Ace Indian discus thrower Krishna Poonia will be participating in the opening leg of the prestigious Diamond League Meetings series in Doha on May 10, which will give her a launch pad for her preparations for the Asian and World Championships later this year.
Poonia is expected to compete in a star-studded field, which will also include reigning Olympic champion Sandra Perkovic of Croatia.
The Indian had finished seventh in London Olympics with a throw of 63.62m while Perkovic had won gold in 69.11 m.
Poonia, though, is expected to move a place up to sixth after London silver medallist Darya Pishchalnikova was banned for 10 years yesterday by Russian Athletics Federation as she returned positive for anabolic steroid after her sample taken in May last year was re-tested.
“I am taking part in the Doha leg of the Diamond League as my entry has been accepted. I will first take part in the first and second leg of Asian Grand Prix in Bangkok (May 4) and Chonburi (May 8) respectively before the Doha Diamond League,” Poonia told PTI from Patiala where she is training.
“I am very happy that I am taking part in Diamond League as I will be competing against the best in the world. It will also give a perfect platform for my preparations for the Asian Championships and World Championships,” she said.
The Asian Championships will be held in India from July 3-7 though the host city is yet to be decided, while the World Championships will be held in Moscow in August. Poonia is yet to qualify for the World Championships.
A maximum of only 12 athletes compete in an event in a Diamond League Meeting, which is a top-flight 14-leg invitational prize-money competition in the IAAF calendar.
The organisers pick athletes from among the entries submitted to them and each Diamond League Meeting attracts top athletes as each event offers a total prize money of $30,000.
The top-finisher in each event of a Diamond League Meeting collects $10,000, while second and third-finishers get $6,000 and $4,000. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth finishers get $3,000, 2,500, 2,000, 1,500 and 1,000 respectively.