The timing couldn’t have been better for Sam Kendricks if he’d planned it himself.
For the past three years, the first Diamond League men’s pole vault competition of the season has been in Shanghai while Doha, Qatar, staged the women’s event.
This year they switched, allowing Kendricks to finally get a feel for Doha before it hosts the IAAF World Championships in late September and early October. He vaults Friday night in Khalifa International Stadium, which makes its Diamond League debut, against an international field that also includes Team USA’s Andrew Irwin.
“I’ll let you in on a little bit about me: I jump better in places I’ve jumped at before,” said Kendricks, 26. “Every stadium, every big meet has its own stressors that come along with it.”