Doha: Mutaz Essa Barshim had repeatedly said that this season he would be aiming at records to keep himself motivated and he gave a solid indication of what he meant as he cruised to high jump gold at the Doha Diamond League at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium on Friday.
At one point it seemed Mutaz would going for the record as promised and even break it as he cleared 2.40 in his very first attempt. With no one to give him any fight — Syrian Majd Eddin Ghazal, the next best performer finished his business at 2.33 to win silver — Mutaz aimed for 2.42 but failed in all his attempts.
“I want to thank God for such a good start. Qatar always gives me a good start, and I got so close to the National Record. I'm very blessed to be here, Doha Diamond League is the best way to kick off the season,” said Mutaz after the impressive performance.
Earlier, Qatar’s Abdulrahman Samba repeated his last year’s show to win 400m hurdles gold, only this time it was more emphatic.
Samba clocked 47.57, a new Diamond League record which is also the world leading mark, to finish well ahead of the rest of the field.“I've defended my title, yes, I'm very happy for me and for Qatar. Winning at home is an amazing feeling, especially to break not only my record and the NR, but the Diamond League record as well,” said Samba. “I have a feeling this will be a great season for me, and all I want to do is run even faster. The audience was so welcoming and I want to also thank everyone for being here today.”
USA’s Bershawn Jackson claimed silver in 49.08 while Kyron McMaster of British Virgin Islands took bronze in 49.46.
Abdullah Haroun had to be content with silver in the men’s 400M where Steven Gardiner of Bahamas won gold in 43.87. While Haroun finished in 44.50, Isaac Makwala of Botswana clocked 44.92 to take the bronze.