Athletics

Gatlin and de Grasse renew rivalry in Doha

They finished second and third in last year's Olympics 100m final and, tomorrow morning (Singapore time), Justin Gatlin and Andre de Grasse renew their rivalry in the Diamond League season-opener in Qatar.

The sprint race is not the only standout event of the now-traditional Doha curtain-raiser for the league - this year spread over 14 meetings in 13 different countries - but it also takes on an extra edge as it is a World Championship season.

Both athletes will have their eyes on London in August, when they will take on the legendary Usain Bolt in his international farewell but, for now, battle commences in Doha.

Canadian de Grasse, 22, is Bolt's heir apparent and has declared his intention to "spoil" Bolt's swansong.

De Grasse also claimed silver behind Bolt in the 200m in Rio.

The controversial Gatlin, 35, has already struck an early-season blow, anchoring the American team to victory at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau last month, with de Grasse's Canada bombing out in the final.

POWER POWELL

The pair will be joined in Doha by another former Jamaican 100m world-record holder - and last year's Diamond League winner the evergreen Asafa Powell and yet another rising star, 
Akani Simbine.

The South African, 23, ran 9.92sec in March, the second fastest time of the year.

His early-season form has been superb, dipping under 10 seconds five times and winning his country's 100m title ahead of Wayde van Niekerk.

The women's 200m will be contested by the gold and silver medallists from Rio - Jamaica's Elaine Thompson and Dafne Schippers from Holland. - AFP

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