The entire 800m podium from last year’s European Championships will line-up against reigning two-time Hengelo meet winner Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, on 29 May 2011 at 29th edition of the FBK-Games in the Dutch town.
The FBK-Games is an IAAF World Challenge meeting.
Sudan’s reigning two-time World Indoor 800m champion is very much the man to beat with a personal best time of 1:42.23 but he can reckon on fierce competition from Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski (1:43.84), Britain’s Michael Rimmer (1:43.89), and another Pole Adam Kszczot (1:45.07) who took the top three spots in the continental title meet last summer in Barcelona.
Kszczot, at 21 the youngest of this trio, especially excites expectation given that he took the European Indoor title this winter a year after taking the World Indoor bronze.
Kaki, who is also 21, won the last two editions in Hengelo in 1:43.10 and 1:45.66, and as a former World Junior champion will be anxious to reassert his senior title credentials this season ahead of the World Championships in Daegu, especially after last year's World record blitz by his arch-rival Kenyan David Rudisha.
There will also be plenty of Dutch interest in the Hengelo race, as 2006 European champion Bram Som (1:43.45), who was seventh in the 2009 World Championships final - one place ahead of Lewandowski - and 2007 European indoor gold medallist Arnoud Okken – 29-years-old today (20 April) - who was fourth in Barcelona, have the racing credentials to mix it with the very best.
The two-lap field in Hengelo is so strong perhaps even the meeting record of 1:43.05 (2003) held by 2008 Olympic champion Wilfred Bungei might come under threat.
Chris Turner / IAAF