07 JUN 2013 Preview Rabat, Morocco

Aman, Gatlin and Merritt among the stars in Rabat - IAAF World Challenge

Mohammed Aman winning over 800m at the 2013 IAAF Diamond League in Rome  (Giancarlo Colombo)Mohammed Aman winning over 800m at the 2013 IAAF Diamond League in Rome (Giancarlo Colombo) © Copyright

The 6th edition of the Meeting Mohammed VI in the Moroccan capital Rabat, an IAAF World Challenge meeting,should be able to boast of a number of impressive track events on Sunday (9).

Ethiopian 800m runner Mohammed Aman will be looking to improve on his world-leading time of 1:43.61, set when winning in convincing fashion at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on Thursday night.

Another man to hop straight on a plane from the Italian capital is US sprinter Justin Gatlin, fresh from providing the upset of the night at the Golden Gala when he defeated Usain Bolt.

The 2004 Olympic 100m champion and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist will face St Kitts’ 2003 World champion Kim Collins over 100m, who actually lead Thursday’s thrilling race at the halfway  point, as well as France’s Christophe Lemaitre, Jamaica’s Michael Frater  and Morocco’s 100m and 200m record holder Aziz Ouhadi.

Another US winner in Athens nine years ago, Jeremy Wariner, is up against the man who succeeded him as Olympic champion LaShawn Merrrit. The latter has been in good form but Wariner, the two-time World 400m champion, will be looking to improve on modest start to the season and go faster than his 2013 best of 45.35.

Morocco’s solitary medallist from last year’s Olympic Games, 1500m bronze medallist Abdelaati Iguider, will get plenty of cheers when he runs in his specialist event.

In women’s 100m, Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart will face the USA’s 205 World champion Lauryn Williams as well as Germany’s 2010 European champion Verena Sailer and the in-form US sprinter Lekeisha Lawson. Chandra Sturrup’s meeting record of 11.14, from 2010, could be under threat.

There are also some good names in the field events, which could lead to some excellent meeting records being posted.

Ukraine high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko has already cleared 2.33m twice this season. He faces Russia’s 2011 World Championships silver medallist Aleksey Dmitrik along with France’s Mickael Hanany and Czech Republic’s Jaroslav Baba.

In the Long Jump, Greek record holder Louis Tsatoumas will face South Africa’s former World Indoor Championships winner Godfrey Khotso Mokoena.

Spain’s Mario Pestano takes on and Turkish record holder Ercument Olgundeniz  in the Discus favorites.

In the women’s Triple Jump, Ukraine’s Hanna Knyazeva is the top name and faces Italy’s former European indoor champion Simona La Mantia while a good quality Javelin sees 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Linda Stahl against the improving Latvian Sinta Ozolina-Kovala and South Africa’s 2011 World Championships bronze medallist Sunette Viljoen.

Mohamed Bencherif for the IAAF