Following an action packed start to series last week in Doha, the IAAF Diamond league moves to Shanghai tomorrow where a number of the biggest name in athletics will take to the 80,000 capacity Shanghai Stadium.
As always the Men’s 100m is the meet’s biggest drawer and whilst the likes of Bolt and Blake are notable absentees, Shanghai’s line up does offer seven entrants with sub 10 seconds personal bests including 2004 Olympic champion Justin Gatlin and Nesta Carter the Jamaican relay gold medallist who are the two hot favourites for the race. British athlete Dwain Chambers and Americans Ryan Bailey and Mike Rodgers are also in the line-up.
All in all there are nine world champions from Moscow 2013 who will be competing in Shanghai this weekend.
Jehue Gordon and Michael Tinsley, gold and silver medallists respectively in the men’s 400m hurdles at the World Championships, reengage their rivalry and are joined by former medallists Lj Van Zyl and Bershawn Jackson in what is sure to be another entertaining race.
British eyes will be cast to the triple jump where former World Champion Philips Idowu will attempt to get back to his best after a loss of form and injuries have shrouded his career over the last few years, American Chris Taylor is the overwhelming favourite however and holds a personal best more than 15cm longer than the rest of the field. Home athletes Bin Dong and Shuo Cao will look to rile the Chinese Crowd.
Fellow Brit Shara Proctor goes in the women’s long jump where the national record holder is part of a tough field which includes the World Championship silver and bronze medallists; Blessing Okagbare and Ivana Spanovic.
The Women’s track events 200m sees Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce square off against Veronica Campbell-Brown and Okagbare in the 200m, looking to build on her 100m win over the latter in Doha.
Whilst four time Olympic Gold Medallist Alyson Felix will be making her season debut in the 400m.
The 1500m race sees another current World Champion, Abeba Aregawi go against the woman she beat to gold Jennifer Simpson in what is shaping up to be a three horse race with Kenya’s Viola Kibiwot the only other runner to have run sub 4 minutes over the distance.
Shanghai’s women field events are headlined by Sandra Perlovic the Croatian discus thrower who won all seven competitions on the Diamond league roster last season as well as the World Championship in Moscow to record a perfect year and is looking to do the same again this year.
Field events in Shanghai also offer up a selection of the world’s finest athletes, world record holder Renau Lavillenie will be reaching for new heights in the men’s pole vault and the men’s javelin event will have the 2013 World Championship’s top 5 as part of its’ offering.
Several other events see multiple 2013 World Championship medallists competing with the Women’s 3000m hurdles and the Men’s 110m hurdles and Javelin also boasting all three medallists from Moscow whilst the Men’s shot put completes the line-up of events with the Gold and Silver medallists in the start list.
After the fantastic start seen to this season’s Diamond League in Doha last week, Shanghai is set to be another enthralling meet packed full of athletic royalty.