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General News 6 April 2011 – Ostrava, Czech Republic

Rudisha to debut at 1000m – IAAF World Challenge

Ostrava, Czech RepublicDavid Rudisha, the World 800m record holder and 2010 World Athlete of the Year, will make his 1000m debut at the jubilee 50th Ostrava Golden Spike Meeting - IAAF World Challenge - on 31 May 2011.

It will be Rudisha’s fourth appearance in the Czech city (second in 2008 and winner in 2009 and 2010), and it will be the first time that the 1000m has been staged in Ostrava.

"I'm very happy to be running again in Ostrava,” said Rudisha. “It is a good meeting, of course one of my favourites. This year it's exciting for me to be running a new distance, my first time to try 1000 metres.”

“I understand why people might ask me about the World record but really I can't talk of this yet.....I aim to run a strong race and to run well but I think it is not realistic to think of World record for my first attempt at the distance. Maybe in the future I can come back to do this in Ostrava," concluded Rudisha who has run 800m twice so far this year in Australia (1:43.88 and 1:44:80).

The world’s top high jumper Ivan Ukhov is well known in Czech Republic, but from indoor competitions. Now for first time he will jump outdoors in Ostrava where in what will be his season’s debut, organisers are hoping he may attack the meet (2.31m) or stadium (2.32m) records.

The Russian who was undefeated last indoor season will debut outdoors in Ostrava and has an outdoor best of 2.36. His main rival will be home star Jaroslav Baba, who won silver at European Indoor Championships. Baba now lives in Prague but comes from the Ostrava area and has trained for ten years at the City Stadium of Ostrava. The men’s High Jump is being staged at the meet for first time since 2007.

Third top name announced is "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius from South Africa for the 400m. He recently improved to excellent 45.61 what is Daegu B-qualifier. “I am very excited to be competing in Ostrava, I have never had the opportunity to compete there yet and I know the organisers have been trying to get me to compete here for the past couple of seasons and I am glad this time round the dates could work out. I know the field will be strong in the 400m and the race tough but I will most certainly look to try and achieve the IAAF ‘A’ standard in Ostrava and give it my best. I have only followed the meeting on TV here in SA and it always seem such a great meet to compete in with the crowd always supporting the athletes," commented the Paralympic gold medallist.

Organisers for the IAAF