Hurdles duel under the spotlight at PreComment on this story
Eugene, Oregon – A star-studded men's 110-metre hurdles line-up and US sprint stars Justin Gatlin and Allyson Felix top a deep talent pool set to compete at the 38th Prefontaine Classic track meet on Saturday.
The Diamond League meet will be staged at the site where the US Olympic Track and Field Trials are set to begin on June 22, with a host of top global stars coming to test the best of the Americans at Hayward Field.
World record-holder and reigning Olympic champion Dayron Robles of Cuba and 2004 Olympic champion Liu Xiang of China spark the 110 hurdles showdown.
Reigning world outdoor champion Jason Richardson, reigning world indoor champion Aries Merritt and American record holder David Oliver give the Americans hope to topple the global stars.
Those stars boast five of the six best 110 hurdles times in the world this year.
Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic 100m champion who served a four-year doping ban and began a comeback in 2010, captured the world indoor 60m crown last March and won the Diamond League 100m opener at Doha in 9.87 seconds.
It was the 30-year-old American's fastest outdoor opener since he began pro sprinting at age 19.
Gatlin will be tested in the 100 by Walter Dix, the world outdoor 100 and 200 runner-up, and Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Nick Ashmeade.
Dix and fellow American Wallace Spearmon, who owns the second fastest time in the world this year, will be favored in the 200,
Reigning Diamond League 100m and 200m champion Carmelita Jeter will join three-time world outdoor champion Felix in the women's 200.
Reigning Olympic champion and season leader LaShawn Merritt and 2004 Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner will be joined in a 400-meter battle by reigning world champion Kirani James, an 18-year-old from Grenada.
Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Angelo Taylor and Oscar Pistorius, the “Blade Runner” from South Africa trying to secure a berth at the London Olympics, will also be in the 400.
World 400m indoor champion Sanya Richards-Ross will face reigning world outdoor champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana and 2012 world-leader Novlene Williams-Mills of Jamaica in the women's 400.
Reigning world champion Christian Taylor and reigning world indoor champion Will Claye will be tested by Britain's Phillip Idowu in the triple jump. – Sapa-AFP