Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Diamond Debate | De Grasse favoured in Doha speed test

Published:Friday | May 5, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Andre DeGrasse
Asafa Powell
Justin Gatlin
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Raymond 'KC' Graham: What a start to the Diamond League season, especially in the men's 100 metres, where the likes of Justin Gatlin, Andre De Grasse and Asafa Powell will clash in Doha today.

Andre Lowe: This one should be really exciting. We know Doha will be nice and hot and some of the best will certainly be bringing the heat in the short sprint in what will be a good indicator of what awaits later this season in the sprints.

Raymond 'KC' Graham: And how could I forget the South African, Akani Simbine, following his legit 9.93, 9.98, 9.92, 9.94 and 9.95 seconds times so far this season?

The highlight of the World Relays came in the preliminary round of the 4x100m when De Grasse looked into Gatlin's face while overtaking him on the anchor leg.

Andre Lowe: Gatlin will want to send a message to the youngster and will also have fond memories of his last 100m race in Qatar, which came at this same meet two years ago when he ran a blistering 9.74 seconds in a big win.

Raymond 'KC' Graham: Yes, but Gatlin ,at 35, does not have that same top end speed he showed in 2014 and 2015, and a younger De Grasse, at 22 , despite not having a history of blazing-wind legal times in the 100 metres, look set to be the man to take over in the event with the exit of Usain Bolt. Doha could be the start of this.

Andre Lowe: Well Gatlin ran under 9.90 seconds three times last season, so he still has some speed for sure. I do think that given the schedule of the South African season, Simbine will arrive here in the best shape. He just won his national championships a couple of weeks ago and is responsible for three of the top-four and five of the top seven times so far this season.

Raymond 'KC' Graham: Yes, he is the form man, but remember in Rio, he finished behind Gatlin and De Grasse and I don't think that will change today as the pedigree of Gatlin and De Grasse, along with Powell, could be too much for him despite this being early in the season.

Andre Lowe: Powell struggles against Gatlin, and De Grasse has shown an appetite for the big occasion. I spent a day with him at his training base last week and can say that he's already in good shape and is eager to continue to raise his reputation in Doha.

I'm going with De Grasse over Gatlin. It's a toss up for third place between Powell and Simbine, who, let's not forget, has already beaten Powell in his young career.

Raymond 'KC' Graham: I like De Grasse to beat them all despite his previous best being 9.99 before his 9.91 in Rio. He will have to run faster, though, to win here and I think he will and I give him the win over Simbine and Gatlin with Powell in fourth.