The two-time Olympic and two-time World Champion extended her own Diamond League record from 2016 and 2013 Doha meeting record to show that she is on fire as she kicks off her campaign to win her third consecutive Diamond League Trophy.
Speaking after the competition, Perkovic said:
“I was so close to my PB. I really think the Doha Diamond League is my lucky place, just as it was in 2015. The environment here is amazing, and the conditions set me up for the year, with the season just beginning. This is perfect as we look to competing in the European Championships this year, ad Doha has made me ready to make my mark there.”
Meanwhile reigning Diamond League Champion and World silver medallist Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas also broke the Diamond League and his own national record in the 400m with a time of 43.87s. Team Qatar’s World bronze medallist Abdalleleh Haroun came second with a season’s best of 44.50s. Commenting afterwards, Haroun said:
“I’m proud of what I achieved tonight, but before even looking toward the World Record, I’m focussing on the IAAF World Athletics Championships in 2019 right here in Doha. My biggest rival on the track is the world lead, who is currently not in for the season. Though I hope he has a speedy recovery, as his presence on the track motivates me even further.”
South Africa’s Caster Semenya crushed the field in the Women’s 1500m with a new National Record of 3:59.92 taking almost a second off her personal best in the process. Kenya’s Nelly Jepkosgei came second with a personal best of 4:00.99 and Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu third with a season’s best of 4:01.41. Reflecting afterwards, Semenya said:
“I wanted to go faster, but had to slow down a little. It’s always been a dream to set the NR and continue to push beyond my PB, and I think we definitely achieved what we came here for. I want to maintain this momentum throughout the season, but will also make sure I continue to keep healthy My immediate next step is to go back and watch the race, and see where we can improve.”