Allyson Felix (Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports)
Below is a preview of the top races and runners to keep an eye on at IAAF Diamond League from Oslo on Wednesday, June 11 at 2 PM ET LIVE on Universal Sports:
Women’s 200m: Reigning Olympic Champion Allyson Felix will be looking to put an injury-plagued 2013 behind her and re-establishing herself as a dominant force in 200m running. Oslo gives her the perfect opportunity to make that statement and pick up where she left off after her brilliant 2012 season. Felix who has been World Champion at the distance on three separate occasions (Helsinki 2005, Osaka 2007 and Berlin 2009) is one of the most decorated athletes in the sport’s history, having won a total of 12 gold medals at the Olympic and World Championship levels, plus a remarkable personal best of 21.69 for the half lap! Under the guidance of her coach Bob Kersee, she has returned to the track this year in a controlled fashion with a quality third-place finish in the 400m at the recent Shanghai Diamond League meeting.
Another athlete looking to make a statement of her own in the 200m is Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure. The surprise silver medalist from last year’s World Championships in the 100m and 200m in Moscow will be looking to further her progression and become the world’s no.1 in 2014. Ahoure has a formidable collection of silver medals in major competitions; two from World Indoors and two from World Championships. Ahoure will be looking to significantly reduce her personal best of 22.24 for 200m. Her 2014 is off to a fine start by recording 11.06 for 100m in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
Men’s 400m Hurdles: Ashton Eaton is supreme in his domain with gold medals at Olympic Games, World Championships and World Indoors. He holds the world records for Multi Events both indoors and outdoors and is the only athlete to score over 9000 points in the Decathlon.
Like so many of the multi-event superstars before him, Eaton is a world class hurdler in his own right and will tackle a relatively new experience for him; the 400m hurdles. When you look at his prowess in the basic event groupings, hurdling and 400m sprinting (he has run 13.35 at high hurdles and sub 46 seconds at 400m), then it seems obvious the Eaton is a natural at this discipline. So far he has contested the event on three occasions, improving his personal mark each time, and already boasts a best of 49.69. Eaton reportedly tried the 400m hurdles one day while training for the Sopot World Indoors and mastered the difficult stride pattern in his first-ever attempt.
Men’s Mile: Arguably the world’s most famous track race at Oslo’s Bislett Stadium, the Dream Mile, will again attract the interest of sports fans from all corners of the globe. This event will once again be the climax of the ExxonMobil Bislett Games on June 11.
There will be enormous local focus on Norway’s reigning European 1500m Champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen. The 23-year-old is developing a very creditable big-race reputation with a good tactical sense, having made both the Olympic and World Championships 1500m finals. This year his main aim is to defend the European title he won in Helsinki and achieve Norwegian records at 1500m and the Mile. He ran a new Norwegian record in Eugene last Saturday, but would love to set a fresh standard on Norway’s most distinguished track and join the list of countries whose national mile record has been established in the Dream Mile!
(From IAAF Diamond League Press Release)