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What I'm looking out for in Doha

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Katharine Merry | 22:10 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

This weekend's indoor event in Doha is first time that an athletics World Championships of any sort has been held in the Middle East and with the inaugural 2010 IAAF Diamond League meeting here in May, all concerned are looking for a good show.

This is not just a big weekend for the host nation, who have been on a huge promotion drive drumming up excitement in the local neighbourhoods and have spent a lot of money on marketing.

It is also a big weekend for some of the world's best athletes and biggest world indoors, in terms of participation, since the first, in Indianapolis in 1987.

So which athletes are likely to please the fans - and the organising committee - in the Aspire Dome in Qatar's capital?

Chambers Chambers looks favourite given his recent form Photo: PA

Can Dwain Chambers go one better than he did in Valencia two years ago when he shared the silver medal in the men's 60m?

The current world number two is, for me, the favourite because - despite the fact he has so few races because many meetings bar those who have served doping bans - his mental approach and clinical delivery is very impressive.

This is the only major championships the Americans will take part in this year so will be hungry.

Chambers' chances have been boosted by the withdrawal of the world leader from the USA Ivory Williams, but Michael Rodgers is in form and will be keen to grab gold.

A Jamaican has never won this title and Nesta Carter and Lerone Clarke could trouble the others. Twenty-one-year-old Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is also in good form and could conceivably add to the British medal tally.

In the men's 60m hurdles Dayron Robles, the reigning Olympic champion, clocked 7.44 seconds recently and - although American Terrance Trammell is topping the rankings - many eyes will be on Lui Xiang.

China's reigning champion is taking part in his first global championships since limping out of his home Olympics in 2008 with an Achilles tendon surgery.

On past performances, of course, he would be in the mix but his performance in clocking 8.05 seconds in Shanghai last week leaves me wondering if he really be a threat.

Jones-Ferrette and Jeter recorded the same time in Birmingham Jones-Ferrette and Jeter recorded the same time in Birmingham Photo: PA

In the women's 60m I would be quite happy for Laverne Jones-Ferrette and Carmelita Jeter to turn up and just go head to head! The top 12 times in the world this year are shared by these two athletes, with six apiece.

Jones-Ferrette the 28-year-old US Virgin Islander has the world lead of 6.97 sec but American Jeter is hot on her heels, recently jetting to 7.02 sec in the altitude of Albuquerque.

When I interviewed them together after the 60m race recently at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham - where they both clocked the same time but Jeter was given the win - the body language was respectful but fuelled by a fierce rivalry. It was great!

All British fans hope Jess Ennis will be in contention from a very strong pentathlon field. All the Beijing Olympic medallists are there and will provide very strong competition.

Hopefully Jess is fully recovered from the foot injury that has disrupted her winter. Along with Jenny Meadows and our 4x400m relay team, let's hope the GB team can put a smile on head coach Charles Van Commenee's face as he sets his sights on four medals.

Which events are you looking forward to this weekend?


  • Comment number 1.

    The male 60m will definitely be the highlight. I expect Dwain to probably win and Harry to medal. He'll probably need a PB to get that though!

  • Comment number 2.

    I agree Katherine, Chambers for gold and if Harry can keep his head, with the main American out could grab a medal.
    Personally I am also looking forward to Blanka Vlasic in the High Jump and the Men's Triple Jump. Even with Idowu out seeing Christian Olson back is great.

    Finally why is this not on the BBC? Don't the beeb have athletics rights? I had to watch it through a newspaper site this morning and it was rubbish. The one guy was good, but some women and other bloke were doing a bad job.
    I thought a red button job would be offered at least by the beeb. Any highlights shows across the weekend?

  • Comment number 3.

    Its a shame Usain doesn't have a go at the 60. Maurice Greene's WR could definatley go. Was a pretty good championships just a shame it weren't on the beeb

  • Comment number 4.

    Hi Katherine,

    i have a question I hope you can help me with (although i might already know the answer)
    why didn't BBC show the indoor championship? I assume another TV got the exclusive rights. At least some highlight?
    I am beginning to worry about this. I see less and less athletic on BBC TV. this is a shame. they use to show all the big IAAF championship.
    I have also noticed that the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, this sunday, is not on BBC. what is happening? I thought there was an interest in showing athletics on TV to encourage the new generation to become interested in this beautiful sport.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Mario

    I think this article in the recent Athletics Weekly magazine tells the story behind the non showing of the WIC and the Cross Country.

  • Comment number 6.

    Thanks Katharine,

    I have just read the article and it confirms what i feared... tv rights and contracts. What a shame.
    Hopefully the BBC will soon be able to find an agreement with IEC.


  • Comment number 7.

    why bolt not running at palace tax tax why pay 1/10 of earning world wide, we r worst off not c ng the great man run why o why give us a brake briton.


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