Star-studded lineup for Diamond League

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Chinese high jumper Zhang Guowei (right) and 110m hurdler Xie Wenjun share a light moment during the press conference for the 2017 IAAF Diamond League in Shanghai yesterday.

At least 13 Rio Olympic track and field champions have confirmed their participation for the 2017 IAAF Diamond League on May 13 in Shanghai, organizers announced yesterday.

The Shanghai leg, serving as the second stop of the 14-leg Diamond League, will feature 16 items — nine for men and seven for women. Six Chinese athletes will vie with the world's best for the honors.

China's Xie Wenun will line-up in the men's 110-meter hurdles — the traditional closing event here — with world indoor champion and Rio gold medalist Omar McLeod. The Jamaican will be looking to show his early season form as he gears up for a tilt at the world title in London in August. Xie and McLeod will hope to outrun Rio silver medalist Orlando Ortega in the event.

"I didn't set any specific goal for myself so there won't be any pressure," Xie said yesterday. "There is a national meet and World Championship this year. Shanghai runners have always dominated the 110m hurdles and I hope to keep that momentum going."

Xie was referring to local Olympic and world champion Liu Xiang.

Chinese sprinter Su Bingtian and Rio silver medalist Justin Gatlin will compete in the 100m. The American is the defending champion.

David Rudisha, Kenya's 800m world record holder, will look for some early pointers three months ahead of his world title defense. In other men's track events, Rio champion and 2016's fastest one-lap hurdler Kerron Clement of the US will compete in the 400m hurdles. Panamanian sprinter Alonso Edward will lead the 200m field which also has China's own national record holder and world relay silver medalist Xie Zhenye.

The men's field events have some intriguing match-ups. Canada's world and Olympic champion Derek Drouin will take on China's world silver medalist Zhang Guowei in high jump.

"Drouin and I know each other very well," Zhang said. "It's just about who finds a better form. My goal is to reach 2.3 meters."

In pole vault, Brazil's Rio hero Thiago Braz faces France's world indoor record holder Renaud Levillenie and China's Xue Changrui.

The women's events are equally star-studded. Jamaica's Rio champion Elaine Thompson will make her Shanghai debut in the 100m. Another Rio gold medalist Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas will take on her Jamaican rival Stephanie McPherson in the 400m.

Croatia's Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic will be seeking her fourth victory at Shanghai Stadium, while China's Gong Lijiao will hope to reproduce the crowd-pleasing form that saw her defeat a world-class field to win the shot put contest two years ago.

Fans can log on to or dial hotline 21-962123 for tickets.

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