Posted on April 30, 2017

The Qatar Olympic Committee and the Qatar Athletics Federation have announced that the Doha Diamond League 2017 press conference will be open to the public for the first time ever. Held in City Center Mall from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm on Thursday 4th May, the conference will discuss the athletes’ hopes for the upcoming season, which kicks off on May 5th at Qatar Sports Club.  Tickets are on sale now at www.q-tickets.com to be part of the action-packed evening of world-class athletics.

The new and innovative format to the press conference will be hosted by World and Olympic triple jump Champion, Team USA’s Christian Taylor, and reigning Olympic Champion in the shot put, Michelle Carter, who will discuss the exciting start to the Diamond League with fellow World and Olympic Champions, including Qatar’s sporting legend, Mutaz Barshim. The press conference will be open to the public for the first time ever, with the aim of encouraging and inspiring Qatar’s residents to engage in athletics through the Doha Diamond League. The public will be able to find out more about what this year’s Doha Diamond League has to offer and there will be opportunities following the press conference for photos and autographs.

Public invited to join Olympic 2 [qatarisbooming.com].jpgDr. Thani Al-Kuwari, President of the Qatar Athletics Federation and Secretary General of the Qatar Olympic Committee said during a media briefing on Sunday: “The Doha Diamond League is the only IAAF Diamond League meeting in the Middle East and is one of the most exciting sporting events hosted annually in Qatar. The best athletes from around the world will be competing, including Olympic and World Champions, together with Qatar’s own world-class athletes such as Mutaz Barshim, Ashraf Elseify and Ahmed Bedeir. We aim to organise the event to the highest possible standards and provide the very best conditions for athletes and spectators alike. ”

Team Qatar will compete with a strong 13-athlete line up which includes up and coming stars as well as experienced Olympians. For Qatar’s two-time Olympic medallist Mutaz Barshim the Doha Diamond League will provide an opportunity to see his form coming out of winter training, as well as have some fun in front of the home-crowd.  Barshim jumped just two centimetres short of the world-record in 2014 and will no doubt have his sights firmly set on Javier Sotomayer’s 24-year-old world-record in the 2017 season, as well as the World Championship gold medal in August.

Femi Ogunode, who recently set the world lead in the 100m with 9.82 seconds in the Emir Athletics Cup in Doha on the 25th April, will lead Team Qatar’s track team along with his younger brother Tosin Ogunode (100m), Mohammed Nasir Abbas (400m), as well as Qatar’s Youth Olympic silver medallist Hamza Driouch (1,500m). Qatar’s up-and-coming track sensation Abdulrahman Samba, together with team-mate Mohamed Shaib will compete against some of the fastest athletes in the world in the 400m hurdles event. Twenty-two year-old Samba, cruised to victory in the Sasol-NWU International athletics meeting earlier in March in South Africa with 48.31 seconds.

Qatar’s young Olympian and Aspire Academy graduate, 21-year-old Ahmed Budir will be looking to continue his solid progress in the sport in a competition that features the Rio 2016 Olympic gold and silver medallists, Thomas Röhler and current World Champion Julius Yego. Budir set a personal best of 84.74 to qualify for Rio 2016 and has already qualified to the London 2017 World Championships in Athletics. Commenting during a question and answer session at Sunday’s media briefing, Budir said: “The level of the Doha Diamond League is very high as it is attended by the world’s greatest athletics stars, so the competition will be very tough. I have been training hard and cannot wait to compete and I hope to honour Qatar and make everyone proud.”

Public invited to join Olympic 3 [qatarisbooming.com].jpg

Team Qatar’s female athletes will also be flying the flag high for Qatar with competitors in the Girls 100m and 4x100m relay. Aspiring sprinter Mariam Farid explained why she is exciting to compete in front of a home-crowd: “Participating in front of this huge crowd, in front of my people and everyone I know, and in my home country motivates me to run faster and show the best that I can do. It is something I have to be very proud of.” Commenting on Team Qatar, Secretary General of the Qatar Athletics Mohamed Al-Fadala said: “Our athletics team have been training very hard over the winter period since November, and the Doha Diamond League will be just their first or second appearance this season. We have a very talented team participating and we are confident that they will all achieve strong results and make Qatar proud. We wish them all the best.”

The City Center Mall press conference will take place on the first floor of the mall, close to Carrefour, from 11:30am-12:30pm and is free for public to attend. This year’s Doha Diamond League promises to be one of the best-ever with no less than 16 reigning Olympic and World Champions, and a total of 44 global medallists competing on Friday 5th May from 5-9pm at Qatar Sports Club. Tickets are priced from just QR40 and can be bought online now at www.q-tickets.com. Keep up to date on all news on the Diamond League website and social media channels.

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