Gardiner wins 400m; Thomas third in high jump in Diamond League opener in Doha.

 

NASSAU, Bahamas:
Stephen Gardiner sped to victory in the men's 400m in the opening leg of the 2017 Diamond League in Doha, Qatar on Friday. The Bahamian national record holder cruised to a time of 44.60 to record his second straight win for the 2017 season. Lining up against a quality field, Gardiner majestically strode down the back straight before powering around the final bend to come in the home stretch well ahead of his competitors. The 21 year old then eased over the line leaving America's two time World champion Lashawn Merritt (44.78) and 2013 World Championships silver medallist Tony McQuay (44.92) in second and third place. Gardiner opening his season with a grand style improving his own Bahamian record to 44.26 at the Grenada Invitational on April 8.

Speaking after his triumph, the 2016 Rio Olympics 4x400m bronze medallist said his run was a hard one but he was confident of the victory. The Murphy Town, Abaco native has taken on the mantle of the leading quarter miler from The Bahamas Chris "Fireman' Brown.

Former world high jump champion Donald Thomas was third in the men's high jump with a 2.29m clearance. Thomas edged Majid Aidin Ghazal of Syria for third place as both jumpers cleared the same distance. Qatar's Mutaz Barshim cleared 2.36 for gold in front of his home fans. Robbie Grabarz of Great Britain took second spot (2.31).

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