Nettey jumps to third place in Diamond League opener

Feature photo: Christabel Nettey (Dmitry Rozhkov/Creative Commons)

For world’s elite athletics competitors, IAAF Diamond League got underway on Friday with the lone Canadian competing in Doha, Christabel Nettey, scoring a top-three place in women’s long jump.

Nettey’s leap of 6.93 metres on her second attempt held up as the third longest distance. The Canadian however, lost her world leading result to Tianna Bartoletta of the United States, who won with a jump of 6.99m, edging Nettey’s 6.98m Canadian outdoor record set in April. In between the two North Americans, Shara Proctor of Great Britain landed a 6.95m on her final attempt, setting a British record and winning second place in the process.

Christabel Nettey at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Christabel Nettey at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The winner of each discipline at 2015 Diamond League meets – there are 14 of them – gets four points. The second and third place finishers receive two and one point respectively, with the athlete that has the highest number of points at end of season declared winner of “The Diamond Race” in each discipline.

The meet in Qatar witnessed some incredible achievements, including ‘the greatest triple jump competition ever’ and American sprinter Justin Gatlin winning the men’s 100m at 9.74 seconds, the ninth fastest time on record (it should be noted Usain Bolt of Jamaica holds four of the nine best times). Gatlin is a controversial figure, running the track and field circuit following a four-year drugs ban, with many regularly questioning his very presence.

Adding fuel to the fire, this week it was reported the U.S. men’s 4x100m relay team that won Olympic silver at London 2012 had the medal officially stripped due to doping confirmations of Gatlin’s teammate Tyson Gay. Both men were on the U.S. team that set the now disgraced American relay record of 37.04 seconds in London. Having served their drugs suspensions, both Americans are now heavy favourites to medal at World Championships this summer in Beijing, something that doesn’t sit well with many observers and athletes.

The second Diamond League meet takes place in Shanghai on Sunday, with three Canadians in action.

Fresh off a new Canadian women’s javelin record, Liz Gleadle will test her arm in China, and will be joined by high jumper Michael Mason and sprinter Aaron Brown, who will compete in the 200m.

Brown came third in the 200m behind Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade and Rasheed Dwyer at their home meet last week. Both Jamaican runners are in Sunday’s race, as are speedsters Churandy Martina (Netherlands) and Alonso Edward (Panama).