23 MAY 2012 Preview Ostrava, Czech Republic

Bolt and much, much more at 51st Ostrava Golden Spike - PREVIEW - IAAF World Challenge

Fast opener for Usain Bolt - 9.82 in Kingston (Errol Anderson - The SportingImage.net)Fast opener for Usain Bolt - 9.82 in Kingston (Errol Anderson - The SportingImage.net) © Copyright
Another stellar edition of Ostrava Golden Spike meeting will be held this Friday, 25 May. 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 for 100m and 200m hopes to improve his season best over the shorter distance 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.

Highest quality throws

However, both Hammer competitions, which also are part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, will be held the day before the main competition programme on Thursday 24 May. The women’s line-up will have a stellar field with World record holder Betty Heidler, reigning World champion Tatyana Lysenko, 2009 World gold medallist Anita Wlodarczyk and 2001 and 2003 World champion Yipsi Moreno. Among the men, Krisztián Pars of Hungary will try to break meet record and improve the world season leading mark.

The Javelin Throw is always one of the most attractive events at the stadium in Vitkovice. Home heroine Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova will be up against 2011 World champion Maria Abakumova in the pre-programme which is one of the most expected duels in Ostrava. The same for men’s Javelin, something special for meet director Jan Zelezny as Andreas Thorkildsen, Tero Pitkämäki and Matthias De Zordo will throw against Czech Samsung Diamond League winner from Shanghai (19), Vitezslav Vesely.

The 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 medallist from the World championships in 2011, Dylan Armstrong.

Rudisha out

Organisers were forced to accept an important withdrawal from the 800m by 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," confirmed the meeting organisers.

The 800m remains high class with Poland’s Adam Kszczot, Briton Andrew Osagie and top Kenyan 1500m runner Nixon Chepseba (recently 1:45.6 in Kenya) hoping for a fast time as is local hero Jakub Holusa who has Czech national record dreams.

Jelimo vs Semenya

Among women two lappers, World indoor champion Pamela Jelimo and 2009 World champion Caster Semenya are ready in Ostrava. The latest addition to the start list is Ethiopian 800m revelation Fantu Magiso with Doha improvement to 1:57.90.

Meet records spied by Campbell-Brown and Merritt

Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica and Wallace Spearmon of the USA are both planning to attack fast 200m times. In the women’s race Campbell-Brown, who managed to improve her PB at 100m in Ostrava last year, is focusing on the old meet record of Jarmila Kratochvilova at 200m – 22.07.

In the one-lap, USA’s 400m star Sanya Richards-Ross had good training on Tuesday and aims for her first sub 50 seconds of the year after a win in Manchester along the straight 200m. Her main rival will be Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu of Britain.

The meet organisers hope that 2008 men’s Olympic 400m winner LaShawn Merritt will break the oldest meet record (44.70 by Alberto Juantorena in 1976) as he is clearly in top shape after his world leading 44.19 in the opening Samsung Diamond League meeting Doha (11 May). He will face World Indoor champion Nery Brenes, Dominican hope Luguelin Santos and paralympic star Oscar Pistorius.

The women’s 100m Hurdles will have the stellar constellation of Olympic medallist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep against UK record holder Tiffany Porter and World indoor champion Lolo Jones, who opens here outdoor season.

For the first time since 1991 the men’s 4x100m Relay will be staged in the main programme with teams from South Africa, Poland, Canada, Jamaica and home Czechs.

The men’s 3000m should see an attack on the World Junior record by the young Isiah Koech of Kenya in a race loaded by African talented runners.

Demus opens season

A special for the Czech crowd will be the women’s 400m Hurdles with national record holder Zuzana Hejnova opening her season, along with World champion Lashinda Demus of USA. They’ll face world season leader Vania Stambolova of Bulgaria and in-shape Briton Perri Shakes-Drayton.

The men’s 110m Hurdles has a line-up in 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 Doucouré.

The Pole Vault will see a season opener for European champion and World Indoor gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie with hopes to attack the meet record of 5.77m.

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. Follow the meet website www.zlatatretra.cz with all the latest infos, including video-interviews.

Organisers for the IAAF