Doha Diamond League — Semenya First In Last 800?

A 1:54.98 gave Caster Semenya her fourth career sub-1:55, matching the record. (JIRO MOCHIZUKI/IMAGE OF SPORT)

DOHA, QATAR, May 03—In what may have been her final 800 race, Caster Semenya illustrated one last time the dominance that has become so controversial since her appearance on the international scene nearly a decade ago. In now typical fashion, she pulled away from the pacesetter midway through the backstraight before eventually crossing the line, again a solitary figure, this time stopping the clock in 1:54.98. It was her fourth fastest run, the No. 15 performance of all time and her 30th consecutive victory. It also smashed her meet record and put the 2019 Diamond League opener on the front page of sports sections around the world.

The win came just two days after a landmark decision by CAS whereby the South African lost her appeal against IAAF rules, meaning she’ll have to begin testosterone-suppressing medication by May 08 if she’ll want to extend her unbeaten streak to 31. Her decision on that was clear and blunt. “Hell no,” she told reporters immediately after the race. “With a situation like this you can never tell the future but the only thing you know is that you will be running.” She also tossed aside the possibility that she’ll switch to a distance outside of the parameters set by the new DSD rule. Retirement too was not an option, she said, suggesting an appeal of the CAS ruling would soon enter the picture.

Francine Niyonsaba, who finished 2nd to Semenya at the ’16 Olympic Games, was runner-up here, too, in 1:57.75. Last month, the 26-year-old Burundian revealed that she too has hyperandrogenism. Next across the line was Ajee’ Wilson, whose 1:58.83 gave her the yearly outdoor U.S. lead. (continues below)

Semenya’s dramatic exit from the stage stole the headlines on a night that was otherwise, by Doha’s usual standards, subdued in quality. Given the length of the ’19 pro season, some athletes were in heavy training mode while many chose to stay away. But others welcomed the opportunity to scout out Khalifa Stadium, host to the World Championships in just under 5 months time, while banking some early season points for the Diamond Trophy chase that will once again conclude in Zürich and Brussels.

On the infield, the most impressive of those was Daniel Ståhl, who unloaded one of the finest discus throw series in history, whipping out yearly world leaders on each of his first 3 throws. The 26-year-old Swede put the competition out of reach in the first round with a 228-5 (69.63) effort to break the meet record set by Virgilijus Alekna in ’06. But that just shook off some rust. He followed up with throws of 231-3 (70.49) and 231-6 (70.56), his farthest of the night, before capping the evening with efforts of 228-2 (69.54), 228-0 (69.50) and 230-8 (70.32) to become the first man to produce 6 throws beyond 69.50 in a single competition. His average was a healthy 229-8 (70.01). “I’ve been working a lot on my technique and training hard in the gym so I expected this,” said Ståhl, who collected silver medals in the most recent editions of the World and European Championships.

Rio gold medalist Ryan Crouser followed up his world-leading 74-7¼ (22.74) blast from Long Beach with a convincing win in the first mammoth shot put showdown of the season which attracted a field of 7 who had PRs of 22m or better. After a modest 65-9¾ (20.06) opener the 26-year-old American battled through travel fatigue to unleash a 72-7¼ (22.13) toss in the second, a mark that held up for the top spot. “I’m happy with the win,” he said. “I just personally felt a little flat. I really felt the 20 hours of travel to get here. I felt pretty decent warming up and during the first two rounds, but after that I just felt like it was time for bed.”

His arch-rival, Kiwi world champion Tom Walsh, reached 72‑4½ (22.06) in the third round to secure the runner-up spot with South American recordholder Darlan Romani of Brazil 3rd with 70-10½ (21.60).

Hellen Obiri continued her strong racing momentum with another sensational 3000 performance. The 29-year-old Kenyan, who took a dramatic victory at the World Cross just over a month ago, waged and ultimately won a fierce last-lap battle here with 1500 WR holder Genzebe Dibaba en route to an 8:25.60 triumph. “The final lap was very tough but I’ve always posted a good result in the final 100m,” said the winner, who displayed brute strength over the final 200 that belies her tiny frame as she led the first 6 across the line in under 8:30. The only other time that’s happened was in Doha 5 years ago in a race also won by Obiri. Among those in that ’14 contest was Dibaba, who clocked 8:26.21, a PR that lasted until this race when she crossed the line, drained, in 8:26.20.

A crowd of some 12,000 showed up—similar or better than some previous editions of this meet—calming some worries about the numbers to expect when the world returns in late September. And they were loud too, with rival Ethiopian and Kenyan camps lining the bends at opposite ends of the track, their roars amplified by the acoustics in the cavernous temperature-controlled stadium. As such, the thunder was loudest during the middle distance races, especially the men’s 1500, which again come down to a homestretch tussle between world champion Elijah Manangoi and training partner Timothy Cheruiyot, last year’s DL winner. This time it went in Manangoi’s favor, the lanky Kenyan taking the victory in 3:32.21, the year’s fastest outdoor time, after leading for the final 400. Cheruiyot was 2nd in 3:32.47 and Bethwel Birgen 3rd in 3:33.12.

Rio 400H gold medalist Dalilah Muhammad got her season off to a solid start, winning by more than a second in a meet record 53.61, the fastest season’s debut of her career.

Elsewhere, Nijel Amos handed Emmanuel Korir another rare 800 defeat, pulling ahead of his Kenyan rival in the final 50m to take a 1:44.29–1:44.50 win. Amos’s clocking was the year’s fastest outdoor mark, and in 3rd, Donavan Brazier produced the fastest outdoor American mark, 1:44.70. The men’s steeple, saw the rare feat of non-Kenyans going 1–2, Moroccan Soufiane El Bakkali’s world-leading 8:07.22 edging Hillary Bor’s PR 8:08.41. The time moved Bor to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. list.


DOHA DIAMOND LEAGUE MEN’S RESULTS

Doha, Qatar, May 03—

200(1.3): 1. Ramil Guliyev (Tur) 19.99; 2. Alex Quiñónez (Ecu) 20.19; 3. Aaron Brown (Can) 20.20; 4. Jereem Richards (Tri) 20.21; 5. Alonso Edward (Pan) 20.56; 6. Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (GB) 20.83; 7. Leon Reid (Ire) 20.93.

800: 1. Nijel Amos (Bot) 1:44.29 (out WL);

2. Emmanuel Korir (Ken) 1:44.50;

3. Donavan Brazier (US) 1:44.70 (out AL);

4. Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (Qat) 1:44.82 (1:17.97); 5. Jonathan Kitilit (Ken) 1:44.97; 6. Cornelius Tuwei (Ken) 1:45.39; 7. Adam Kszczot (Pol) 1:45.60; 8. Wycliffe Kinyamal (Ken) 1:45.66; 9. Álvaro de Arriba (Spa) 1:45.94; 10. Jamal Al-Hayrani (Qat) 1:46.27; 11. Rabi Mohamoud Mubarak (Qat) 1:46.40 PR; 12. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Ken) 1:46.77; 13. Abdirahman Saeed Hassan (Qat) 1:48.52;… rabbit—Bram Som (Neth) (50.26).

1500: 1. Elijah Manangoi (Ken) 3:32.21 (out WL) (2:51.95);

2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Ken) 3:32.47; 3. Bethwel Birgen (Ken) 3:33.12; 4. Vincent Kibet (Ken) 3:33.21; 5. Charles Simotwo (Ken) 3:33.31; 6. Ronald Kwemoi (Ken) 3:33.99; 7. George Manangoi (Ken) 3:34.00 PR; 8. Brahim Kaazouzi (Mor) 3:34.57; 9. Ryan Gregson (Aus) 3:35.10; 10. Abdelaati Iguider (Mor) 3:36.28; 11. Ayanleh Souleiman (Dji) 3:36.35;… rabbit—Timothy Sein (Ken) (54.90, 58.42 [1:53.32]).

St: 1. Soufiane El Bakkali (Mor) 8:07.22 (WL); 2. Hillary Bor (US) 8:08.41 PR (3, x A); 3. Leonard Bett (Ken) 8:08.61 PR (10, x WJ);

4. Chala Beyo (Eth) 8:10.55; 5. Abraham Kibiwot (Ken) 8:12.42; 6. Lawrence Kemboi (Ken) 8:13.59 PR; 7. Nicholas Bett (Ken) 8:16.66; 8. Benjamin Kigen (Ken) 8:19.57; 9. Kennedy Njiru (Ken) 8:21.62; 10. Barnabas Kipyego (Ken) 8:21.67; 11. Emmanuel Bett (Ken) 8:25.35; 12. Andy Bayer (US) 8:27.80; 13. Hailemariyam Amare (Eth) 8:30.72; 14. Amos Kirui (Ken) 8:32.35; 15. Mouname Sassioui (Mor) 8:43.16 (2:40.83);… rabbit—Wilberforce Koros (Ken) (5:26.86).

Field Events

PV: 1. Sam Kendricks (US) 19-¼ (5.80) (17-5 [2], 17-11 [2], 18-4¾, 18-8¾, 19-¼ [2], 19-2¼ [xxp]) (5.31 [2], 5.46 [2], 5.61, 5.71, 5.80 [2], 5.85 [xxp]); 2. Thiago Braz (Bra) 18-8¾ (5.71); 3. Seito Yamamoto (Jpn) 18-4¾ (5.61); 4. tie, Piotr Lisek (Pol) & Ernest John Obiena (Phi) 17-11 (5.46); 6. Charlie Myers (GB) 17-11; 7. tie, Bo Kanda Lita Baehre (Ger) & Konstadínos Filippídis (Gre) 17-11; 9. Stanley Joseph (Fra) 17-5 (5.31);… nh—Andrew Irwin (US).

SP: 1. Ryan Crouser (US) 72-7¼ (22.13) (65-9¾, 72-7¼, 71-9, 69-¾, f, f) (20.06, 22.13, 21.87, 21.05, f, f); 2. Tom Walsh (NZ) 72-4½ (22.06) (f, 70-3½, 72-4½, f, 69-6¾, 71-0) (f, 21.42, 22.06, f, 21.20, 21.64);

3. Darlan Romani (Bra) 70-10½ (21.60); 4. Darrell Hill (US) 69-9¾ (21.28); 5. Michał Haratyk (Pol) 69-6 (21.18); 6. Joe Kovacs (US) 68-4¼ (20.83); 7. Tomáš Staněk (CzR) 67-7½ (20.61); 8. Konrad Bukowiecki (Pol) 67-1½ (20.46).

DT: 1. Daniel Ståhl (Swe) 231-6 (70.56) (WL) (DLR) (228-5 [WL], 231-3 [WL], 231-6, 228-2, 228-0, 230-8) (69.63, 70.49, 70.56, 69.54, 69.50, 70.32) (avg—229-8/70.01);

2. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Aut) 219-6 (66.90); 3. Ehsan Hadadi (Irn) 219-1 (66.78); 4. Reggie Jagers (US) 212-10 (64.89); 5. Christoph Harting (Ger) 211-7 (64.49); 6. Piotr Małachowski (Pol) 211-5 (64.45); 7. Mason Finley (US) 208-5 (63.52); 8. Ola Stunes Isene (Nor) 205-5 (62.63); 9. Mouad Mohamed Ibrahim (Qat) 193-6 (58.98).

DOHA DIAMOND LEAGUE WOMEN’S RESULTS

200(1.1): 1. Dina Asher-Smith (GB) 22.26 (WL);

2. Jamile Samuel (Hol) 22.90; 3. Blessing Okagbare (Ngr) 23.14; 4. Kyra Jefferson (US) 23.15; 5. Angela Tenorio (Ecu) 23.28; 6. Jeneba Tarmoh (US) 23.39; 7. Phyllis Francis (US) 23.47; 8. Sarah Atcho (Swi) 23.89;… dq—Shannon Hylton (GB).

800: 1. Caster Semenya (SA) 1:54.98 (WL) (x, 15 W) (1:26.56);

2. Francine Niyonsaba (Bur) 1:57.75;

3. Ajee’ Wilson (US) 1:58.83 (out AL);

4. Nelly Jepkosgei (Ken) 1:59.00; 5. Raevyn Rogers (US) 1:59.07; 6. Margaret Wambui (Ken) 2:00.61; 7. Habitam Alemu (Eth) 2:00.61; 8. Natoya Goule (Jam) 2:00.96; 9. Lynsey Sharp (GB) 2:01.51; 10. Mahelet Mulugeta (Eth) 2:02.14; 11. Olha Lyakhova (Ukr) 2:03.38;… rabbit—Noélie Yarigo (Ben) (56.66).

3000: 1. Hellen Obiri (Ken) 8:25.60 (WL);

2. Genzebe Dibaba (Eth) 8:26.20 PR; 3. Lilian Rengeruk (Ken) 8:29.02 PR; 4. Beatrice Chepkoech (Ken) 8:29.83; 5. Caroline Kipkirui (Kaz) 8:29.89 NR; 6. Gloria Kite (Ken) 8:29.91 PR; 7. Gudaf Tsegay (Eth) 8:30.65 PR (5:43.61); 8. Yasemin Can (Tur) 8:33.29 PR;

9. Hailu Lemlem (Eth) 8:34.03 PR (4, 4 WJ);

10. Margaret Kipkemboi (Ken) 8:34.65; 11. Loice Chemnung (Ken) 8:40.08 PR; 12. Ejgayehu Taye (Eth) 8:40.96 PR; 13. Hyvin Jepkemoi (Ken) 8:44.59; 14. Hanna Klein (Ger) 8:45.00 PR; 15. Meskerem Mamo (Eth) 8:48.26; 16. Beatrice Chebet (Ken) 8:49.05 PR; 17. Mary Kuria (Ken) 8:49.16 PR (2:50.24); 18. Eva Cherono (Ken) 8:50.22.

100H(0.9): 1. Danielle Williams (Jam) 12.66; 2. Tobi Amusan (Ngr) 12.73; 3. Sharika Nelvis (US) 12.78; 4. Christina Clemons (US) 12.83; 5. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (PR) 12.85; 6. Elvira Herman (Blr) 12.88; 7. Brianna McNeal (US) 12.94; 8. Amber Hughes (US) 12.97; 9. Isabelle Pedersen (Nor) 13.26.

400H: 1. Dalilah Muhammad (US) 53.61 (WL, AL);

2. Ashley Spencer (US) 54.72; 3. Anna Ryzhykova (Ukr) 54.82; 4. Janieve Russell (Jam) 55.28; 5. Lauren Wells (Aus) 55.60; 6. Meghan Beesley (GB) 56.01; 7. Wenda Nel (SA) 56.16; 8. Zeney Van Der Walt (SA) 56.45 (WJL); 9. Yadisleidy Pedroso (Ita) 57.20.

Field Events

HJ: 1. Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukr) 6-5 (1.96) PR (missed 6-6¾/2.00); 2. tie, Mirela Demireva (Bul), Erika Kinsey (Swe) &Ana Šimić (Cro) 6-3¼ (1.91); 5. Levern Spencer (StL) 6-2 (1.88); 6. Airinė Palšytė (Lit) 6-2; 7. Elena Vallortigara (Ita) 6-¾ (1.85); 8. tie, Nicola McDermott (Aus) & Svetlana Radzivil (Uzb) 6-¾.

LJ: 1. Caterine Ibargüen (Col) 22-2¼ (6.76) (21-2, 21-5¼, f, f, 22-2¼, f) (6.45, 6.53, f, f, 6.76, f); 2. Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (Ukr) 22-1½ (6.74); 3. Brooke Stratton (Aus) 22-1 (6.73); 4. Lorraine Ugen (GB) 21-8¾ (6.62); 5. Christabel Nettey (Can) 21-6 (6.55); 6. Naa Anang (Aus) 21-4¾ (6.52); 7. Sha’Keela Saunders (US) 20-10¾ (6.37); 8. Shara Proctor (GB) 20-10 (6.35); 9. Tianna Bartoletta (US) 19-5¼ (5.92).

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