Who will sparkle in the Diamond League?

athletics correspondent

The 2014 outdoor athletics season begins in earnest in Doha, Qatar, on Friday night with the first of 14 Diamond League meetings that span the Middle East, Asia, the United States and Europe.

Ten reigning Olympic champions will be in action in Doha alone. As the outdoor season approaches, we take a look at 10 potential story lines for the Diamond League this season.

Will Bolt continue to carry sport on his shoulders?

Speculation has swirled around the world's fastest man because of a foot injury over the winter. Although Usain Bolt has dismissed it as "nothing serious", he will not appear in the Diamond League until June. The whole sport desperately needs him to shine once more this season, and he usually comes good when it counts.

Can Britain's whizz-kids step up to the mark?

Hopes are high for British sprinting this season. James Dasaolu dipped under the 10-second barrier last year and was flying indoors until suffering an injury. If fit, he ought to emulate those feats. Likewise, Adam Gemili and the world indoor champion, Richard Kilty, could join him under that 10sec mark.

Is Rudisha still invincible?

David Rudisha was due to race for the first time in nearly a year since a knee injury derailed his 2013 season after just two races. But the Olympic 800m champion pulled out yesterday with a calf injury, which may reinforce rumours that the Kenyan is no longer at his best.

Will Farah get his Mo-jo back?

Much was made about Mo Farah's marathon debut after he opted to swap the track for the road. That move stalled with a disappointing London Marathon performance, and Farah returns to the track with something to prove. Glasgow in July is his only Diamond League venue, and we shall see if his track speed has been diluted by the road.

Which Dibaba is the best?

Tirunesh Dibaba will head back to the track this summer after her impressive third-place debut in the London Marathon. But she may not even be the best Dibaba in 2014, with younger sister Genzebe, who is set to run the 3,000m in Doha, posting two world records as she blazed a trail during the indoor season.

Can Adams ever be beaten?

The New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams has gone 46 meetings, over four years, without defeat. At some point her standards will slip but she still has a way to go to beat the 11-year winning streak enjoyed by former high jumper Iolanda Balas between 1956 and 1967.

So how fast can Fraser-Pryce go?

The sprint achievements of Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are often overshadowed by those of fellow Jamaican Usain Bolt, but her consistency has been remarkable over recent seasons. Fraser-Pryce won the Diamond League for both the 100m and 200m last season. Now all she needs is the world record over both distances.

Drugs will never go away

Drug always flare up at some stage. Last year, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell stole the headlines, while the two-year ban handed to Liliya Shobukhova turns the spotlight back on to perennial offenders Russia.

Javier mark in danger

It is 21 years since high jumper Javier Sotomayor became the only man to beat the 8ft mark with his world record of 2.43 metres. This year that height could be beaten. Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov, potentially more famous for jumping drunk, cleared 2.42m in February but could be pushed for the record by Mutaz Essa Barshim and Bohdan Bondarenko.

Lavillenie is aiming high

One long-standing world record that has already gone this season is Sergey Bubka's pole-vault mark, like Sotomayor's record set in 1993. Appropriately, France's Renaud Lavillenie beat it in Bubka's home town of Donetsk with his vault of 6.16m. Lavillenie insists he can go higher yet outdoors.

Sport
Romelu Lukaku
sportChelsea striker sends second teasing tweet of the day
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Sport
Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura sprays a line after calling for a free kick for Brazil
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Tax Solicitor

£40000 - £70000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Tax Solicitor An excel...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Analyst

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: This is an exce...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz