Monday, July 27, 2009

The Road to Berlin - Next Stop Monaco

Olympics Day 12 - Athletics

Only two big meets left to the end of July and the two week break before the World Championships. Monaco will be the penultimate stop on the road to Worlds, and presents several interesting events.

The men's 100 will be without Usain Bolt or Tyson Gay for the first time in weeks. 200 man Wallace (US) is entered however, and will get to test his speed against Beijing finalists Churandy Martina (AHO) and Darvis Patton (US). A good move since Spearmon will need to get out well to have any shot at Bolt and Gay in the 200 in Berlin.

In the men's 400 this year's find, David Gillick (IRL) will get a chance to test himself against world leader Lashawn Merritt (US). His performance in Monaco will go a long way towards seeing if he can be a medalist in Berlin.

The men's 800 gives us another look at world leader Abubaker Kaki (SUD). He was injured weeks ago, but still has the top two times this year. If he has returned to form he will be as close to a lock as there is in this event come Worlds. He should get a good test from vet Yuriy Borzakovskiy (RUS)

In the women's 1500 we get a match up of the women that should go 1,2 in Berlin - Gelete Burka (ETH) and Maryam Yusuf. They are the top two on the clock and on the track. We should get a good race from them as gutsy Anna Willard (US) is sure to keep them honest.

Likewise, we get a head to head match up in the women's high jump between Ariane Friedrich (GER) and Blanca Vlasic (CRO). Friedrich has been Vlasic's only conqueror and being the competitor that she is Vlasic should be looking to turn the tables on Friedrich in Monaco. The winner of this meet could have a bit of a psychological edge heading into Berlin.

Monaco has solid fields all around and should give us a good look at several athletes with podium potential in Berlin. For start lists click here.

The meet will be streamed live on Universal Sports.

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