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Caster Semenya © Gallo Images

Simbine, Semenya gunning for glory

Newly crowned SA champions in the men's 100m and women's 800m, Akani Simbine and Caster Semenya will kick off their international season in Doha on Friday, the first stop of the 2017 Diamond League Series.

The Doha meeting kick-starts the annual 14-meeting track and field event which is broadcast exclusively live on SuperSport on both Premium and Compact packages.

Participation in meetings is by invitation only, ensuring that only the cream of the crop of athletes contest the series which rewards winners of each discipline with the iconic diamond trophy and US$50 000 prize money.

Each one of the thirty-two disciplines (sixteen for male athletes, sixteen for females) is staged a total of seven times during the season. The top six athletes at each meeting are awarded points.

The top eight or 12 athletes in the overall standings of each discipline at the end of the Birmingham meeting progress to the Finals in either Zurich or Brussels depending on their discipline.

That means that, at each of the Finals, the fields will be packed exclusively with athletes who have performed consistently over the entire season.

On Friday Simbine will line up against the likes of Justlin Gatlin, Asafa Powel and Olympic bronze medalist, Andre de Grasse. The 100m race starts at 7.25pm on SS6, SS9 and Maximo.

Semenya is the 2016 Diamond League winner in the 800m and starts her title defence against a strong a field featuring Olympics silver and bronze medalists, Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui. The trio meeting again later this month in Eugene. Her race starts an hour earlier at 6.25pm.

Other South Africans who’ve been confirmed so far to compete at this year’s series meetings include Luvo Manyonga who’ll be making his debut in Shanghai, Wenda Nel and Sunette Viljoen for Eugene.

Broadcast details

Friday, May 5

SS6 HD, SS9, Maximo (5.45pm)

2017 Diamond League Series

5 May Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix - Doha Qatar
13 May Shanghai Golden Grand Prix - Shanghai China
27 May Prefontaine Classic - Eugene United States
8 June Golden Gala - Pietro Mennea - Rome Italy
15 June ExxonMobil Bislett Games - Oslo Norway
18 June Stockholm Bauhaus Athletics - Stockholm Sweden
1 July Meeting Areva Saint-Denis - France
6 July Athletissima - Lausanne Switzerland
9 July London Grand Prix - London United Kingdom
16 July Meeting International Mohammed VI d'Athlétisme de Rabat - Rabat Morocco
21 July Herculis - Fontvieille Monaco
20 August British Athletics Grand Prix - Birmingham United Kingdom
24 August Weltklasse Zürich - Zürich Switzerland
1 September AG Insurance Memorial Van Damme - Brussels Belgium


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