SHANGHAI, China — Asafa Powell will take on a very strong men’s 100 metres dash field at the Samsung Diamond League Meet in Shanghai on Saturday.
The Jamaican former world record holder was beaten by American Justin Gatlin in his opening race of the season, but clocked a very quick 9.88 seconds, the fourth fastest this season and by far the quickest in this field.
Already recovered from the jetlag he claims affected him in the defeat in Doha, Powell is now ready to give a better showing as far as a complete race execution.
In Shanghai, Powell will meet fellow countryman and training partner Nesta Carter, who has a 10.05 seasonal best, but is capable of doing anything given his talent.
Another Jamaican, Michael Frater, who has a year best of 10.00secs, Americans Mike Rodgers and Darvis Patton, as well as Kim Collins from St. Kitts and Nevis, are also entered in the field.
The women’s 200m is also expected to be one of the highlighted events, with reigning Olympic two-time half-lap champion Veronica Campbell-Brown facing American world 100m champion Carmelita Jeter.
Jeter is stronger over 100m and it has been evident this season with her dominating 10.81 world-leading mark, but she also has done well over 200m this season – owning the year’s best time, at 22.31.
She will have her hands full though against Campbell-Brown, who will open her season over this distant.
The event will also see actions from Jamaicans Aleen Bailey and Anneisha McLaughlin, in addition to Americans Tiffany Townsend and ChaRonda Williams and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, who has gone 22.70secs already this term.
World-leader Novlene Williams-Mills take aim at producing another solid time in the women’s 400m.
But the Jamaican will have to be at her best when she comes up against world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana, who looked comfortable when running 50.52 to win in Kawasaki.
Shericka Williams and 400m hurdles specialist Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica and USA’s Debbie Dunn have also been assigned lanes.
Elsewhere on the track, a very strong men’s 110 metres hurdles field has been assembled.
The line-up will include the top three fastest hurdlers this season, in American Aries Merritt, the currently world-leader, China’s Xiang Liu and David Oliver of USA – in that order – as well as world champion Jason Richardson, also of USA who has posted some quality times in headwinds this campaign.
Making the event even more interested is the addition of Dexter Faulk of USA and Dwight Thomas of Jamaica.
In the longer version of the event, USA’s Bershawn Jackson and Angelo Taylor will clash with L.J. van Zyl of South Africa, Isa Phillips of Jamaica and Justin Gaymon (USA).
The men’s 5000m will see Kenenisa Bekele looking for a better outing from the one he did over 3,000m in Doha, last week, world champion over 1500m, Asbel Kiprop, drops down to contest the men’s 800m, while Genzebe Dibaba headlines the women’s 1500m field and Kenya’s Milcah Chemos Cheywa heads the women’s 3000m Steeplechase line-up.
In field events, Australian Pole Vault star Steve Hooker will have his hands full against Germany’s world-leader Björn Otto, USA’s Brad Walker and Mark Hollis, and Olympic bronze medallist Denys Yurchenko of Ukraine for the title, while Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, Dylan Armstrong and Ryan Whiting go for the men’s Shot Put honours.
Also in action are Andreas Thorkildsen and Tero Pitkämäki in the men’s Javelin Throw, Phillips Idowu, Christian Taylor will go up against Chinese duo Bin Dong and Shuo Cao – two of the world’s top four triplers.
Chaunté Lowe and Inika McPherson heads the women’s High Jump field, Janay DeLoach and Funmi Jimoh go head-to-head in the women’s Long Jump, while Stephanie Brown-Trafton will go looking for her Olympic form ahead of the London Games.