Hurdles heavyweights set for showdown

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Dayron_Robles REUTERS Cuba's Olympic 110m hurdles champion Dayron Robles.

Raleigh, North Carolina – Cuba's Olympic hurdling champion Dayron Robles will race in the United States for the first time next month, athletics sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, who also holds the world record in 110 metres hurdles, will race in both the June 2 Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon and the June 9 Adidas Grand Prix in New York City, the sources said.

The New York meeting already has announced world champion Jason Richardson and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist David Oliver will be in its field along with 2012 world indoor champion Aries Merritt.

The three, all Americans, were ranked second, third and fifth in the world last year behind Robles. China's Liu Xiang occupied the number four spot.

Competitors for the Oregon meeting have not been announced, but Liu, the 2004 Olympic champion, has told Reuters he plans to be there. Richardson and Oliver also are expected.

Robles took the world record from Liu when he sped 12.87 seconds in June 2008. Months later he won Olympic gold in Beijing when an injured Liu was forced to withdraw.

Although often injured himself, Robles holds two of the three fastest 110 metres hurdles times ever and along with his Olympic title is the 2010 world indoor champion.

He won last year's outdoor world championship but was disqualified for obstructing Liu. – Reuters

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