Doha, Qatar: World high jump champion Mutaz Essa Barshim and dazzling 400m hurdler Abderrahman Samba will spearhead host’s Qatar’s challenge the IAAF World Athletics Championships to be held in Doha from September 27 to October 6.
Qatar's will field an 18-athlete squad at the ten-day event to be held at the state-of-the-art Khalifa International Stadium. It will culminate with a midnight marathon at the spectacular Corniche.
Barshim, the 2017 London worlds champion and the World Athlete of the Year, is back in action having suffered an unfortunate ankle injury last year. His best has been 2.27m twice this season while in Zurich he could only clear 2.20m in his last event before bowing out.
So the second highest jumper in the history after Cuban legend Javier Sotomayor at 2.43m, Barshim's fitness and how he handles the situation, would be under focus during the Doha Worlds taking place in the Middle East region for the first time.
Samba created a big stir last season and went on to become the second-fastest one-lap hurdler along with American Rai Benjamin, sweeping everything in his sight. This season, he ran in 400m, 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay as a build-up for the worlds, including his wins in the Asian meet and Shanghai Diamond League.
But he has not raced against world champion Norwegian Karsten Warholm and American Banjamin, who are expected to be his main rivals in the Doha 2019. In the meantime, Warholm showcased his preparations and posted the second fastest time after the world record holder Kevin Young in the Zurich Diamond League in August.
Ogunode, the current Asian record co-owner in 100m with Chinese Su Bigntian and 200m, will be using his experience to help the national 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams. The latter quarter is the reigning Asian record holder after winning the gold medal in the Asian Games in Jakarta last year.
In Jakarta, the 4x400m foursome consisted of world 400m bronze medallist Abdalelah Haroun, who is also back after recovering from injury, Samba, Mohamed Nasir Abbas and Mohamed Mohamed.
For the Doha worlds, Qatar retained only three of the team that won the Asian title here in April this year – Samba, Bassem Hemeida and Ashraf Hussen Osman. With the arrival of Haroun and Ogonode, the Qatar team definitely looks much stronger than before.
Young sprinter Owaab Barrow will run in 100m, besides assisting the 4x100m relay team. Other members of the relay team are Yaqoob al Hasani, Mahamat Zakaria Khalid, Abdelaziz Mohamed, Femi Ogunode and 2018 Asian Games silver medallist Tosin Ogunode.
Abdelaziz Mohamed will also line up in the men's 200m, while Abubaker Haydar Abdalla has been listed for 800m. Abdirahman Saeed Hassan and Yaser Salem Bagharab have been listed for the 1,500m and 3,000m steeplechase, respectively.
Former under-20 world champion and 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Ashraf Amgad El Seify will represent the home team at the men's hammer throw.
Doha 2019 bid ambassador Marim Farid and Kenza Sosse, the two female athletes, will run 400m hurdles and 400m, respectively.
Mohamed Nasir Abbas 4x400 Metres Relay
Abubaker Haydar Abdalla 800 Metres
Yaqoob Al Hasani 4x100 Metres Relay
Yaser Salem Bagharab 3,000 Metres Steeplechase
Owaab Barrow 4x100 Metres Relay, 100 Metres
Mutaz Barshim Essa High Jump
Ashraf Amgad El Seify Hammer Throw
Mariam Mamdouh Farid (W) 400 Metres Hurdles
Abdalelah Haroun 400 Metres, 4x400 Metres Relay
Abdirahman Saeed Hassan 1,500 Metres
Bassem Hemeida 4x400 Metres Relay
Mahamat Zakaria Khalid 4x100 Metres Relay
Abdelaziz Mohamed 4x100 Metres Relay, 200 Metres
Femi Ogunode 4x100 Metres Relay, 4x400 Metres Relay
Tosin Ogunode 4x100 Metres Relay
Ashraf Hussen Osman 4x400 Metres Relay
Abderrahman Samba 400 Metres Hurdles, 400M, 4x400 Metres Relay
Kenza Sosse (W) 400 Metres