LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Sporting Alert) — A loaded men’s 100 metres field has been assembled in Lausanne at Athletissima 2013, for Thursday’s IAAF Diamond League meeting.
Heading the list of sprinters gunning for the crown is American champion Tyson Gay, who is now fully fit and is back in absolutely brilliant form ahead of the IAA World Championships in Moscow, next month.
Gay arrives in Lausanne on the back of two world-leading performances at the USA Championships and his 9.75 seconds year best is far and above anyone else in the field.
“I wouldn’t say I had been expecting to run as fast as I have done at this stage, I’m just taking things slowly and hoping everything goes well,” Gay said at his press conference. “Fortunately I’ve ran a couple of good times and I’m ranked No.1 in the world right now.
Former World record holder Asafa Powell has only ran 10.02 this season, which saw him missing out at earning a place on the Jamaican team for the world championships.
But he said then that he was lacking races and backs himself to produce a good time on Thursday.
Also in the starting line-up are Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade and Kemar Cole-Bailey, beat Powell to win places to the worlds, while Michael Rodgers, who has also ran under-10 seconds this season will face the starter too.
The evergreen Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis has been very impressive thus far this season will also start as one of the sprinters to watch for a top three spot.
Another USA sprint champion, Kimberlyn Duncan will start as the runner to beat in the women’s 200m and after her performance at the trials, it is certainly difficult to look past her winning.
“I was just trying to make the team, so when I found out I’d won, I was very excited,” said Duncan, who beat London 2012 Olympic champion Allyson Felix at the trials.
“I’ve been pushing harder and harder each year in training. I’m just trying to execute my race as best as possible.”
World 100m champion Carmelita Jeter struggled in her last race and finished dead last in Birmingham, last week, but she is hoping to race herself back to form, following her injury setback.
“Getting injured caused me to have to do more rehab and therapy, which meant my legs still felt a bit heavy in Birmingham, but we simply wanted to make sure the leg was okay,” Jeter said.
“I love running in Lausanne, and now I’m here I hope to run a lot better.”
American Michael Tinsley is a man on a mission, but the world-leader was reminded of the depth in the men’s 400m hurdles in Birmingham, at the weekend and another star-studded field awaits him in Lausanne. Besides Tinsley, the field also includes Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic, USA’s Bershawn Jackson and Puerto Rico’s Olympic silver medallist Javier Culson, who won this event at the last meeting.
In other competition on Thursday, Australian Olympic championships Sally Pearson, still looking to sharpen up from a hamstring injury, will again face Americans Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kellie Wells, as well as Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter, who all defeated her in the last outing, in the women’s 100m hurdles.
On the men’s side, American champion 110m hurdles champ Ryan Wilson meets fellow countrymen Jason Richardson and David Oliver, in addition to Jamaican Dwight Thomas.
Elsewhere, at the meeting Ethiopian Mohammed Aman and American new find Brandon Johnson are two of the top runners for the men’s 800m title, Hagos Gebrhiwet and Yenew Alamirew of Ethiopia lead the way in the men’s 5,000m, while Amantle Montsho will seek to avenged her defeat to Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu in the women’s 400m dash.
FIELD EVENT COMPETITIONS
In field events schedule, the men’s triple jump which features world and Olympic champion Christian Taylor of USA continues his rivalry with Teddy Tamgho of France, with world-leader Pedro Pablo Pichardo of Cuba also included in the field.
Two-time world champion and London Games women’s long jump gold medallist Brittney Reese of USA is expected to get strong challenges from Nigerian Blessing Okagbare, Yelena Sokolova of Russia and Briton Shara Proctor, who sits a point behind her in the race for the Diamond League crown.
The men’s pole vault competition has also pulled in lot of interests as well, with Renaud Lavillenie of France, who says he is stronger this year, looking to improve the meeting record of 5.91m, set by American Brad Walker in 2007.
Lavillenie has already cleared 5.95m this year.
“My goal for tomorrow is to break the meeting record of 5.91m,” Lavillenie said. “I’ve had a good start to 2013, one of my best ever starts.
“I have already broken 5.90m twice, and I’ve won a few times. In terms of technique, it’s been going rather well.”
Another field event meeting record in jeopardy is the men’s Shot Put throw, which features world-leader Ryan Whitting (22.28m) of USA, fellow countryman Reese Hoffa and Czech putter Ladislav Prasil.