Ostrava, Czech Republic - World 800m record holder David Rudisha will return to Ostrava for the 51st Golden Spike on 25 May.
It will be the fourth appearance at this IAAF World Challenge meeting for the 23-year-old World champion, who won here in 2009 and 2010 and was second in 2008. Ostrava will be the Kenyan's third 800m race of the year after Melbourne and Doha.
"Ostrava has always been one of my favourite meets," Rudisha said. "I‘ve won and lost there and always had good competition. I was disappointed to miss Ostrava last year because of injury and i‘m very happy to be coming back. I hope to run a strong race for the great public this year."
Richards-Ross vs Rosolova at 400m
Another top highlight will be women's 400m as this year's World Indoor champion Sanya Richards-Ross will return in top form after last year's third place finish.
Organisers are hoping the 2009 World champion will attack one of the oldest meet records, Tatiana Kocembova's 49.67 set in 1983.
"Tatiana Kocembova is a legend in the 400 metres so it‘s great to see Denisa Rosolova carrying on the tradition in Ostrava. She has shown great promise. She ran well against me last year. I am looking forward to the rematch," the US Champion said.
Strong Javelin fields on tap
At a press conference held today (18), meet director Jan Zelezny was also able to confirm great fields in the javelin throws.
The women's competition will feature a Daegu World Championships rematch between Russian World champion Mariya Abakumova and home star and World record holder Barbora Spotakova.
"It has been always a pleasure competing in the Czech Republic. I am glad I may come to Ostrava this year, where I am always lucky,“ said Abakumova, who so far has always beaten Spotakova in Ostrava.
The men's field will include not only Zelezny's training group but also Norway's olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen and last year's Ostrava winner and later World champion Matthias De Zordo of Germany.
"I am very much looking forward to come to Ostrava, especially as I had to cancel last year," Thorkildsen said. "The Golden Spike will be my second meet of the year and I am sure all throwers will do their best to please the crowd and the meet director and World record holder."
Organisers for the IAAF