BOSTON – Star turns by reigning 100m world champion Tori Bowie and 400m world runner-up Steven Gardiner and a 100m showdown between Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake highlight this weekend’s Boston Games.
The event features Saturday night distance events on a college track and Sunday afternoon sprints on an elevated straightaway track built at Boston Common on Charles Street in the heart of the city.
Bahamas 22-year-old star Gardiner, who ran a 2018 world-leading 43.87 seconds to win a Diamond League meeting at Doha on May 4, will race at 200m, where he set a national record of 19.75 last month.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Jereem Richards, third in last year’s worlds 200 and the Commonwealth Games champion at the distance, and Machel Cedenio, and Panama’s Alonso Edward, the 2009 world runner-up, will challenge Gardiner.
But American Noah Lyles, who won in 19.83 at Doha, will instead run the rarely contested 150m in Boston.
Bowie will be tested in the 100m by another US star, 100m hurdles world record-holder Keni Harrison, this year’s world 60m hurdles indoor champion in just her third 100m flat start in three years.
The men’s 100m offers American Gay, the 2007 world champion, who was stripped of London 100m Olympic silver for doping, against Blake, the 2011 world champion who helped Jamaica’s 4x100m relay to Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016.
But both could be overshadowed by Commonwealth Games winner Akani Simbane of South Africa, who edged Blake in the Gold Coast sprint final and faces a rematch half a world away.
Michelle-Lee Ahye, the first woman from Trinidad and Tobago to win Commonwealth Games gold, will test Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo in the women’s 150m.
Spanish Olympic runner-up Orlando Ortega will face American Jarret Eaton, second in the indoor worlds in the 60m hurdles, in the 110m hurdles with new Commonwealth Games champion Tobi Amusan of Nigeria favoured in the women’s hurdles.
American Ajee Wilson, coming off her second world indoor 800m runner-up finish, will be favoured on Saturday on the track at the distance.
New Zealand’s Nick Willis, twice an Olympic 1 500m medallist, makes his 2018 outdoor debut in the mile on Saturday after the 35-year-old missed last month’s Commonwealth Games with a leg injury.
Britain’s Chris O’Hare, a 1 500m Rio Olympic semi-finalist coming off a foot injury, is also in the mile field.