24 APR 2008 Preview

Gay and Powell scheduled to compete in USA vs. The World - Penn Relays PREVIEW

Tyson Gay outclasses Asafa Powell in the final stages of the men's 100m final (Getty Images)Tyson Gay outclasses Asafa Powell in the final stages of the men's 100m final (Getty Images) © Copyright

Philadelphia, USATyson Gay and Asafa Powell are expected to run in the USA vs. The World competition in the 114th Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field on Saturday 26 April.

A matchup between defending World 100m champion Gay and World 100m record holder Powell in the 4 x 100m relay at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays on 20 April was derailed when Powell pulled out because of a shoulder strain suffered from weight lifting.

Reigning World champions Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Michelle Perry, Kerron Clement are also slated for the U.S. along with 2007 IAAF Golden League Jackpot co-winner Sanya Richards, Lauryn Williams and Wallace Spearmon.

Nearly 150 athletes from 11 countries will take on the United States in the dubbed 'USA vs. The World' contests that are made up of the men's and women's 4x100 and 4x400m relays, men's Distance Medley Relay and women's Sprint Medley Relay, and are the featured attraction of the Penn Relay Carnival that begins today (24 April).

Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, Great Britain, Canada, Bahamas, Dutch Antilles, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Trinidad & Tobago and the Dominican Republic are slated. Final line-ups will be announced Friday (25 April).

United States dominance at Penn

The U.S. has won five of six races in the last three years and will field another deep roster with Carmelita Jeter, Torri Edwards, Xavier “X-Man” Carter, Darrold Williamson, LaShawn Merritt, twin sisters Mikele and Me’Lisa Barber, Nick Symmonds, Michael Rodgers and Lashinda Demus.

Jeter, the  2007 World bronze medallist and World Athletics Final 100m winner will run in the 4 x 100m in her final tune-up before her first 100m of the season in the IAAF World Athletics Tour meet in Osaka, Japan (10 May).
    
Strong Jamaican challenge

   
Powell will headline a Jamaican contingent that includes Sherone Simpson, Novlene Williams, Shericka Williams, Michael Blackwood and Sanjay Ayre. The Domincan Republic 4 x 400m is expected to include 2004 Olympic 400m Hurdles champion Felix Sanchez.

Penn Facts and Figures
  
The Penn Relays is the largest athletics competition in the U.S. with more than 22,000 high school, university and open athletes participating with a crowd of more than 100,000 in attendance over three days..During the 35 hours of competition, more than 425 races will be run at an average of one every five minutes.

The first versions of a four-person relay were developed in Philadelphia in 1893 and the inaugural Penn Relay Carnival contested in 1895.

This year’s Penn Relays will be the opening event of the five-meet Visa Championship series that includes stops in the adidas Track Classic in Carson, Calif. (18 May), the Reebok Grand Prix in New York City (31 May), the Prefontaine Classic (8 June) in Eugene, Ore., and culminates with the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene (27 June- 6 July).
 
Kirby Lee for the IAAF