Home Athletics Barshim, Benjamin and Fraser-Pryce talk legacy as they take steps towards Tokyo in Doha | NEWS

Barshim, Benjamin and Fraser-Pryce talk legacy as they take steps towards Tokyo in Doha | NEWS

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Barshim, Benjamin and Fraser-Pryce talk legacy as they take steps towards Tokyo in Doha | NEWS

Whereas the Wanda Diamond League assembly in Doha on Friday (28) is a crucial step for a lot of athletes on the street to the Olympic Video games in Tokyo, for Mutaz Barshim it additionally represents a key milestone in his profession.

It’s a decade for the reason that Qatari excessive bounce star made his Diamond League debut on house soil, clearing 2.31m as a 19-year-old. Since then he has elevated his finest to 2.43m, simply 2cm off Javier Sotomayor’s world document, and amongst his many medals are two world outside titles, as he returned after damage to say his second in Doha in 2019.

“In 2011 it was my debut here in Doha – that was my first Diamond League,” defined Barshim on the pre-event press convention.

“I remember when we started, I wasn’t that good in my technical performance. My coach said ‘you have to change that if you want to jump at a high level for 10 years’. In order to perform, you need to put in the work, and if you can’t put in the work, it’s not going to happen. If you have managed to stay healthy, anything is possible.”

Requested whether or not 2.45m is perhaps potential, he replied: “I feel 2.47m is feasible, for those who handle to remain wholesome.

“I want to be remembered,” he added. “I want to make sure that you can never mention high jump without mentioning my name. I want to set an example. I know there are a lot of kids out there who have the same passion and dreams.”

Legacy was a scorching subject on the press convention on Thursday, and among the many athletes returning to Doha for the primary time for the reason that 2019 World Athletics Championships was the USA’s Rai Benjamin, who claimed 400m hurdles silver and 4x400m gold in Qatar’s capital.

“I would like to be the greatest 400m hurdler ever,” stated the 23-year-old, who sits third on the world all-time record along with his 46.98 PB. “It’s a big ask and it’s going to take a lot over the next couple of years, but I’m just getting started. I definitely want to be remembered, not just in my event but in other events too. I want to be the most versatile track and field athlete anyone has ever seen.”

With regards to versatility, Benjamin added that he hopes to double up on the World Athletics Championships Oregon22. “We’ll see what happens and if I decide to run the 200m or the 400m (as well as the 400m hurdles),” he stated. “Whatever works best on the schedule, I definitely want to take a shot at it.”

His 2019 silver was claimed forward of Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba, whose PB additionally stands at 46.98. The pair will go head-to-head on Friday, and looking forward to the rematch, Benjamin added: “I know what type of shape I am in and what I’m capable of doing this weekend but in track you have to have a short memory. In 2019 Samba wasn’t healthy, I wasn’t healthy – it was just a matter of getting that confidence and having the support to show up to the final and actually run. We weren’t in the best of shape and every time we have raced each other we have run really well, so we’ll see what happens. I know it’s a big race and everyone is excited but I just pray that we finish healthy, we run fast and set our sights on Tokyo.”

For Samba, who will probably be contesting the 400m hurdles for the primary time since that world last, all eyes are additionally on the Olympics. “Friday will be a great start for me to push for my ambition in Tokyo,” he stated. “I am focused on Tokyo and will keep an eye on the podium.”

Fraser-Pryce seeks sub-10.70

Regardless of the whole lot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has already achieved, the nine-time world gold medallist stays pushed by her hunt for sooner occasions. After battling the wind and rain to complete fourth on the first Diamond League assembly of the season in Gateshead, the Jamaican dash nice will probably be hoping to benefit from the extra beneficial Doha situations to work in the direction of her purpose of a sub-10.70 100m and a medal in Tokyo.

“Now being 34, I am intentional about my goals and one of those intentions is definitely to run below 10.70,” she stated. “Hopefully I can put some strong races collectively this season and get that executed.

“The harder the competitions are, the better I am at performing. I like a challenge, I like it when the competition is hard. When you’re at a Diamond League you know the field is going to be good and it’s going to be solid.”

However occasions and medals will not be her solely motivation.

“I’m passionate about community,” she added. “When I was growing up I didn’t have a lot of role models so I am passionate about going into my community and providing hope and inspiration to the young girls and boys.”

Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot expressed the same want, as he sat alongside Fraser-Pryce forward of constructing his season opener within the 1500m.

“My passion is to nurture young athletes in my community so that people at home can remember me,” he stated. “I hope I will open clubs so young athletes can train there.”

After his world 1500m title win in 2019, he raced the 800m in Doha final September, and added: “To be again right here is essential to me

“The 1500m is very competitive worldwide. I need to work hard and focus on the Olympics because now I am in good form.”

The ladies’s pole vault can be set to be extremely aggressive and Friday’s competitors will see the three 2019 world medallists – champion Anzhelika Sidorova, runner-up Sandi Morris and bronze medallist Katerina Stefanidi – conflict as soon as once more.

“I’m excited because this is the first time we are all seeing each other again in person and it just so happens to be back here in Doha where we last met,” stated the USA’s world indoor champion Morris. “I have no doubt that we are going to bring out the best in one another.”

Jess Whittington for World Athletics

Photographs by Dan Vernon

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