Some of the biggest names in Australian athletics are bound for the Doha Diamond League this weekend, as world champions Nina Kennedy and New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athlete Eleanor Patterson open their international campaigns alongside a trio of middle-distance stars led by Jessica Hull (NSWIS).

Australian record holders Matt Denny and Brandon Starc will also feature in non-Diamond League events in Doha, with the sole focus of asserting their presence ahead of Paris 2024.

The main program of the 2024 Diamond League can be viewed live and free via the Diamond League YouTube channel from 2am AEST with the full start list and timetable available HERE.

Friday May 10 (AEST):

Men’s High Jump

Brandon Starc

“What Gravity Challenge”

While not technically part of the Doha Diamond League, Qatari Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim (QAT) is throwing a high jump party and NSWIS’s Brandon Starc (Alex Stewart) is invited.

Set to be held at the Katara Amphitheater, the competition brings together the 12 best high jumpers in the world, including reigning Olympic champions Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA), and 2024 World Indoor champion Hamish Kerr (NZL).

The equal Australian record holder at 2.36m, Starc has built back to fitness and is ready to ramp up his Paris preparations after completing his first competition since September last week – a 2.15m clearance in Shizuoka.

Saturday May 11 (AEST):

Men’s Discus Throw

Matt Denny

12:55am AEST

While no Diamond League points are available for the Men’s Discus in Doha, Matt Denny (Dale Stevenson) will aim to stamp his presence amongst global discus giants in the Olympic year, fresh off an Australian record of 69.35m at the 2024 Chemist Warehouse Australian Athletics Championships.

The Allora product will look to pick up where he left off in the Diamond League after winning the title in Eugene last year, improving upon his fourth-place finish at the 2023 World Championships.

Meeting 70m throwers in the form of 2022 world champion Kristjan Ceh (Slovenia, 71.86m) and Olympic bronze medallist Lukas Weibhaidinger (Austria, 70.68m), Denny presents in career-best form to launch his bid for a maiden global medal – one that he dreams of being gold in Paris.

Women’s Pole Vault

Nina Kennedy

1:02am AEST

The world champion is back on the world stage.

Nina Kennedy (Paul Burgess & James Fitzpatrick) had such a good 2023 campaign culminating in the world title that her 2022 Diamond League crown is now a distant memory. The Australian record holder at 4.91m has already landed herself in the top-10 pole vaulters in history, creeping closer to the exclusive five-metre club of four athletes.

Doha won’t be the night that barrier gets broken for Kennedy, but the opportunity to compete against Sandi Morris (USA) who owns a 5.00m personal best will be an early-season test for the reigning world champion, along with 2024 World Indoor champion and rising star Molly Caudery (GBR).

Women’s High Jump

Eleanor Patterson

2:10am AEST

2022 world champion Eleanor Patterson (Alex Stewart) is ready for takeoff in the Women’s High Jump, set to open her international campaign in Doha off the back of a 1.95m clearance for silver at last month’s Australian Championships.

Touching down in Doha alongside fellow two-metre jumpers Yuliia Levchenko (UKR, 2.02m) Iryna Gereshchenko (UKR, 2.00m) and Nadezhda Debovitskaya (KAZ, 2.00m), Patterson will get an early indication of her form against some of the world’s best ahead of Paris 2024.

Completing a valiant return from injury to win silver at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest, the high-flyer rounded out her year with back-to-back Diamond League podiums in Xiamen and Brussels – now building towards a third Olympic Games at the age of 27.

Women’s 1500m

Jessica Hull, Georgia Griffith, Abbey Caldwell

2:34am AEST

An Australian woman with sub four-minute credentials over 1500m was non-existent until 2021, and now three of them will feature in a Diamond League showdown led by reigning national champion Jessica Hull (Simon Hull).

The resurgent crop of stars will toe the line in Doha, with 22-year-old Abbey Caldwell (Gavin Burren) and Olympian Georgia Griffith (Nic Bideau) joining the field headed by World Championships silver medallist Diribe Welteji (ETH).

Hull has wasted no time in her quest to be a global contender in 2024 when racing to fourth place over 3000m at February’s World Indoor Championships, before delivering dominant Australian title wins over 1500m and 3000m.

Already selected for the Olympic Games in the 1500m, while Caldwell has punched her ticket in the 800m, the duo will race with freedom to mix it with the world’s best, while Griffith looks to strengthen her case after a career-best 3:59.04 for sixth place at last month’s Xiamen Diamond League.

Lachlan Moorhouse, Athletics Australia

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