Gabby Thomas defeats Dina Asher-Smith in Diamond League opening

Bol News  |  May 14, 2022

Dina Asher-Smith, the world champion in the 200m, was well beaten in her Diamond League debut, as American Gabby Thomas demonstrated the event’s depth.

Thomas, the third fastest woman in history, crossed the finish line in Doha in 21.98 seconds.

Shericka Jackson of Jamaica was the closest to Thomas, with Asher-Smith third in 22.37.

Christine Mboma, a Namibian competitor, was unable to compete due to injury.

However, the Olympic silver medalist is expected to be ready for the second half of the season, and with Jamaicans Elaine Thompson-Herah and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also in the mix, it was a race to highlight the difficulty that Asher-Smith would face in defending her championship in Oregon in July.

However, Asher-Smith, whose only prior appearances this season have been low-key Lee Valley efforts at 300m and 400m, may find solace in her time.

On his return to Doha, Asher-fellow Smith’s world 200m champion Noah Lyles won in a wind-assisted 19.72 seconds, defeating fellow American Fred Kerley and Olympic champion Andre de Grasse.

On a stormy night at the Qatar Sports Club, the Londoner was far from the only champion to lose.

Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi, one of a handful of athletes barred from middle distance events due to naturally high testosterone levels, maintained her excellent transition to longer distances with a 3,000m triumph over Kenya’s two-time 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon.

Abderrahman Alsaleck, formerly known as Abderrahman Samba, was forced to withdraw from the 400m hurdles due to a hamstring injury, but there was still drama as Alison Dos Santos of Brazil beat Olympic silver medalist Rai Benjamin in a new

Naomi Metzger of the United Kingdom finished eighth in the triple jump with a wind-assisted best of 14.24m – 2cm better than her legal personal best – in a competition won by Jamaica’s Shanieka Ricketts, while Beth Dobbin of the United Kingdom finished sixth in the 200m behind Asher-Smith.

High winds forced the pole vault to be postponed until Saturday and moved indoors, denying Sweden’s world record holder Mondo Duplantis a chance to win for the 10th time in a row.

Anderson Peters of Grenada climbed up to fifth all-time in the javelin with a massive throw of 93.07m, more than five and a half metres more than his previous personal best.

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