The 25-year-old Kenyan, who competed over 800m in last year’s Doha meeting, will relish the opportunity to return to his number one event and avenge his 2019 Diamond League performance where he finished second – his only defeat that year.
Adam Ali Musab, Qatar’s world-leading 1500m star and Stewart McSweyn, Australia’s 1500m national record holder, will also line up at the Qatar Sports Club.
Musab has made great strides over recent years, most recently clocking a 3:32.41 lifetime best – quick enough to take him to the top of the world rankings for 2021 to date – in Doha in February. The Asian Championships bronze medallist, who has already qualified to represent Qatar at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, finished ninth in last year’s Doha Diamond League in a then-personal best of 3:35.60.
McSweyn has produced a host of impressive performances over the past 12 months including his 1500m national record which came with victory in the 2020 Doha Diamond League (3:30.51) and prior to that, a 3000m national record in Rome (7:28.02). He clocked an Australian all-comers’ record for the mile in December (3:50.61).
The loaded field also includes Ethiopia’s Selemon Barega and Samuel Tefera, the World Championships 5000m silver medallist and world indoor 1500m champion respectively, in addition to Morocco’s Soufiane El Bakkali, the 2019 world bronze medallist in the 3000m SC.
World champion Cheruiyot – who has a 1500m best of 3:28.41 from 2018 – said: “I can’t wait to be on a start line again and have great memories of competing in Doha, especially winning gold at the 2019 World Championships. With Doha being my season’s opener, it is an important race to assess my shape at the start of an Olympic summer. I look forward to delivering a confident performance.”
Musab said: “My preparation is now underway for my first Olympic Games and to compete again in my home country at the Wanda Doha Diamond League is a great motivation. I ran a personal best (at the time) at the Doha Diamond League last year and I can’t wait to race again on this occasion against some of the best athletes in the world.”
The 2021 Wanda Diamond League comprises 14 meetings – starting with Gateshead (replacing Rabat as the first host city on this year’s circuit) on Sunday 23 May – leading to a single final across two days in Zurich at the end of the season. Each meeting will be broadcast globally in a live two-hour programme.
The 2021 calendar remains subject to change depending on the global health situation in the coming months.
Source: Wanda Diamond League