TOP 4 Male Performances at Diamond League 2019
In the world of athletics, the fierce competition in the men’s field has made ‘success’ even tougher than ever before. Athletes from the African nations are not only dominating the competitive stage, but also have displayed exemplary competitive spirits to outdo each other. The first meeting of the Diamond League Season commenced on the 3rd of May 2019 at Doha’s Khalifa Stadium.
As many as 7 events for men and 7 events for women were held at the first meeting. Athletes from various countries came in to show their prowess in their respective events. Only 7 top-class athletes succeeded to win their races in the toughest scenario, well-ahead of their competitors. It was sheer brilliance to watch each race being unfolded to unravel the ultimate winner.
Athletes from Turkey, Botswana, Kenya, Morocco and America won the Top 5 events of the first meeting of the Diamond League. The fierce competition saw some of the most scintillating races in recent years in the men’s field. Enthusiastic spectators cheered and applauded their countrymen to enjoy each and every race in great spirits. Johnny D picks the ‘Top 4 Male Performance’ at the Diamond League 2019.
Ramil GULIYEV: 200m
The men’s 200m sprint saw the 2018 European Champion Ramil Guliyev from Turkey outclassing Aaron Brown from Canada in a late surge. The race was well balanced during the bend. Canada’s Aaron Brown was leading as soon as they came on the straight. Guilyev was right on his heels. Like a true champion, he maintained his calm and composer to surge ahead of Brown with his ultimate kick with nearly 70m left to win the 200m clocking 19.99s.
Aaron Brown must have been very disappointed with his performance, having led the race till 130m. Ecuadorian Alex Quinonez finished second behind Guliyev 0.20s to push Brown to the third place. Brown clocked 20.20s. Ramil Guliyev maintained his stature as the 2018 European Champion to begin his 2019 Season.
Ramil Guliyev was born in Baku, Azerbaijan SSR on the 29th of May 2019. He was naturalized as Turkish sprinter. He made his presence felt as a prospective sprinter during the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships. He won the Gold medal in 200m and was the runner-up in the 100m sprint. In the past one decade, he has held his National and Junior National Records in 100m and 200m sprint. Guliyev also holds the 200m European Junior and 60m National Junior Records.
Ramil Guliyev’s 200m timing of 20.04s in 2009 is the second fastest time clocked by a junior athlete after Usain Bolt’s 19.93s. In 2009, Guliyev was adjudged and presented with the ‘European Athletics Rising Star of the Year Award’ for his outstanding performance throughout the year.
Ramil Guliyev won the 200m event clocking 20.09s at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. He established a new European Championships’ Record in 200m clocking 19.76s in 2018 and won the Gold medal. His win was Turkey’s first-ever Gold medal in the World Championships.
Nijel AMOS: 800m
The 800m was an exhilarating race with blistering pace. Botswana’s Nijel Amos ran a very tactical race as compared to Kenyan Emmanuel Korir. The first lap was led by the pacer Som in top speed clocking 50.26s. As Som completed his job of pacer to leave the race, Korir made his move way too early to lead the pack. With 250m to go, Korir surged ahead of the pack with Amos and others on his heels.
Korir’s early move cost him the race as his parachute opened with 50m to go. Amos put his everything to pass Korir to win the race with a superb timing of 1:44.29. The ecstatic spectators celebrated Nijel’s success dancing and applauding to cherish the moment. Amos ran a well-judged race to win the thrilling event. Korir finished second, missing the Gold medal with just a 0.21s clocking 1:44:50. American Donovan Brazier finished third with a timing of 1:44:70.
Over the past few years, Amos and Korir had become a fierce 800m arch rival. In 2018, Korir outclassed Amos to win the 800m African title. Amos has recorded the third fastest man in 800m and tied along with Britain’s Sebastian Coe at 1:41.73. Soon after the race, Amos enthused, “I was expecting the win, but it was tough out there. Winning my first race of the season gives me a good feeling.”
Nijel Amos was born in village Marobela, Botswana on the 15th of March 1994. Amos shot to fame during the 2011 African Junior Athletics Championships with a record time of 1:47.28 for Botswana Junior. At the 2011 World Youth Championships in Athletics, Amos improved his previous time. However, he finished fifth in the race.
A year later, he clocked 1:43.11 to improve his National Senior Record in Mannheim. In the same year at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics, Amos won the title with a new Championships’ Record of 1:43.79. He represented Botswana in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He won his country’s first Olympic medal by winning the Silver medal in 800m. Clocking 1:41.73, Amos established a new World Junior Record. However, David Rudisha broke his record
In 2012 Amos improved his National Senior Record to 1:43.11 during a race in Mannheim. He became champion at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Athletics, finishing in a new championship record of 1:43.79. In the 2012 Summer Olympics, Amos won a silver medal in the men's 800 m race, the first Olympic medal for his country. His timing of 1:41.73 established a new World Junior Record behind the new World Record set by David Rudisha, who broke Sebastian Coe’s long standing record clocking 1:40.91.
Elijah Motonei MANANGOI: 1500m
The 1500m race was an interesting one with Kenyan Elijah Manangoi dominating the competitive field throughout the race. Right from the beginning of the race, Manangoi placed himself behind the two pacers to lead the amazing elite field. As soon as the pacers finished their job, a confident Manangoi did not give anyone the chance to overtake him. Compatriot Timothy Cheruiyot tried his best to match stride for stride with Manangoi, but he just could not match his brilliance.
It is interesting to note that Cheruiyot is Manangoi’s training partner, who was the 2018 Diamond League Champion. Manangoi showed Cheruiyot, what it takes to be a World Champion. He clocked 3:32.21 to win the race. Cheruiyot finished second clocking 3:32.47. Kenyans dominated the 1500m event claiming the first three spot with Bethwell Birgen clocking 3:32.12. Elijah Manangoi’s younger brother George finished 7th in the race and clocked his personal best of 3:34.00. George Manangoi is the World Champion in U18 and U20 categories.
Elijah Motonei Manangoi was born in Narok, Kenya on the 5th of January 1993. He shot to fame, when he won the Silver medal at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Manangoi had a disastrous outing finishing 26th. However, with a lesson well-learnt, he bounced back by winning the 2017 World Championships in London clocking 3:33.61.
In the year 2018, Manangoi won the 1500m’s Gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia clocking 3:34.78. He went onto win the 2018 African Championships title clocking 3:35.20 at Asaba, Nigeria. He repeated his winning performance at the 2018 Continental Cup at Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Soufiane EL BAKKALI: 3000m Steeple Chase
The 3000m Steeple Chase was a grueling and scintillating race for the participants, while the spectators encouraged and enjoyed every bit of it. Moroccan El Bakkali was the hot favourite in the crowded field of some of the most outstanding athletes from various African nations. El Bakkali placed himself behind the two pacers in the beginning. Other athletes increased the pace a little before the end of the first lap to push him behind.
The race picked up momentum during the end of the third lap with Ethiopian Chala Beyo surging past everyone and increasing the speed to break the field. Bakkali was intelligent to get behind at the tenth spot to conserve his energy for the end. In most of the race, he maintained his 10th spot by never letting the lead pack to go beyond his reach.
The pace became too hot to handle for the rest of the field as one by one fell behind, while Bakkali gained his spot in a tactical move. With two more laps to go, Bakkali was fifth, while Beyo and American Hillary Bor were fighting tooth and nail. Bakkali kept his cool in a composed manner to go past ahead one at a time. As the bell for the last lap was heard, Beyo and Bor surged ahead shoulder to shoulder. With 200m to finish, Bor surged ahead of Beyo and Bakkali following on their heels.
Bakkali overtook Beyo with 100m to go. Bor and Bakkali crossed the last hurdle together. Bor seemed to have lost all the power, as Bakkali surged head blowing kisses to the crowd and winning the race in great style and composed manner. A Champion is a true champion, only when he knows his strength to win the race with intelligence and tactics. El Bakkali clocked 8:07.22. Bor was second with 8:08.41. Kenya’s Leonard Kipkemoi Bett finished third clocking 8:08.61. Beyo finished fourth much to his disappointment.
Soufiane El Bakkali was born in Fes, Morocco on the 7th of January 1996. At the 2017 World Championships in London, El Bakkali won the Silver medal clocking 8:14.49. He won his first Gold medal in 3000m Steeple Chase at the 2018 Mediterranean Games in Tarragona, Spain. He was the runners-up at the 2018 African Games in Asaba, Nigeria.