14 MAY 2012 Preview 14 May 2012 – Wednesday will feature another star

Slew of Daegu medallists set for return to familiar territory - PREVIEW – IAAF World Challenge

Carmelita Jeter winning gold from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the women's 100m final in Daegu (Getty Images)Carmelita Jeter winning gold from Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in the women's 100m final in Daegu (Getty Images) © Copyright
Wednesday will feature another starstudded field for the 2012 Colorful Daegu meeting. The fast track, which has seen some great performances in the past and of course the World Championships last year, will host many exciting races at the fifth stop of the 2012 IAAF World Challenge series.

Dix v Gatlin in 100m - men's programme

Many of the last year’s winners come back in search for a good start to the season. In the men’s 100m 26-year-old American Walter Dix, who won the 100m here last year will be looking for another victory. Dix also captured two silvers on the very same track at the World Champs and will face some fierce competition this time. Fellow American Justin Gatlin is fresh off the Doha Diamond League meeting, where he ran a season’s best 9.87 to make him the favourite in this race. Another American Mike Rodgers and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist from Trinidad and Tobago, Richard Thompson, are also in the field.

In the 400m reigning World champion from Daegu 2011, Kirani James of Grenada, will be making his season debut against Americans Calvin Smith and David Neville. In the men’s 110m Hurdles it will be a high quality race. Last year’s winner David Oliver will be defending his victory against compatriot Aries Merritt, who recently ran a world leading 13.03 accompanied by a wind-aided 12.99, the first ever sub-13 second race of his career. Merritt was second here last season and will be joined by 2011 World champion Jason Richardson, also from the U.S.

Many of the best in the world are in the Shot Put competition too. Canadian Dylan Armstrong is competing and won the silver medal at the World Championships last year here. Americans Adam Nelson (21.54m in 2012) and Ryan Whiting (21.50m in 2012) will be joining him.

Reigning World champion in the Javelin Throw Matthias de Zordo of Germany will be throwing for the first time in 2012 and will face competition from fellow German Mark Frank, eighth at the 2011 World Championships, and Ari Mannio of Finland.

World Championships bronze medallist Trevor Barry heads the men’s High Jump and there will be a good men’s 800m as well. David Mutua (KEN) and Andreas Bube (DEN), who both ran good season’s bests in Doha, will be running and 17-year-old World Youth Best holder (1:44.08 in 2011), 2011 World Youth Champion Leonard Kosencha of Kenya will be starting his season. 2012 World Indoor Champion Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia is also in the race.

Focus on Jeter – Women’s events

On the women’s side it’s a top quality 100m with 2011 winner American Carmelita Jeter returning. Jeter later won the World title on this same track and has already run a world leading 10.81 this season and is unbeaten in nine straight finals and hasn’t lost a 100m race since May 2011 when she finished second in the Shanghai Diamond League meeting to Jamaican Veronica Campbell-Brown 10.92 to 10.95. Jamaican Sherone Simpson will be heading the 200m field and also has the fastest lifetime best at 22.00 (2006).

Many of the top athletes will be appearing in the 100m Hurdles lead by Brigitte Foster-Hylton of Jamaica, who is the second fastest in 2012 behind World champion Sally Pearson. The veteran has clocked 12.51 this season and faces competition from American Kellie Wells, who is not far behind having run 12.55 in 2012. Two previous major champions are also running, Canadian Perdita Felicien who won the World title in 2003 and American Dawn Harper the reigning Olympic champion. Both however have a lot of work to do if they want to challenge Foster-Hylton and Wells for the top two spots.

In the women’s Pole Vault the top duo from the Doha Diamond League meeting will be in Daegu. Russian Anastasiya Savchenko and German Silke Spiegelburg both cleared 4.57m in the Qatari capital. A 6.80m jumper this season, American Funmi Jimoh will be the favourite in the women’s Long Jump competition. Countrywoman Janay DeLoach should be challenging for the win - she jumped 6.98m for the World Indoors silver medal in Istanbul just two months ago.

Women’s Hammer Throw Challenge to get underway

The women’s portion of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge will commence in Daegu. The reigning World Champion from Russia, Tatyana Lysenko, will start her summer season having competed twice during the winter. It will be a no-nonsense competition as World record holder, German Betty Heidler will be competing, her best this season at 76.66m in May. Daegu World Championships bronze medallist Zhang Wenxiu of China is also here and has already set an Asian record 75.72m this season. The top trio could face surprising competition from Zalina Marghieva of Moldova, who has already set 74.47m national record this season and placed eighth in Daegu World Champs in 2011.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF