Richardson, Kerley in a hurry at Diamond League meet

·3-min read

Sha'Carri Richardson left her rivals in the dust as she streaked to victory in the 100m dash in the first Diamond League meeting of the season in Doha.

Richardson, who was expected to be one of the biggest draws at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 before accepting a one-month ban after testing positive for cannabis, set a meet record in Doha with a time of 10.76 seconds.

The 23-year-old American beat Jamaica's world 200m champion Shericka Jackson (10.85) while Briton Dina Asher-Smith was third (10.98).

"I'm so blessed and thankful, I feel at peace. All I do is the best I do and I'm excited to do it," Richardson said.

"Like I said it before, I had to be kicked out from another 100 metres race, so I had to do my best no matter what. Peace, love and life."

Asher Smith, who won the world 200 metres title in Doha in 2019, said she was happy with her third-placed finish.

"The whole point about my season is to race against the best and I did that tonight. I am really happy with my race, third place is a good start and the time is decent," she said.

In the men's 200m, American Fred Kerley stormed to victory in lane seven, clocking 19.92 seconds, using his long strides to his advantage in the final 40 metres.

The American, who won the silver in the 100m at the Tokyo Olympics, reeled in compatriot and Tokyo 200m silver medallist Kenneth Bednarek (20.11) who finished second while Canadian Aaron Brown (20.20) was third.

"I was comfortable, but I know I still got work to do. The most important was to win and I did," Kerley said.

"I was happy with the competition, it was a good one, the guys gave me a fight. Next is Japan, (I will) open up my season in the 100 (metres)."

Fellow Canadian and reigning Olympic champion Andre De Grasse was in lane eight and could only manage a sixth-placed finish despite a season best time.

India's Neeraj Chopra and Kenya's Faith Kipyegon, reigning Olympic champions in the men's javelin and women's 1,500ms, began their Diamond League title defences with wins in their respective events.

The Czech Republic's Jakub Vadlejch, who won silver in Tokyo, finished second again - four centimetres shy of Chopra's mark.

The pair were the only two athletes to breach the 88 metres-mark with Grenada's Anderson Peters third (85.88).

Kristjan Ceh of Slovenia won the men's discuss with a throw of 70.89m beating Sweden's Daniel Stahl (67.14), while American Sam Mattis (64.69) edged out Australia's Matthew Denny (64.42) for bronze.

In the final event of the night, Kipyegon became the fifth athlete to set a world-leading mark when she finished the 1500m in 3:58.57 to beat the Ethiopian duo of Diribe Welteji, who finished less than a second behind, and Freweyni Hailu.

"It was an exciting race but a little bit windy, so I decided to not push too much and just focus on winning the race," Kipyegon said.

"My big goal is to win the World Championships (in Budapest in August) and to break the world record this summer."

Australians Jessica Hull (4:00.90) and Abbey Caldwell (4:01:15) finished fourth and fifth.