, 1997)
Alison dos Santos – 21 (born June 3, 2000) 

MB: Could Alison Dos Santos surpass Warholm and Benjamin 

2) Anderson Peters – Grenada – Men’s javelin winner (93.07)

Peters of Grenada won the world title in the javelin 2019 in Doha at age 22 with a throw of 86.89. Since then, he hadn’t recorded a throw farther than 85.98 and he didn’t even make the final in Tokyo. Tonight, in his return to Doha, he won the javelin in 93.01 – to become the fifth-best performer in history. Yes, it was aided by a massive wind, but they don’t list javelin marks as wind-aided. And his entire series was incredible. 4 of his 6 throws were better than his previous PB (87.31) and a fifth was just 1 cm off (87.30). Peters got great conditions but he more than took advantage of it as he PR’d by almost 19 feet (18′ 10¾”, 5.76 m). Plus he was clutch. He needed the 93.07 in round six to win the competition as World (2017) and Olympic silver medallist Jakub Vadlejch took the lead in round 5 (90.88).

3) Noah Lyles – USA – Men’s 200 winner (19.72, +2.1)

Noah Lyles got a narrow win over Fred Kerley in the men’s 200 tonight as he clocked 19.72 to Kerley’s 19.75 and showed once again he’s nearly impossible to beat if he has the lead coming off the turn. Oh yeah, the Olympic champ Andre De Grasse was also in this one but way back (4th in 20.15).

Lyles winning a Diamond League 200 is far from unusual — we at one point wondered if he’d ever lose a DL 200 – but think for a minute if he’d lost to Kerley tonight. We’d be wondering if Lyles was in the top 3 in the US, let alone the world. After all, Erriyon Knighton is justifiably drawing Usain Bolt comparisons and Kenny Bednarek won Olympic silver last year.

Now, unless Knighton goes crazy and drops down to 19.3 or faster, when the gun goes off at Worlds, most will at least be wondering if Lyles has a shot at repeat gold. Remember, he has a bye to Worlds as the defending champ so he may not have to face Knighton until then.

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Kenya’s Noah KIBET celebrates winning the 800m men final at the Diamond League track and field meeting in Doha on May 13, 2022. Courtesy Diamond League AG.

Honorable mention has to go to Kenya’s Noah Kibet in the men’s 800 as he won in his first attempt on the DL circuit.

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Initially, I was going to put down my three biggest disappointments as well. It was likely going to be Shaunae Miller-Uibo (51.84, 3rd in the 400) and Stewy McSweyn (DFL in the 1500 — 3:48.67). But if I was going to do a third, wouldn’t Donavan Brazier of the US have to be it? But how could I put him on the list when I just spent half of our Friday 15 podcast defending Brazier to Jonathan Gault, who I thought was being overly critical.

Did Brazier run well? No. But am I writing him off for Worlds? No way. The same is true for Miller-Uibo.

By the way, the Friday 15 should be in your SC podcast feed below or you can watch it below.

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