Kenyan 400m hurdler Nicholas Bett (© Getty Images)
World champion Nicholas Bett heads a 400m hurdles line-up at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on 14 May that could even put the meeting’s favourite event, the sprint hurdles, in the shade.
Bett produced one of the shocks of the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 when he won gold in the one-lap hurdles final with a world-leading 47.79, breaking the Kenyan record.
The 26-year-old will be one of the favourites for the Olympic title in Rio this August but first he will return to China to kick-start his 2016 campaign in Shanghai in only his second ever IAAF Diamond League race. And with six men in the field having bettered 48 seconds at some point in their career, this will be the toughest field that Bett has ever had to face.
The line-up contains no fewer than six world or Olympic medallists and is led by a trio of top US talents: 2005 world champion and 2015 Diamond Race winner Bershawn Jackson, Olympic silver medallist Michael Tinsley and two-time world champion Kerron Clement.
Tinsley took maximum Diamond Race points when this event was last contested in Shanghai two years ago and set a meeting record of 48.77.
The field also includes Bahamian record-holder and world bronze medallist Jeffery Gibson, two-time world silver medallist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, 2011 world bronze medallist LJ van Zyl of South Africa, Turkish record-holder Yasmani Copello and Asian Games bronze medallist Cheng Wen of China.
Organisers for the IAAF
2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar
6 May – Doha, QAT
14 May – Shanghai, CHN
22 May – Rabat, MAR
28 May – Eugene, USA
2 Jun – Rome, ITA
5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR
9 Jun – Oslo, NOR
16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE
15 Jul – Monaco, MON
22-23 Jul – London, GBR
25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI
27 Aug – Paris, FRA
1 Sep – Zurich, SUI
9 Sep – Brussels, BEL