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Powell headlines 100m field at Herculis 2008 meeting

29 July 2008
www.world-track.org

By Gary Smith

Former world record holder, Jamaican sprinter Asafa Powell, fresh from back-to-back victories in Stockholm and London last week, will go for his third consecutive 100m win when he leads a competitive line up at the Herculis Grand Prix meeting in Monaco on Tuesday.

Other notable CARICOM athletes down to compete at the meeting are Jamaicans Kerron Stewart, Malaine Walker, Danny McFarlane and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, as well as Cuban Dayron Robles.

Based on current form, Powell is expected to show the way to his competition in the men's 100m. The world bronze medallist who carved out a nail biting victory over world record holder and countryman Usain Bolt in Stockholm last Tuesday prior to winning impressively at the London Grand Prix three days later, is buzzing with confidence for another.

In Monaco, Powell will face fellow countryman and training partners Nesta Carter, who recently ran a personal best of 9.98, former world silver medallist Michael Frater and Trinidadian Darrel Brown.

Also included in the field are world silver medallist Derrick Atkins from the Bahamas, Olympic silver medal winner of Francis Obikwelu Portugal and St Kitts and Nevis' ace Kim Collins.

On the women's side, Jamaican champion Stewart will look to shake off her disappointing London run, where she failed to make the finals, when she goes up against another strong field looking for self-satisfaction ahead of the Olympics.

Shelly Ann Fraser, the second place finisher in London, Sherone Simpson, who beat Allyson Felix in the 200m at the same meeting, as well as Americans Torri Edwards, Marshevet Hooker and Bahamian Debbie Ferguson are all included in a line up expected to produce another sub-11-seconds this season.

The men's and women's 400m hurdles races are expected to be another exciting event on the card. On the women's side, the race will feature Olympic bound Walker, tipped by the pundits as the hot favourite to win gold in Beijing next month.

The Jamaican champion will line up against American champion Tiffany Williams, her compatriot Lashinda Demus, in addition to world bronze medallist Anna Jesien of Poland and American Christine Spence.

McFarlane, the reigning Olympic silver medallist from Athens, starts as one of the main contenders for the title on Tuesday, and he will be accompanied by fellow citizen Isa Phillips.

Challenging the Jamaicans for the crown will be a host of talented Americans, such as former world silver medallist James Carter, former world junior silver medallist Brandon Johnson and an in-form Reuben McCoy.

In the faster obstacles, world record holder Robles will continue his impressive march towards the Olympics gold when he joins American David Oliver in the men's 110m hurdles.

Foster-Hylton is scheduled to race in the women's event against some world-rated athletes, but reporters are that she is still suffering from Saturday's foot injury during her race in London and may very skip the meeting as a precaution.

However, should the Commonwealth Games champion gets the green light to compete, she will match strides with Australian Sally McLellan, who was just beaten by Olympic favourite Lolo Jones in London on Saturday, Joanna Hayes and Nichole Denby of USA and Cuba's Anay Tejeda.

The other track event with Caribbean interest is the men's 400m, which will see Jamaica's Ricardo Chambers and Bahamian Andretti Bain going up against Britain's star and London champion Martyn Rooney.

Meanwhile, in the field events, Bahamas' world champion Donald Thomas searches for his world beating form from last year in the men's High Jump against a loaded field, while Grenadian Randy Lewis and Leevan Sands of the Bahamas compete in the men's Triple Jump.

Jamaican Dorian Scott faces World Indoor champion Christian Cantwell of USA in the men's Shot.



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