Bolt and much more at 51st Ostrava Golden Spike
Another stellar edition of Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting will be held this Friday. In the 51st edition of this IAAF World Challenge meet in Czech Republic the main name is the fastest man ever. Usain Bolt will compete here for sixth time. The world record holder hopes to improve his season best and thinks about clocking a 9.7 time. He will face four other top 10 sprinters like Jamaican Lerone Clarke, world medalist Kim Collins, Briton Dwain Chambers and US Darvis Patton.
However, both hammer competitions, which also are part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, will be held already on May 24 and especially the women one will have a stellar field with world record holder Betty Heidler, world champion Tatyana Lysenko, 2009 world champ Anita Wlodarczyk and former world champ Yipsi Moreno. Among men, Krisztián Pars of Hungary will try to break meet record and world leading mark.
Javelin throw is always one of the most attractive events at the stadium in Vitkovice. The home hero Barbora Spotakova against fresh world champion Maria Abakumova in the pre-program is one of the most expected duels in Ostrava. The same for men javelin, something special for meet director Jan Zelezny as Andreas Thorkildsen, Tero Pitkamaki and Matthias De Zordo will throw against Czech Diamond League winner from Shanghai, Vitezslav Vesely.
From the field events, men´s shot put will be staged with Daegu world champion David Storl of Germany, Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland and Canadian star, silver from the World championships in 2011, Dylan Armstrong.
Organisers were forced to accept an important withdrawal from 800 m world record holder David Rudisha. "David Rudisha withdrew from Ostrava meeting due to unforeseen circumstances in Kenya with local sponsor commitments. Organisers are not able to control issues in Kenya, are surprised and disappointed but without any possibility to do something," the organisers said. In the men 800 m still Polands Adam Kszczot with Briton Andrew Osagie and top 1500 m runner Nixon Chepseba (recently 1:45.6 in Kenya) are hoping for a fast time as is local hero Jakub Holusa with Czech national record thoughts.
Among women, both 800 m stars Pamela Jelimo with Caster Semenya are ready in Ostrava. The latest addition to the start list is Ethiopian 800 m revelation Fantu Magiso with Doha improvement to 1:57.90.
Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Wallace Spearmon of the US are both planning to attack fast 200 m times. Campbell-Brown managed to improve her PB at 100 m in Ostrava last year and is focusing on the old meet record of Jarmila Kratochvilova at 200 m – 22.07. US 400 m star Sanya Richards-Ross had good training on Tuesday and aims for her first sub 50 seconds of the year after nice Manchester win at straight 200 m. Her main rival will be Olympic winner Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain.
Olympic winner LaShawn Merritt is the hope of the organizers to break the oldest meet record (44.70 by Alberto Juantorena in 1976) with his top current shape and world leading 44.19 in Doha. He will face world indoor champion Nery Brenes, Dominican hope Luguelin Santos and paralympic star Oscar Pistorius.
100m hurdles will have the stellar constellation of Olympic medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep against UK record holder Tiffany Porter and opener of the season for world indoor champion Lolo Jones. For the first time since 1991 the men´s 4x100, relay will be staged in the main program with teams from South Africa, Poland, Canada, Jamaica and home Czechs.
Men´s 3000 m should see an attack to improve world junior record by the young Isiah Koech of Kenya in a race loaded by African talented runners.
Special for the Czech crowd also women 400 m hurdles with national record holder Zuzana Hejnova opening her season, also opener for world champion Lashinda Demus of USA against world leader Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria and in-shape Briton Perri Shakes-Drayton.
Men´s hurdles are having runners with good current shape US Ryan Wilson (beat Robles and Richardson in Ponce) and Dexter Faulk, European Champion Andy Turner, this year improved Andy Pozzi and returning 2005 World champion Ladji Doucoure.
Pole vault will see season opener for European Champion and World indoor winner Renaud Lavillenie with hopes to attack the meet record of 577 cm.
Organizers are hoping that in nearly all events meet records or world leads will be attacked.
51st Ostrava Golden Spike will be broadcast to more than 150 countries all over the world. Mainly to mention live transmissions by Eurosport, Al Jazeera, Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN Star in Asia, CCTV 5 in China, Band Sports in Brazil, Sport Plus of France, PCTV in Mexico, Sportmax in Caribbean region, Supersport in South Africa, TV4 Sport in Sweden and Sport TV stations in Portugal and Turkey. TBS of Japan will show the meet delayed.
53. Zlatá tretra Ostrava
17.6. 2014, Městský stadion Vítkovice, Ostrava
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