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News14 May 2021

James, Kerley and Dibaba added to Ostrava fields


Kirani James in the 400m at the Diamond League meeting in London (© Getty Images)

Grenada’s 2012 Olympic 400m champion Kirani James will continue his comeback at the Ostrava Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, on 19 May.

The 28-year-old has raced sparingly over the past few years but opened his season with a 44.88 400m win at the Canyon Invitational in Phoenix last month.

Now he prepares to return to the Ostrava event for the first time since 2013, when he won in 44.49, while the Czech city is also where he claimed World Youth Championships silver in 2007.

Among those lining up alongside him will be home favourite Pavel Maslak, the three-time world indoor champion.

Another top 400m runner in action will be the USA’s world bronze medallist Fred Kerley, who has focused on the 100m and 200m so far this season, with respective times of 9.91 and 20.24. That will continue in Ostrava, as he is set to take on the double.

In the 200m he will be joined by his compatriot Kenny Bednarek, who recently finished second at the USATF Golden Games with 19.94.

Dibaba set for 1500m

Ethiopia’s world record-holder Genzebe Dibaba is yet to race outdoors this season and will be targeting the 1500m meeting record of 3:59.05 set last year by Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon when she takes to the Mestsky Stadion track.

Czech duo Diana Mezulianikova and Simona Vrzalova will be aiming for the Olympic standard.

Britain’s world U20 indoor record-holder Keely Hodgkinson will race the 800m against sub-1:59 runners Lovisa Lindh, Hedda Hynne and Lore Hoffmann, while Bosnian world silver medalist Amel Tuka will contest the men’s event against Hodgkinson’s fellow British teenager Max Burgin plus Poland’s Adam Kszczot, Patryk Dobek, Mateusz Borkowski and Michal Rozmys.

In the men’s 1500m, current world-leader Adam Ali Musaab from Qatar will face Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski and Czech trio Jakub Holusa, Filip Sasinek and Jan Fris.

Other athletes to have previously been confirmed for the meeting include world pole vault record-holder Mondo Duplantis, 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter, world half marathon champion Jacob Kiplimo in the 10,000m and Joshua Cheptegei, who last year set world records over 5000m and 10,000m and this time will race over 3000m.

The Golden Spike was granted an exemption from the Czech Republic’s ban on holding mass events, and the meeting is permitted to welcome 1500 fans into the stadium.

Organisers for World Athletics