Records smashed as thousands cheer on athletes during IAAF opener

All photos by Ray Toh

Undeterred by the heat, more than 5,000 sports fans cheered on their favorite athletes during the opening of the 2016 IAAF Diamond League last night.

During the event, which was held at the Suhaim bin Hamad stadium, six national records and four meeting records were smashed.

Highlights included Briton Eilidh Doyle’s performance, who ran the fastest time in the world this year during the 400m hurdles; Sandi Morris of the US winning the pole vault with a Diamond League record; and American Ameer Webb clocking a 19.85 career best in the 200m dash, breaking the meeting record set four years ago.

But locally, performances weren’t as stellar, with high jumper Mutaz Barshim clearing only 2.26m on this third attempt.

According to the Gulf Times, however, the athlete wasn’t disappointed:

“It’s all part of the plan. This being the Olympic year, I am taking things slow. Last year, I peaked early and by July I was practically dead. I am not going to repeat that mistake this year. The idea is to take things slow and steady. I thank the fans for cheering me on. I promise not to disappoint them in Rio.”

Did you check out the opener? Thoughts?

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