Joseph Ebuya on his way to winning the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Ostrava, Czech Republic

Ohuruogu and Ebuya join Ostrava fields - IAAF World Challenge

Christine Ohuruogu and Shericka Williams, the top two finishers in the 400m at the 2008 Olympic Games, will square off at the 49th Golden Spike in Ostrava on 27 May.

Ohuruogu of Great Britain, who won in Ostrava in 2008 and also took the World title in 2007, will make her first European 400m appearance of the season at this IAAF World Challenge meeting. Williams, who also finished second at last year’s World championships, will be making her Ostrava debut.

“Ostrava will be my first 400m in Europe this year and I am looking forward to return to the meet that I last won in 2008,” said Ohuruogu, who will follow up with a 150m road sprint appearance in Manchester. “Winter training has gone very well. This year my aim will be the European Championships."

Williams, who interestingly has a better top-ten performance average than her rival, said, "I'm excited to finally come to Ostrava. It is one of the last big meets on the circuit that I have not been to yet. I am looking forward to running fast this season and Ostrava is one of the meets I am most excited about."

The meeting record dates back to 1983 when Tatiana Kocembova clocked 49.67, the only women’s sub-50 performance at the meeting. In head-to-heads, Ohuruogu leads Williams eight to six.

Ebuya to take on Lagat at 3000m

Another high quality addition to the Ostrava fields headed by Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell and Blanka Vlasic is the recently-minted World Cross Country champion Joseph Ebuya of Kenya. The winner from Bydgoszcz in March who also defeated Kenenisa Bekele in the Edinburgh Cross Country in January, will return to Ostrava for the third time, but it will mark the first time that he’s a top name in Emil Zatopek Memorial 3000m. 

"I like Ostrava,” Ebuya said. “I had the best cross country season of my life this winter and I hope to transfer this form to track in the summer. I want to run a fast time in Ostrava and I know there will be a lot of strong runners in the race. I want to improve my personal best."

Ebuya will face World indoor 3000m champion Bernard Lagat, among others. Ebuya was second in Ostrava in 2006 at 3000 m (7:38.12) and 5th at 5000m in 2007 (13:09.01). Interestingly, Ebuya was leading in his 2006 race and began celebrating 200 metres too soon. He then realised his mistake and still managed to finish second. His career best over the distance is 7:34.62 set in 2008.

Organisers for the IAAF