Athletics: Diamond League preview
By Sam Drury. Last Updated: 11/06/14 11:15am
Jessica Judd: Returned to action in the 800m 'B' race in Eugene last month
Wednesday will see a number of the world’s leading athletes convene at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo for the season’s latest Diamond League meeting.
The fifth of 14 meets throughout the season has the potential to see some memorable performances in a stadium that has played host to 69 world records over the years, with a number of British athletes joining a multitude of world and Olympic champions hoping to add their name to that list in the Norwegian capital.
Amongst the British contingent will be Sky Academy Sports Scholar Jessica Judd, who goes in the 800m. The race will be just her second outing of the season following a back injury, but, with the Commonwealth Games and European Championships fast approaching, the 19-year-old from Canvey Island will be out to prove her form and fitness.
Judd is no stranger to the Diamond League having won the 800m at the Birmingham leg of the competition last year, achieving a personal best in the process. However, she will face tough competition against a field that includes world champion Eunice Sum, who triumphed in last week’s Rome meeting, and Olympic silver medallist Caster Semenya.
Elsewhere, Allyson Felix will be looking to put an injury-hit 2013 behind her as she runs in the 200m. The reigning Olympic champion’s main challenger is likely to be Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast. The World Championships silver medallist may also be boosted by the support of the home crowd given she trains and spends much of her time in Norway.
The men’s javelin competition could well provide the highlight of the evening with the top six from last year World Championships final all set to compete. Home favourite and two-time Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen is joined by another Olympic gold medallist in Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad & Tobago as well as two other past World champions in Finland’s Tero Pitkamaki and Vítezslav Vesely of the Czech Republic.
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Also in attendance are Julius Yego, who finished fourth in Moscow, and bronze medallist Dmitri Tarabin. However, all six could miss out on victory if Egypt’s Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed continues his good form. El Sayed threw a world-leading distance of 89.21m in the season’s first Diamond League javelin event, an improvement of over five metres on his previous personal best.
Other highlights include world record holders Ashton Eaton of the USA and France’s Renaud Lavillenie competing in the 400m hurdles and pole vault, respectively, whilst the home crowd will have high hopes for Henrik Ingebrigsten in the meet's unique 'Dream Mile'.
Russia's Olympic champion high jumper Anna Chicherova is also set to compete, whilst Britain’s William Sharman will be looking to cause an upset and overcome American duo Ryan Wilson and Jason Richardson – and the rest of the field - in the 100m hurdles.
Phillips Idowu competes in the triple jump with Will Claye and Olympic champion Christian Taylor, both of the US, expected to battle it out for the victory, before the evening’s track action finishes with the 100m.
GB pair Adam Gemili and Richard Kilty will be involved in a field in which four of their competitors have gone under 10 seconds this year. Both men will be hoping to join them in doing so and know they will likely have to if they are to challenge.