The newest meeting on the IAAF Diamond League circuit has confirmed the first wave of top athletes set to compete at the Meeting International Mohammed VI in Rabat on 22 May.
The men’s 800m is set to be a highlight of the meeting as Ethiopia’s 2013 world champion Mohammed Aman will take on Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos of Botswana, world bronze medallist Amel Tuka of Bosnia and Herzegovina, world silver medallist Adam Kszczot of Poland and Algeria’s Olympic 1500m champion Taoufik Makhloufi.
Aman won in Rabat in 2012, setting a Moroccan all-comers’ record of 1:43.58, and then returned to the meeting one year later to win again.
Amos won the Diamond Race last year and notched up victories in Birmingham, Lausanne and London. Tuka, meanwhile, ended the year as the fastest man of 2015, having clocked a national record of 1:42.51 to win in Monaco. Both will be competing in Rabat for the first time.
Six years after her first appearance in Rabat, two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will return to the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium to take on African record-holder Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria over 100m.
Although Okagbare has not previously competed at this meeting, she holds the Moroccan all-comers’ record of 11.00, set when winning the African title in Marrakech in 2014.
USA’s 2011 world champion Carmelita Jeter and 2008 Olympic silver medallist Kerron Stewart of Jamaica are also in the field.
Morocco’s world and Olympic bronze medallist Abdalaati Iguider will be aiming to please the home crowd in Rabat. The 29-year-old – who won the 1500m at this meeting in 2008, 2010 and 2012 – will contest the 3000m for the first time in the Moroccan capital.
Ukraine’s 2013 world champion Bogdan Bondarenko will also be returning to Rabat. Like Iguider, Bondarenko has previously won three times at this competition. When winning in 2014, the European champion set a meeting record of 2.39m, the best jump ever on African soil.
Bondarenko will take on world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi, European silver medallist Andriy Protsenko, 2007 world champion Donald Thomas and Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz.
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL