Allyson Felix and Anthonique Strachan in the 200m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London (© Getty Images)
Olympic champion Allyson Felix will be looking to put an injury-plagued 2013 behind her and re-establish herself as the dominant force in 200m running at the Bislett Games on 11 June, the fifth leg of the 2014 IAAF Diamond League.
Felix will be competing in Norway for the first time in her career and Oslo gives her the perfect opportunity to pick up where she left off after her brilliant 2012 season in which she was named the female IAAF World Athlete of the Year.
Felix, who has been world champion at the distance on three separate occasions, is one of the most decorated athletes in the sport’s history, having won 12 gold medals at Olympic and World Championships level. She has returned to the track this year with a fifth-place finish over 400m in Shanghai and a third-place finish over 200m in Eugene.
Another athlete looking to make a statement of her own is Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure. The world silver medallist over 60m, 100m and 200m will be looking to further her progression and become the world no.1 in 2014.
Ahoure spends a great deal of time training and residing in Norway , a fact that will not be lost on the parochial Bislett crowd. The 26-year-old, who finished one place behind Felix in Eugene last weekend, will be looking to improve on her personal best of 22.24 for 200m, after opening her season with a 11.06 clocking over 100m.
While Felix and Ahoure are the favourites for the 200m, there will be several other athletes in Oslo who will want to challenge for the victory. 21-year-old Bahamian Anthonique Strachan is the double world junior champion and recently produced her second-fastest performance event when finishing second in the 200m in Shanghai.
Another world-class competitor is USA’s Tiffany Townsend. The 24-year-old has a personal best of 22.26 and is capable of an upset.
In what promises to be a tight competition, listen for the big Bislett crowd to rise as one and support their adopted daughter Ahoure, especially if she can challenge Felix.
Organisers for the IAAF
2014 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 9 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
Eugene, USA – 31 May
Rome, ITA – 5 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 11 Jun
New York, USA – 14 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 3 Jul
Paris, FRA – 5 Jul
Glasgow, GBR – 11-12 Jul
Monaco, MON – 18 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 21 Aug
Birmingham, GBR – 24 Aug
Zurich, SUI – 28 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 5 Sep