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News20 Jun 2013

Isinbayeva, Bekele and Pearson the latest additions for Ostrava – IAAF World Challenge


Yelena Isinbayeva in action in the Pole Vault at the Shanghai Diamond League (© Jiro Mochizuki)

Organisers of the 52nd Ostrava Golden Spike on 27 June have announced the final wave of top athletes for the IAAF World Challenge meeting.

For the first time since setting the World 10,000m record in 2004, Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele will return to Ostrava and will this time compete in the 5000m where he will aim for a fast time.

Also returning to Ostrava for first time since 2007 is Russian superstar pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who will make her 2013 European debut. The World record-holder won here six years ago with 4.66m and hopes to go higher this year.

The meeting record is still held by USA’s Stacy Dragila, who set a World record of 4.83m here in 2004.

“I’m happy to compete in Ostrava,” said Isinbayeva. “I hope there will be great weather so it will help me achieve my best result.”

The third top star announced is World and Olympic 100m Hurdles champion Sally Pearson and hopes are high that the Australian can break the meeting record. It has been held by Grazyna Rabsztyn since 1980 with 12.65 and has twice been equalled – by Brigitte Foster-Hylton in 2003 and by Tiffany Porter last year.

“Ever since I started competing in Europe, I had heard about this meet in a place called Ostrava which had a catchy name, ‘Golden Spike’,” said Pearson. “Every year I was hearing about it but I wasn’t really sure where it was. Then Dayron Robles ran the World record there and I became more intrigued after watching the meet on television.

“This must be a decent track and it’s a very good meet. I know that Usain is a regular there, so I am now very excited to be coming to Ostrava for the first time.

“I have recovered from a slight injury earlier this year and am now well rested after an exhausting Olympic season. Training has been going well and I could think of no better place than Ostrava to start my European season.”

Organisers for the IAAF