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Berlin sprint teaser assembled in Lausanne

By Gary Smith, World-Track

jetersLAUSANNE, Switzerland — Tuesday’s Athletissima 2009 IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting in Lausanne will present the ideal sprinting match ups for some of the top medal prospects at the World Championships in Berlin next month.

Barring there are no withdrawals, fans will get to see an early head-to-head clash between sprint champions from Jamaica and those from the United States.

Jeters and Fraser clash early

After ending the impressive undefeated run of Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart at the Prefontaine Classics with a chain of victories in June, American champion Carmelita Jeters will put her own streak on the line against the dangerous Jamaican champion Shelly Ann Fraser in the women’s 100m.

Fraser, the stunning Olympic champion from Beijing, last season, has been quiet all season, after doing surgery, but then proved her talent with a magnificent 2009 world best of 10.88second in -1.5m/s head wind to win the Jamaica trials.

According to experts, a reverse in the wind could have seeing Fraser’s time being somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10.6seconds.

Jeters in the meantime has also been impressive this year and top that off with a victory at the American trials. She has run a series of fast sub-11 seconds this year, including the 10.78sec to win in Eugene, but those performances were robbed by strong following wind readings.

Knowing the type of coach Steve Francis is something buzzing around suggests he has other plans for Fraser, just like he did after she finished second at the Jamaica championships last year. His target is the major meeting and would be seriously alarmed if she was to be defeated.

Bolt hushA very fast race on the cards

The must see race in the sprints on Tuesday, however, is definitely the men’s 200m which will feature Olympic champion and World record holder Usain Bolt, who promised to lay down something fast to see where he is before Berlin.

Bolt, who easily sprinted to the 100m and 200m double at the Jamaica trials last month, will line up against American half-lap champion Shawn Crawford, who after his 19.73sec (+3.3) performance to win in Eugene, said he is in the sort of shape that could produce something big as the season progresses.

Crawford’s time is significantly quicker than the to 20.25sec Bolt ran in Kingston, but one also has to take into consideration that the time was almost accomplished in last 100m trot and going into a slight headwind.

Another man to lookout for in the race is Olympic Games and American 400m champion LaShawn Merritt, who has run 20.07 this year and looked comfortable in doing so as well.

Merritt and Crawford will push Bolt to something promising indeed as the Jamaica will not have the luxury cruising home the final 60m, or will he?

American Tyson Gay has the fastest time of year, at 19.58sec, the third quickest ever and although he is not in that kind of shape, Bolt says he wants to go quick.

MikeRogersPowell against Rogers again

The men’s 100m will see a host of sub-10 seconds runner, including American rising star and national champion Mike Rogers, former world record holder Asafa Powell and his Jamaican training team-mate Michael Frater competing.

Rogers undoubtedly is the breakthrough sprinter this season and he would love to continue his impressive run this year with another win on the quick Lausanne track.

The American got the better of Powell twice on his home turf last month and will be buzzing with confidence to extend that unbeaten run against the Jamaican overseas.

Things, however, will not be as simple with Powell slowly rounding into form and gradually recovering from an ankle injury that has been affecting him for quite sometime now.

After his poor showing overseas, Powell ran a season’s best of 9.97sec to finish second behind Bolt at the Jamaica trials and then recovered from a sluggish start to win a close race in Oslo on Friday.

Also needing mention are former world silver medalist and Olympic finalist Frater, in addition to his fellow countryman Steve Mullings, who on Saturday clocked a solid 10.11, running into a -1.9m/s headwind to win in Madrid.

Good field here as well

A classic women’s 200m field that includes three Jamaicans and three Americans has also been assembled.

American Muna Lee and Kerron Stewart of Jamaica will lead the pack which will also see Bulgaria’s Ivet Lalova, who on Saturday opened with a solid 11.24 over the 100m in Ireland and Jamaica’s Olympic 400m silver medal winner Shericka Williams facing the gun.

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