Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stockholm - Final Stop on the Road to Berlin

The athletes get their final big tune up for Berlin tomorrow in Stockholm. Being the final stop we get a chance to see several potential medalists in their final races before worlds. Among them the most intriguing match up on the day should be in the Men's 100, where world leader Tyson Gay (US) meets up against former WR holder Asafa Powell (JAM). An interesting race for both men as Gay will want to show his fitness following the announcement of groin trouble that will require surgery at year's end. For Powell, he neeeds to show that he is a contender along with Gay and Bolt, having been beaten soundly by both this summer and finding himself in 5th, 5th, and 6th in various meets this year.

Another that will want to show that he is indeed a contender for gold in Berlin will be Jeremy Wariner, who's had a down season by his own standards. With a best of "only" 44.66 this season, and looking rather human, Wariner needs to come up with a performance that will mark him as being on par with Lashawn Merritt who has looked every bit the Olympic champion this season.

On the women's side we get a look at Allyson Felix (US) in the 200 against Kerron Stewart (JAM). Stewart is the world leader in the 100 this year (10.75) and will be contending for gold in that event in Berlin. She should give Felix a very stern test in the deuce as Felix prepares to defend her title in Berlin.

We'll also get our first look in Europe this summer at Jenny Barringer in the 5000. Barringer has been quiet since Nationals, and it will be nice to see her level of fitness ahead of Berlin.

Full start lists can be found here. At the conclusion of this meet the countdown to Worlds begins!

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