Allyson Felix enters the 2011 Samsung Diamond League series with two diamonds to her name as last year’s champion in both the 200 and 400m. She will begin her journey to add to her diamond collection this Friday, in Doha, Qatar in the 400m.
The IAAF Samsung Diamond League encompasses 32 individual event disciplines, with a points scoring ‘Diamond Race’ which runs throughout the 14 meeting series. In the inaugural season, Americans won 11 of the 32 Diamond Races. Winners of each Diamond Race will get a Diamond Trophy and a cash prize. For more details on the league, click here.
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While Felix looks to double in the 200/400 later this year at the world championships, she will start the year specializing in the 400m at Doha. Felix has every reason to expect another victory after having nabbed nine Doha wins through the years, including the meet record of 49.83 in 2008. Felix has run four relay legs so far in 2011, but this will be her first individual race of the year. Her top competitors include fellow American Monica Hargrove, Britain’s former world silver medallist Nicola Sanders and Muriel Hurtis-Houairi of France, a world indoor champion over 200m back in 2003.
It’s Russia versus USA in the women’s 200m, where 2010 US champion Connie Moore leads a quartet of Americans against European bronze medallist Aleksandra Fedoriva. Moore ran a nifty 22.40 to win the US title last year while Fedoriva’s PR is only a fraction slower at 22.41. The Russian won an Olympic relay gold in 2008 and she’ll be joined in Doha by her compatriot, Elizabeta Savlinis, who has a best of 23.20.
Moore will be joined by her namesake, LaShauntea Moore, a world youth champ back in 1999 and world finalist in 2007. The 27-year-old was in good form last year when she clocked a 100m PR of 10.97, while her 200 best of 22.46 stems from 2007.
The two other Americans joining the action are Alexandria Anderson and ChaRonda Williams. Anderson is better known as a hurdler, while Williams – a world championship semi-finalist in 2009 – has already run 22.85 this year.