Nijel Amos of Botswana, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the 800 meters. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
Nijel Amos of Botswana, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the 800 meters. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014

Track and Field Portraits, Doha Edition

Here are 13 quick and candid portraits of some of the athletes who competed at last Friday’s IAAF Diamond League series kick-off track meet in Doha, Qatar. Above is Nijel Amos from Botswana, the reigning Olympic silver medallist in the 800 meters. He ran so hard in that Olympic final —winner David Rudisha broke the world record— that he collapsed on the London track and had to be carried off on a stretcher. Just 18 at the time, he ended the race as the third fastest man in history. He finished second again on Friday —Mohamad Aman pictured below was the winner— but didn’t require any assistance this time.

With one exception, these were all taken in the days leading up to Friday’s competition during press points, informal meetings with the press. I was also doing other things so had to act fairly quickly; with no opportunity to set up shots, the result is this collection of snaps taken while the athletes were fielding questions. Below is Kenyan Ezekiel Kemboi, one of the finest steeplechase runners of all time. Below that are high hurdlers David Oliver and Ryan Wilson of the U.S. and Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic, the reigning Olympic silver medallist in the 400 meters, hanging out with the Qatari Mounted Police. I kind of liked the flares of light from shooting almost directly into the sun.

Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya, twice Olympic and three-time world champion in the steeplechase. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014.
Ezekiel Kemboi of Kenya, twice Olympic and three-time world champion in the steeplechase. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014.
David Oliver (USA), Ryan Wilson (USA) and Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic with the Qatari Mounted Police at the Souq Waqif. Doha, Qatar, 06-May-2014.
From left: David Oliver (USA), Ryan Wilson (USA) and Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic with the Qatari Mounted Police at the Souq Waqif. Doha, Qatar, 06-May-2014.

I spent most of the past 15 years reporting almost exclusively on elite track and field and distance running. I covered the last three Olympic Games from finish line seats and dozens of other events in more than 20 countries on four continents for a number of newspapers, magazines and websites. Although I decided to no longer concentrate so heavily on the sport, I am looking forward to the half dozen or so competitions I’ll be attending and covering through September. And the opportunity to make more informal portraits.

These were all taken under natural light with high ASA. I decided to render them in black and white simply because I’m trying to focus more on monochrome this year.

As always, thoughts, critiques and comments most welcome.

Sprinter Curtis Mitchell of the USA. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
Sprinter Curtis Mitchell of the USA. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
800 meter runner Jenny Meadows of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
800 meter runner Jenny Meadows of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
Christian Taylor of the USA, 2012 Olympic champion in the triple jump. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
Christian Taylor of the USA, 2012 Olympic champion in the triple jump. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
High jumper Derek Drouin from Canada. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
High jumper Derek Drouin from Canada. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
Discus Thrower Brett Morse of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
Discus Thrower Brett Morse of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
High jumper Ivan Ukhov of Russia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
High jumper Ivan Ukhov of Russia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
800-meter runner Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
800-meter runner Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
High jumper Erik Kynard of the USA. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
High jumper Erik Kynard of the USA. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
Distance runner Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
Distance runner Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia. Doha, Qatar, 08-May-2014
800 meter runner Andrew Osagie of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014
800 meter runner Andrew Osagie of Great Britain. Doha, Qatar, 07-May-2014

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  1. i’m glad that i loitered here at ciragan instead of dashing out to get supplies before going home… wow. these are all wonderful shots, and i’m shocked that most people missed them..

    you’ve captured so many special emotions that interplay with the joys of winning.. they are humbled and proud and are probably feeling a bit unworthy of reaching the super athlete status, yet they know that they worked hard and earned it… the eyes tell the true story= they sparkle!

    i love every photo!

    z

  2. Nice post. I liked your detail portrait of Genzebe Dibaba and I also like this portrait of her.

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