Tuesday, May 12, 2009

When will we get Merritt v Wariner?

In Lashawn Merritt's recent entry on his IAAF diary he outlined his upcoming schedule:

• 200 this weekend at the Adidas Classic
• 400 at the Reebok Grand Prix
• 300 at the Prefontaine Classic
• 400 at Nationals

Knowing what Merritt was running I took a look at Jeremy Wariner's website to find out when we would get our first match up between the two. According to the schedule on Jeremy's site his upcoming meets will be:

• 400 at the Adidas Track Classic
• 200 at Nationals

Which would mean that we won't see these two compete against each other until perhaps some time in Europe!

Currently Merritt leads the world in both the 200 (20.17) and 400 (44.50) with Wariner #2 in the 400 (44.69). This weekend at Carson will give us our first view of the two of them at least on the same track this year - though in different events. Will be interesting to see how they each perform knowing that the other will most certainly be watching and taking notes.

Wariner has been known to run close to 44.00 this time of year, so I would expect a possible world leading performance from him in Carson. Merritt's 200 PR (19.98) was run coincidentally at Carson in 2007! If Wariner takes over the lead in the 400 I would expect to see Lashawn throw down something in this range, and possibly a new PR.

It appears we won't be seeing Wariner at either Reebok or Prefontaine, but these meets have not been standard stops for him in the past. As the defending World Champion he has a bye into the event in Berlin so it only makes sense that he will run the 200 at nationals. Thus Eugene will give us the reverse of Carson - Merritt in the 400 and Wariner in the 200.

So it appears that we won't get our first head to head race until some time this summer - unless we get a rematch of last year's Berlin race prior to Nationals since Berlin is June 14th and Nationals begin on June 25th. At any rate, we will get lots of "preview" races before hand, and hopefully we won't have to wait until Worlds to see these two go at it.

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