Christophe Lemaitre of France celebrates third place in the men's 200 metres final (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News London, UK

Lemaitre to line up in London 200m - Samsung Diamond League

Christophe Lemaitre, the 22yearold French sprint sensation and Europe’s fastest man this year, will run in London for the first time ever as he takes on a host of global Olympic contenders over 200m at the Aviva London Grand Prix in Crystal Palace on Saturday 14 July.

Lemaitre, who this evening will defend his European 100m title in Helsinki, will be joined at this Samsung Diamond League fixture by former World Championships silver medallist Wallace Spearmon of the U.S. as well as Brits James Ellington and Christian Malcolm, who recently qualified for London 2012.

The 200m bronze medallist from last year’s World Championships in Daegu has enjoyed a strong start to the season and is looking forward to getting a taste of London two weeks before the Games begin.

He said: "I am a big fan of London and I am very excited to race there for the first time at the Aviva London Grand Prix.

"I am feeling good about my performances so far this season. London is where everyone’s attention will be this summer, so this will be a good race for me to focus and test myself in Olympic conditions."

Ellington, whose stunning victory in the 200m at the Aviva 2012 Trials last weekend guaranteed his place at his hometown Olympics, is confident in his ability to take on the best in Europe, in front of a packed home crowd.

The Londoner said: "Winning at Trials and qualifying for the Games has given me an extra sense of belief and I am ready to take on whoever wants to step up this summer.

"Everyone knows what I went through in order to be able to dedicate myself to my training in Olympic year, and it’s starting to show for all to see. I can only see myself making further strides in the right direction as the summer goes on, and the Aviva London Grand Prix will be a great place to test myself against some of the top guys in the world."

Christian Malcolm, meanwhile, defied father time to secure second place at the Aviva 2012 Trials and ensure himself a place on Team GB over 200m. The Welshman will be making his eighth appearance at the London Grand Prix ahead of his fourth Olympic Games, the most ever by a British sprinter.

Putting up a stern challenge to the Europeans will be Wallace Spearmon, the American four-time World Championship medallist and the seventh fastest man ever over 200m, with a personal best of 19.65.

Having been stripped of a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics for a lane infraction, Spearmon has his eye on medalling at the London Games this summer and the Aviva London Grand Prix forms a crucial part of his preparation. He has already tasted success in Crystal Palace, having won at the event in 2005.

Ellington, however, is not concerned by the world-class athletes that will line up beside him at Crystal Palace.

He said: "It always comes down to who performs on the day over 100 or 200m. I’m only concerned about performing myself and I’ll let the rest fall into place."

Organisers for the IAAF