Fabiana Murer of Brazil celebrates her victory in the women's Pole Vault in Doha (Getty Images) © Copyright
General News Outdoor debuts by recently

Outdoor debuts by Murer, Chambers mark 26th edition of Brazilian Grand Prix in Rio

minted World indoor champions Fabiana Murer and Dwain Chambers will be among the highlights of the “26º Grande Prêmio Brasil Caixa de Atletismo” that will take place on Sunday, 23 May at the “Estádio Engenão”, the fifth stop of the 2010 IAAF World Challenge.

For the local fans, Brazil's Murer will certainly be the main attraction. After a strong indoor season in which she equalled and then raised her South American indoor record in the Pole Vault with leaps of 4.81m and 4.82m, respectively, Murer topped 4.80m to take the World indoor title. The 29-year-old from Campinas last raised her Area outdoor record to 4.82m last year in Rio.

The chief opposition in the Brazilian's debut will come from Israeli Jillian Schwartz (formerly USA), who has vaulted 4.50m in Tel Aviv on 10 April, a national record (but not a PB since she jumped 4.72m in 2008, while representing the USA).

In the men's 100m, the 32-year-old Chambers will make his first start since taking the World indoor 60m title with 6.48 on 13 March with the 2010 Barcelona European Championships - his main goal of the season - in sight. The Briton will face some strong opposition. 2008 Olympic silver medallist Richard Thompson, from Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Chambers podium-mates in Doha, American Mike Rodgers, and Antiguan Daniel Bailey, are all on the slate.

Idowu vs Copello at Triple Jump

Another event that promises to bring high quality results is the Triple Jump. Great Britain’s Phillips Idowu, the reigning World champion, will also be making his outdoor debut in Rio facing Cuban Alexis Copello, the 2010 world leader outdoors, and the bronze medallist from Berlin. Copello comes to Rio after winning the first event of the IAAF Diamond League in Doha on 14 May, were he jumped a world leading 17.47m.

Idowu and Copello will be joined by Brazilian Jadel Gregório, the silver medallist at the 2007 World Championships, and by Cuban Osniel Tosca (17.12m this season, and fourth at the 2007 World Championships.

Pchelnik and Sokolovs the favourites as Hammer Throw Challenge continues

In the women’s Hammer throw, Belarusian Darya Pchelnik, fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, who is just coming from a 75.42m performance from Belém (19 May) that moved her to No. 2 on the world season’s lists, will face South American record holder, Argentina’s Jennifer Dahlgren (73.74 on 10 April), Stéphanie Falzon of France (73.80m from 2008,  2009 World Championships finalist), and Romanian Marina Marghieva (72.53m from 2009; 72.14m this season). This event, along with the men’s, is part of the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge.

On the men’s side, Igors Sokolovs, third on the early season world lists (79.09m) will be up against Tajikistan’s Dishod Nazarov (78.84m this season, and winner at the Brazilian events of Fortaleza and Belém). Also in the line-up will be Ukraine’s Artem Rubanko (77.02m this season in Fortaleza, on 16 May).

[Click here for more on the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge.]

Other good track events should be the men’s 800m and 200m races.

The 800m one will be animated by Brazilians Fabiano Peçanha (1:44.60 PB), and Kléberson Davide (1:44.65 PB). Their main opposition will come from Kenyans Reuben Bett (1:44.79 PB) and Richard Kiplagat (1:45.1 PB).

In the 200m, American Xavier Carter (19.63 from 2006 and 20.42 this season) will face the 2007 Pan-Am Games champion Brendan Christian from Antigua (20.12 PB from 2008), and the 2009 Mediterranean Games Champion, France’s Martial Mbandjock (PB of 20.43 from the semifinals of the Berlin WC).

Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF