Diamond League: Christine Ohuruogu to race in Doha

Usain Bolt

Diamond League

Venue:
Hamad Bin Suhaim Stadium, Doha, Qatar
Date:
Friday, 10 May
Times:
15:25 to 18:45 BST
Coverage:
Live on the red button, BBC Sport website, Connected TV, mobiles and the BBC app from 17:00-19:00 BST

Britain's Christine Ohuruogu will face a stellar field in the opening event of the 2013 Diamond League on Friday.

Last year's Olympic silver medallist takes on world champion Amantle Montsho and Olympic 200m champion Allyson Felix in the women's 400m in Doha.

British high jumper Robbie Grabarz, who won bronze in London, also competes.

There will be 29 medallists from London in action including world record holder and 800m champion David Rudisha and 100m bronze medallist Justin Gatlin.

Gatlin, 31, will defend his 100m Doha title in a weakened field that includes fellow American Michael Rodgers and Nesta Carter of Jamaica. World champion Yohan Blake withdrew because of injury and Olympic champion Usain Bolt has not entered the meeting.

As well as Ohuruogu and Grabarz, Britain will be represented by long jumper Shara Proctor, hurdlers Jack Green and Tiffany Porter and 800m runner Michael Rimmer, in the first of 14 Diamond League meetings.

Ohuruogu, 28, recorded her fastest-ever opening to a season when she ran 50.58 seconds in Jamaica last week but warned against trying to read too much into Friday's race in Qatar.

The 27-year-old Felix is unbeaten in 10 races in Doha having first competed there in 2005, but Botswanan Montsho, 29, has beaten her on the last two occasions they raced over a full lap.

"It's early season for everyone so I am looking to get out and enjoy a good, competitive race," said Ohuruogu.

"Doha is the first race of a long season, and in the end it's just one race. It's ideal to get your body going and get the legs turning but there is not really much you can pull out in terms of performance this early in the year."

Felix admitted it had been a challenge to get motivated after winning three gold medals - in the 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays - in London.

The American took two months off, the longest break of her career, and says she is still not race ready.

"After any major championship, it's kind of hard to regroup and pick up,'' said Felix, who was named the IAAF athlete of the year in 2012. "I've been taking things slowly and this is the year where I gradually get everything together."

Grabarz, who won the overall Diamond League crown for the high jump last season, will go up against local athlete Mutaz Essa Barshim with whom the 25-year-old Briton tied for bronze at the London Olympics last summer.

Robbie Grabarz

Olympic triple jump champion Christian Taylor, 22, also competes in Doha and says his goal this season is to defend his world title in Moscow in August and possibly break the world record, which was set back in 1995 by Britain's Jonathan Edwards.

Edwards jumped 18.29m and Taylor's personal best is 17.96.

"I have a lot of respect for how far it is. If you lay it out, it's a pretty solid distance," Taylor said. "If a crowd gets behind me enough and maybe a little tail wind, I believe it could be broken."

The Diamond League visits Birmingham on 30 June for the British Grand Prix and London on 26-27 July for the sold-out London 2012 Anniversary Games, which will be held at the Olympic Stadium and feature Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford.

The season will finish on 6 September in Brussels, Belgium.

Each one of the thirty-two disciplines (sixteen for male athletes, sixteen for females) is staged a total of seven times during the season.

The top three athletes at each meeting are awarded points, and the points are doubled in the final meeting. The athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the season wins their event.

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