Merlene Ottey to
star in Tampere
Chris Turner for IAAF
9 February 2001 - Tampere, Finland - The annual Tampere Indoor Games which take place on Monday 12th February will feature a double performance by Jamaicas sprint Queen Merlene Ottey, who will run in both the womens 60 and 100 metres sprints.
Also contesting both the 60 & 100 metres in Tamperes giant Pirkkahall that houses a flat 300 metres track, will be Nigerias Mary Onyali-Omagbemi and Finlands 1997 European junior 100m champion Johanna Manninen.
Britains Olympic 400 metres 4th placer Donna Fraser will also double up running the 100 metres and then 35 minutes later will take on Russias Svetlana Gontsharenko over 300 metres.
In the infield Estonias Olympic Decathlon champion Erki Nool will have an outing in the mens long jump in a line up which includes three men who jumped over 8.20 last season.
However, the highlight of the evening off the track should be a sparkling mens high jump. Charles Austin the 1996 Olympic champion, faces Russias Jaroslav Rybakov - 231m indoors this year - and three men who jumped 2.30m last year, South Africas Jacques Freitag and Finnish record holders Oskari Frosen (2.30m indoors) and Mika Polku (2.31m outdoors).
The mens shot was due to have welcomed Finlands Olympic shot champion Arsi Harju but given the recent death of his fiancée he is now missing the entire indoor season and so Finlands honour will be carried by European indoor champion Timo Aaltonen. Strong opposition will be provided by fellow Olympic finallists, Germanys Oliver-Sven Buder, Czech Miroslav Menc and Spains Manuel Martinez who has already thrown 20.77m this indoor season.
The meeting will conclude with the rarely run mens indoor 110m hurdles. The world best for this indoor distance is 13.34 seconds which has stood to 1996 Olympic champion Allen Johnson since 1995. However, last year in Tampere, Hollands Robin Korving came very close to the record with a 13.36 sec clocking and Latvias European indoor 60m hurdles champion Stanislavs Olijars (13.25sec 110m hurdles outdoors 2000) will be hoping at least to match the quality of that performance.