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African queens set for Doha showdown

RECORD HOLDER: Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana

WORLD CHAMPIONS Almaz Ayana and Vivian Cheruiyot will meet in a scintillating 3000m clash at the Doha 2016 meeting, the opening event of the 14-meeting IAAF Diamond League series, on May 6.

In what is sure to be one of the most anticipated early season middle distance showdowns, the meeting’s longest race pits Ayana, the 5000m winner at the World Championships in Beijing last year, against Cheruiyot, who returned from maternity leave last season to strike world gold in the 10,000m.

Cheruiyot’s triumph in Beijing was the fifth at a World Championships for the 32-year-old Kenyan whose previous season-long consistency on the track was rewarded with Diamond Race Trophies in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Meanwhile, Ayana, 24, is the Ethiopian national record holder in the 3000m, her 8:22.20 set last season ranking her 11th fastest of all-time.

CHAMPION: Vivian Cheruiyot

“With these two world champions meeting in the same race, we have again shown our commitment to bringing the best of middle and long distance racing to Doha,” said Qatar Athletics Federation President Dahlan Al Hamad.

“Two years ago Doha hosted one of the best women’s 3000 metres races in history. I am very excited to see if we will witness a rerun of that this year as we prepare to kick-off the Diamond League series for the seventh time.”

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