BY WILLIAM NJUGUNA AND IAAF
Olympic and world record holder fonfirms for 40th Athletissima
Olympic champion and 800m world record-holder David Rudisha has confirmed he will be at the 40th Athletissima in Lausanne on July 9, the ninth IAAF Diamond League meeting of 2015.
After victories in 2007, 2010 and 2011, it will be Rudisha’s fourth appearance in Lausanne.
He will face opposition from world champion Mohammed Aman, the only athlete to defeat Rudisha between June 2009 and April 2014, as well as French record-holder Pierre-Ambroise Bosse.
In Lausanne Rudisha will join fellow world record-holders Usain Bolt and Renaud Lavillenie. It will be the first time all three athletes have appeared at the same meeting since Lavillenie joined the “world record club” last year.
Sally Pearson will also be looking for another victory in Lausanne. The Olympic 100m hurdles champion has won twice in the Swiss city, clocking a windy 12.47 in 2011 and 12.60 in 2009.
Blanka Vlasic will be the main attraction in the high jump. The Croatian has won four global titles, but has never won in Lausanne. The closest she came to victory was a second-place finish in 2004.
Among the top Swiss athletes set to compete are European indoor 800m champion Selina Buchel, and heptathlete-turned-sprinter Lea Sprunger, who will be contesting the 400m hurdles, a new event for her.
Elsewhere Haile Gebrselassie, one of the all-time great distance runners, will be aiming to win the 10,000 metres Great Manchester Run road race for a sixth time when he competes at this year’s event on Sunday, May 10.
Organisers have confirmed the 41-year-old Ethiopian, who has broken 37 world records and won two Olympic 10,000m titles, would be taking part in this year’s edition on the street course in Manchester.
The Olympic 10,000m champion in 1996 and 2000 and four time world champion at the distance from 1993 to 1999, Gebrselassie has won the Manchester event five times — in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
“Manchester is one of my favourite cities in the world to race in,” said Gebrselassie in a statement.
“The atmosphere, the people and the organisation are all fantastic.”
The elite field will feature another veteran distance runner in Bernard Lagat
The 40-year-old Kenya-born American, winner of the 1500m and 5,000m at the 2007 world championships in Osaka, will try to break Gebrselassie’s Over 40s Masters world record in what will be his debut race at 10km on the roads.
Gebrselassie set the 10km road record, 28 minutes 00 seconds, when finishing third behind Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya in Manchester in 2013.
“It is not going to be easy, but it is good to have something to shoot at,” said Lagat.
“It is a really quick time. It shows how great Haile has been for so long. It will be an honour for me to run in the same race with him.”
The elite women’s race in Manchester will feature another experienced campaigner in Britain’s Jo Pavey, the 41-year-old European 10,000m champion.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke