Written by Lachlan Moorhouse for AA, re-published with permission. Check out the original post HERE…


Six athletes, five Olympians, and four national record holders. Whichever way you want to put it, the 2022 Wanda Diamond League in Doha this Friday features some of Australia’s finest track and field talent – set to do battle at the first leg of the world’s premier annual athletics series.

Peter Bol, Jessica Hull, Stewart McSweyn, Brandon Starc, Matthew Ramsden, and Ben Buckingham will take to an inevitably warm evening in Doha – read our preview of all the Aussie action below.

2:15am AEST – Men’s High Jump: 

Last time Brandon Starc (Alex Stewart) encountered a field of this calibre, the Australian record holder mustered a stunning first-attempt clearance at 2.35m to finish in fifth place at the Olympic Games – a height that would have won him a medal at almost every Olympic Games in history.

Starc will face Olympic gold medallists Mutaz Essa Barshim of Qatar and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi here in Doha, along with Korea’s Sanghyeok Woo who finished in fourth place at the Games. The 28-year-old Australian will need to build on his recent form of a pair of 2.20m clearances in Japan, but history suggests Starc can rise to the occasion as he looks to build into his international campaign.

2:17am AEST – Women’s 3000m:

With a long list of national records to her name, Jessica Hull (Pete Julian) has stated clear intentions to become a contender in major championship finals, with this encounter featuring many of the women she will have to be beat to do so.

Hull is a proven force over the 3000m distance having finished in sixth place at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March, along with owning the Australian and Oceania record of 8:36.03. The 25-year-old torched the best domestic talent on offer at the national championships last month when winning the 5000m in a time of 15:06.13 as her class shone through.

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Hull will come up against the might of East Africa including the renowned Kenyan duo of Faith Kipyegon and Beatrice Chepkoech who possess bests of 8:23.55 and 8:22.92 respectively, while Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba holds the fastest personal best in the field with 8:19.08.

2:49am AEST – Men’s 800m: 

The seventh fastest personal best in this field, yet fourth place at the Olympics – Peter Bol (Justin Rinaldi) knows how to race.

Bol produced an unbeaten domestic season on his way to the national title as he worked on perfecting his race craft, with the Doha Diamond League the first opportunity to put his Tokyo learning into practice. With a seasons best of 1:46.03 to his name, the Olympic sensation will undoubtedly have to find one or two seconds up his sleeve to challenge here, but his nonchalant finishes on home soil suggest he has more to give.

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The race features Kenyan Olympic silver medallist Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich and reigning world champion Donavan Brazier of the USA, with Bol relishing the opportunity to open his international campaign against the world’s best in Doha.

3:23am AEST – Men’s 1500m: 

The Doha Diamond League has served as a happy hunting ground for Stewart McSweyn (Nic Bideau) in recent years, winning the 1500m in 2020 in a then Australian record of 3:30.51, before returning in 2021 to clock 3:31.57 for second place.

The world ranked number three will be eager to convert his consistency and class into major medals in 2022, but he will first take on the Kenyan duo of reigning world champion Timothy Cheruiyot and the fastest man in the world this year – Abel Kipsang.

In his second race of the year, McSweyn will only grow in confidence as he leaves COVID-19 complications in his wake.


Matthew Ramsden (Nic Bideau) recently clinched national silver and gold in the 1500m and 5000m respectively, with Olympic finalist Oliver Hoare the only man good enough to topple the West Australian.

Ramsden finished 12th in the 3000m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in March to add more international experience to his resume, but the Diamond League regular will be eager to string a series of strong 1500m performances together and stake his claim for the World Athletics Championships in Eugene – having registered a 3:34.08 qualifier last July.

Stewart McSweyn wins the 1500m at the 2021 Memorable Van Damme in Brussels

3:47am AEST – Men’s 3000m Steeplechase: 

Olympian Ben Buckingham (Nic Bideau) will be looking to run himself into form in the company of many of the world’s premier barrier-men, entering the bout off a performance of 8:40.34 to finish in ninth place at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Tokyo last week.

Buckingham has been lightly raced after a troublesome start to the year through injury, having missed the majority of the domestic season including the national championships. In a field that features Olympic gold medallist Soufiane El Bakkali of Morocco and seven sub 8:10 men, Buckingham is presented with an opportunity to begin bridging his way back to his career-best of 8:20.95 – which came under challenging conditions at the Tokyo Games.

Written by Lachlan Moorhouse for AA, re-published with permission. Check out the original post HERE…

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