Rio spotlight - Preview
25 May 2011
Brazilian Fabiana Murer, the 2010 World indoor Pole Vault champion, will be the main attraction of the “27° Grande Prêmio Brasil/Caixa de Atletismo”, an IAAF World Challenge meeting, which takes place on Thursday (26) at the Estádio João Havelange in Rio de Janeiro.
Strong women’s 400m hurdles field
The 2008 Olympic champion at 400m hurdles, Jamaican Melaine Walker, will also be one of the highlights of the Rio GP. The 28-year-old, who is currently third in the 2011 World Lists with a 54.96 performance from the Shanghai Samsung Diamond League meet, will be facing – as her main rivals – American Sheena Tosta, the silver medallist in Beijing 2008 (55.65 this year), and also Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson, fourth at the 2007 World Championships, who will be making her debut at the event.
In the women’s 100m, Nigerian Damola Osayomi, coming from an outstanding PB of 10.99 from São Paulo, will face American Mikele Barber (SB of 11.14, also from São Paulo), among other strong sprinters.
In the men’s event, Great Britain’s Dwain Chambers will make his fourth appearance in the 2011 Brazilian Athletics Tour, trying to continue his progression. So far, the 33-year-old from London has improved in every race contested on Brazilian soil (10.16, 10.13, and 10.01). In Rio Chambers will face Jamaican Dexter Lee (10.06 from São Paulo), and the dangerous Trinidad and Tobago duo of Keston Bledman (10.09 SB), and Marc Burns (Olympic and World Championships finalist).
The men's 200m race will serve as a new test for the 2009 World Championships silver medallist, Panamanian Alonso Edward, who spent most of 2010 injured. Edward has run 20.60 in his return, in Puerto Rico. Brazilian Nilson André (10.18 100m PB from São Paulo, and 20.41 PB at 200m), could push the young Edward (South American record holder with 19.81) to faster times.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF