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Exciting Sprint Battles Await in Lausanne Today


All eyes will be on the men’s 100m at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland today. Although today’s 100m dash is not part of the Diamond Race, it is expected that former World champion Tyson Gay will grab the attention of track fans as he returns to competition after his drug suspension. He will race against two competitors: World silver medalist Justin Gatlin, who has won all his races so far this season, and USA champion Mike Rodgers.

Meanwhile, Jamaica’s double Olympic silver medalist Yohan Blake will be contesting his first 200m race in the Diamond League for almost two years. After missing most of 2013 through injury, the second-fastest sprinter of all time over the distance will be keen to return to sub-20-second territory today.

This will be only Blake’s fifth ever 200m race in the IAAF Diamond League, but it was in Lausanne that he set his 100m best of 9.69secs in 2012 and broke the meet record. Outside of major championships, no one has run faster, including Usain Bolt.

Blake will face his countryman, newly crowned national 100m champion Nickel Ashmeade, who won the 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha in May and is the fastest in the field this year at 19.95. Also in the field is 2009 World silver medalist Alonso Edward of Panama.

Perhaps the biggest clash of the evening, however, will be in the men’s 400m, in which Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada will meet World champion LaShawn Merritt of the USA for the first time since their exciting battle at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon. There, the two sprinters crossed the line in 43.97 with James getting the edge on a photo finish.

Bowie vs. Campbell-Brown, Ayhe

Trinidad and Tobago’s fastest woman this season, Michelle-Lee Ahye, Nigeria’s ace Blessing Okagbare and Jamaica’s national champion Veronica Campbell-Brown will line up against US Number One Tori Bowie in the 100m. Bowie ran a personal best of 10.91 at the recent US Championships; this will be her first race since then. Both Ahye and Campbell-Brown have run faster than Bowie this year.

The men’s 110m hurdles seems to have shaped up as a battle between Jamaicans marginal favorite Hansle Parchment and Andrew Riley, who defeated Parchment at the Jamaican Championships. Both hurdlers will race against World indoor silver medalist Pascal Martinot-Lagarde of France, European champion Sergey Shubenkov of Russia and world leader Orlando Ortega of Cuba.

World champion David Oliver and World silver medalist Ryan Wilson of the US will also be looking to make an impact.

In the one-lap hurdles, two-time World 400m hurdles silver medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico goes to Lausanne as the world leader, but Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley will be fired up after falling at the recent US Championships.

Included among the contenders are Olympic champion Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic’s and Trinidad and Tobago’s World champion Jehue Gordon (in photo above) are also in the field who both will be gunning to produce their first sub-49 performances of the year.

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