Diamond League season opens with Olympic rematches in Doha; TV, live stream schedule

Noah Lyles, Andre De Grasse
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The first Diamond League track and field meet of 2022 will conjure Olympic memories with eight events featuring clashes between medalists from the Tokyo Games.

Competition in Doha airs live on Peacock on Friday at 12 p.m. ET. CNBC airs coverage Saturday at 10 a.m.

Olympic rematches include the men’s high jump (co-gold medalists Mutaz Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi) and 200m (gold medalist Andre De Grasse and bronze medalist Noah Lyles) and women’s 400m (gold medalist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and silver medalist Marileidy Paulino) and 100m hurdles (silver medalist Keni Harrison and bronze medalist Megan Tapper).

Most American athletes are preparing for June’s USATF Outdoor Championships, where the top three in most events qualify for July’s world championships at the same site in Eugene, Oregon. Some, like Lyles, have a bye into worlds as a reigning world champion or Diamond League champion.

Doha will provide the best glimpse yet this year of medal prospects.

Here are the Doha entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

11:10 a.m. — Men’s Pole Vault
11:23 — Women’s Triple Jump
11:25 — Women’s Shot Put
12:04 — Women’s 400m
12:15 — Men’s High Jump
12:17 — Women’s 3000m
12:35 — Men’s 400m Hurdles
12:43 — Men’s Javelin
12:49 — Men’s 800m
1:02 — Women’s 100m Hurdles
1:12 — Men’s 200m
1:23 — Men’s 1500m
1:36 — Women’s 200m
1:47 — Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

Here are five events to watch:

Men’s Pole Vault — 11:10 a.m. ET
Olympic champion Mondo Duplantis, a Louisiana-raised Swede, already upped his world record by one centimeter on two separate occasions in March. He opens his outdoor season in Doha against American Chris Nilsen, who took silver in Tokyo. Nilsen was the last man to win a pole vault competition with Duplantis in the field, at a post-Tokyo Diamond League meet, and also beat him at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

Women’s 400m — 12:04 p.m. ET
Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas leads a field of four of the top five finishers from Tokyo, missing only bronze medalist Allyson Felix. Miller-Uibo’s lone defeat over one lap since the 2017 World Championships was at the 2019 Worlds to Bahrain’s Salwa Eid Naser, who is banned into 2023 in a case of missed drug tests from 2019. The Dominican Republic’s Paulino, a 100m/200m runner pre-pandemic, lowered her personal best by .79 of a second in Tokyo. Her final time — 49.20 — would have won gold at the previous four Olympics, but was still a distant .84 behind Miller-Uibo. In her one race so far this year, Paulino lowered her personal best in the 200m.

Men’s 400m Hurdles — 12:35 p.m. ET
Five of the top six from the Tokyo Olympics, but missing gold medalist and world-record smasher Karsten Warholm. American Rai Benjamin, who also went under the world record in Tokyo, likely will not face Warholm before July’s worlds. He will nonetheless face a challenge in Doha in Brazilian Alison dos Santos, the third-fastest man in history with his Olympic bronze-medal performance.

Men’s 200m — 1:12 p.m. ET
How will De Grasse and Lyles respond to 18-year-old Erriyon Knighton‘s 19.49-second scorcher from two weeks ago? Knighton, fourth at the Olympics, zoomed past both men into fourth place on the all-time list behind Usain BoltYohan Blake and Michael Johnson. De Grasse clocked a personal-best 19.62 into a headwind to win the Olympics. Lyles ran 19.50 in 2019 and then 19.52 two weeks after the Olympic final. Both could be upstaged in Doha by Olympic 100m silver medalist Fred Kerley, who ranks in the top three so far this year in the 100m, 200m and 400m.

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase — 1:47 p.m. ET
The day’s final event features the best field of the meet — the top five from the Olympics. Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali took gold in Tokyo in the absence of Kenyan Conseslus Kipruto, who won the 2016 Olympics, 2017 Worlds and 2019 Worlds. Kipruto did not finish the Kenyan Olympic Trials and, up until placing fifth in a Saturday race, had not finished a steeple since winning the 2019 World title by one hundredth of a second. Kipruto is not in the Doha field, but silver medalist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia and bronze medalist Benjamin Kigen of Kenya are.

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