Mutaz Barshim, Abderrahman Samba to open their Diamond League seasons in Doha

Mutaz Barshim, Abderrahman Samba to open their Diamond League seasons in Doha

QLNews
By QLNews

Two star Qatari athletes — reigning Olympic and three-time world high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim and former world 400M hurdles bronze medallist Abderrahman Samba —will begin their Wanda Diamond League campaigns at the season-opening Doha event on Friday, May 5.

Barshim, who won two Olympic silver medals (London 2012 and Rio 2016), had shared one of sport’s greatest and most endearing moments when he was crowned joint Olympic champion with long-time friend and Italian rival Gianmarco Tamberi in Tokyo in 2021.

He won his first World Championship gold in London 2017. He came back from a lengthy injury lay-off to win the 2019 World Championship title in Doha in front of packed crowds at the Khalifa International Stadium. 

After a low-key build up, he proved to be a true champion last year when he won an unprecedented third successive World Championship title in Eugene, clearing a world-leading height of 2.37M.

“Whenever I step on the track, I always want to give my best, that’s been the case since my first Diamond League appearance back in Doha, 2011,” said Barshim, the Qatari national record holder with a best of 2.43M, the second highest jump of all time.

“High jump is my passion and I want to make sure that my name is mentioned whenever high jump is mentioned. I’ve made history by being on top of my game for the past decade, but I still strive for more. The 2023 season is about to begin, and I’ve set my own goals and targets to chase. The World Championships in Budapest and the Asian Games in China are my top targets for the season,” said Barshim.

“It’s important that I prioritise my health and stay consistent with a routine that works for me. My training in Qatar went smoothly over winter and I look forward to my Wanda Diamond League season-opener in Doha,” he added.

In 400mH, Samba is the Qatari national record holder with a best of 46.98, the fifth-fastest time ever.

A world bronze medallist in Doha 2019, the Olympic fifth-place finisher was unable to compete in 2022 after injuring his hamstring during warm-up for the Doha Diamond League in May.

Following surgery and a lengthy period of rehabilitation, he has trained well over the winter under the guidance of his new coach Massimo Matrone and is looking forward to his first Wanda Diamond League competition for almost 12 months.

“The Doha Meeting will be my first major competition since Tokyo 2021 and will provide a good starting point as I build towards the World Championships this summer,” he said.

“I was in good shape this time last year and I was disappointed to miss out on the World Championships, but I’ve had a consistent block of training and I’m healthy and ready to race. The 400mH is one of the most exciting events on the programme right now and I want to be back in the mix,” added Samba.

The 2023 Wanda Diamond League comprises 14 meetings in total, starting with Doha at the Qatar Sports Club on May 5 and concluding with a single final across two days in Eugene (September 16 and 17). 

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