All photos by Marium Saeed
Fans flooded the Qatar Sports Club last night to support their favorite athletes as the sixth season of the IAAF Diamond League kicked off in Doha.
The opening of the highly anticipated track and field tournament saw the smashing of several records, including a new personal best for US sprinter Justin Gatlin, who set a world-leading time of 9.74 seconds in the 100 meters.
Double Olympic and world champion Mo Farah also competed ferociously in the 3,000 meter race, but despite his huge fan base and impressive performance, the UK athlete came in second to Hagos Gebrhiwet, who achieved a world lead at 7:38.08.
Meanwhile, Allyson Felix secured her spot in first place in the women’s 200-meter race and also achieved a Diamond League record of 21.98.
Amid the big names, several emerging athletes like Jasmin Stowers wowed the crowd with their performances. Stowers took first place in the women’s 100-meter hurdle ahead of Olympic champion Sally Pearson, who came in fourth.
The Diamond League tournament consists of 14 meetings and 32 different disciplines.
In line with its increasing interest in hosting international sporting events, Doha staged the first ever Diamond League at Qatar Sports Club stadium in 2010.
During a recent press conference, Felix said:
“Qatar has hosted so many sports events in recent years, they are doing an amazing job. They are constantly building and introducing new innovations. Athletes always love to be here.”
The Doha leg has concluded and the next stop for this year’s league will be Shanghai, with the final meeting set to take place in Brussels on Sept. 11.
More results from the Doha meeting can be found online here.