STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Sporting Alert) — World champion LaShawn Merritt returns to the track on Thursday where he will contest the men’s 400m at DN Galan – IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm.
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The American dominated the men’s one lap even at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia and he will be hoping to bring some of that form in Sweden.
His main rivals will not included Olympic champion Kirani James of Grenada who had a very disappointing final rest in Moscow, but Silver medallist Tony McQuay of USA and Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic, who won the bronze are both in the line up.
The women’s 100m will see Americans Alexandria Anderson, Barbara Pierre and Jeneba Tarmoh going up against Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart, who finished fifth at the world championships between teammate and sprint double champion Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce, who will not compete here.
After a poor race strategy cost her a medal at the world championships, American Alysia Montano will look to forget those disappointment quickly when she takes on a solid field in the women’s 800m.
Montano led for most the race in Moscow, but was overtaken and finished out of the medal places.
One of the women who surged by her in the closing metres before the finish line was teammate Brenda Martinez, who finished with the bronze and a new personal best and she is in tonight’s start list.
Gold medallist Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya, Russia’s Ekaterina Poistogova and USA’s Ajee’ Wilson, who also ran a personal best in Moscow will face the starter as well. Interestingly Sweden golden girl over 1500m Abeba Aregawi has also decided to step down to race in this event as well.
Elsewhere, Zuzana Hejnova of Czech Republic, who dominated the women’s 400m hurdles at the worlds will take on USA’s silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad and American teammate Georganne Moline, who fell in the early rounds and was unable to progress.
Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, who was disqualified after winning her heat is also in the lineup.
In the field, four-time world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand continues her battle with Germany’s Christina Schwanitz in the women’s Shot Put Jenn Suhr of USA goes up against Fabiana Murer of Brazil and Cuba’s Yarisley Silva in the women’s pole.