Gatlin hopes for personal-best run

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, May 13, 2016
Adjust font size:

Huang Changzhou (left) and Gao Xinglong, both long-jump athletes from China, pose with runner David Rudisha (third left) of Kenya, American sprinter Justin Gatlin and fellow long jumper Wang Jianan at a pre-event press conference for the 2016 Shanghai Diamond League meet yesterday. The one-day competition, with 18 events, will be staged at Shanghai Stadium tomorrow.

Justin Gatlin is aiming to run a personal best of the season at the weekend, as athletes take the IAAF Diamond League meet in Shanghai as a warm-up for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Star athletes, including Asafa Powell, Gatlin and Tyson Gay, will compete in the men's 100-meter dash, while Aries Meritt, David Oliver and Omar McLeod will line up for the 110m hurdles at Shanghai Stadium tomorrow.

Gatlin, a twin 100-200 silver medalist at last year's world championships in Beijing, attended the pre-event press conference yesterday, just four days after winning the 100 race at a Golden Grand Prix event in Japan, clocking 10.02 seconds, while the American's personal best is 9.74.

"It was intentional (that I held back a bit in the previous competition). It was just to make sure that I'll be in top form for the US team's Olympic trials and the Games later."

Gatlin suffered some discomfort in his right ankle after the Kawasaki race, but said that should not affect his plan to run a personal best of the season in Shanghai.

Kenyan runner David Rudisha, meanwhile, hopes to break the event's 800-meter record of 1 minute and 44.63 seconds, set by now-retired compatriot Wilfred Bungei in 2008.

"This is my first major competition this season, and I'm taking it seriously," said the world record holder. "The top aim is to reach top form in August. Maybe a time of 1:43.5 will be good for the Shanghai race."

Also attending the press conference were a trio of Chinese long jump athletes, Wang Jianan, Huang Changzhou and Gao Xinglong. With China's athletics team for the Olympics yet to be decided, the three will need good results in big competitions like the Diamond League to snare a slot.

"In the national team, five of us have already met the Olympic standard," said Huang. "But only three can go to Rio. We need to reach 8.25 meters in at least two big competitions from now on to compete for the Olympic slot, which means everybody is working very hard."

The IAAF has added two disciplines (men's 4x100 relay and high jump) to make it a total of 18 events in Shanghai this year, with around 40 Chinese athletes taking part.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from