Saturday, May 8th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
World record-holders Monto Duplantis and Joshua Cheptegei (pictured), along with world U20 record-holder Sha’Carri Richardson, will compete in the Czech Republic for the first time in their careers when they line up at the Golden Spike, a World Athletics Continental Tour Gold meeting, in Ostrava on 19 May.
This year’s Golden Spike will be the 60th edition and the line-up of top names already announced for the competition will ensure that the meeting will be a memorable one.
Duplantis, the Male World Athlete of the Year, will have one eye on breaking the meeting record in the pole vault.
“Ostrava will be my first outdoor competition in Europe and I am really looking forward to jumping for the first time in the Czech Republic,” said Duplantis, who will compete against two-time world champion Sam Kendricks in Ostrava.
“My training and preparation back home in Louisiana has gone very well so I feel confident and hope for good conditions.”
Cheptegei, who last year set world records over 5000m and 10,000m, will step down to the 3000m in Ostrava.
His best for that distance is 7:33.26, but the meeting record of 7:31.66 looks to be within reach for the world 10,000m and cross country champion from Uganda.
Richardson has already started her year in fine form. She sped to a lifetime best of 10.72 over 100m in Miramar last month, then clocked a season’s best of 22.11 over 200m one week later, just 0.11 shy of the PB she set last year.
The 21-year-old will contest the 200m in Ostrava and will face multiple world and Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and two-time world champion Dafne Schippers.
Canada’s world and Olympic medallist Andre De Grasse is confirmed for the men’s 100m, while three-time world indoor champion Pavel Maslak will go in the 400m.
World record-holder Barbora Spotakova and European indoor shot put champion Tomas Stanek are among the other leading Czech athletes who’ll be in action on 19 May.
Spotakova will take on fellow Czech javelin thrower Nikola Ogrodnikova, while 2017 Diamond League winner Jakub Vadlejch will contest the men’s event.
Other confirmed Czech stars include two-time world 400m hurdles champion Zuzana Hejnova, long jumper Radek Juska, middle-distance runners Jakub Holusa and Filip Sasinek, and decathlon specialist Adam Sebastian Helcelet.
As was announced last week, world hammer record-holder Anita Wlodarczyk and 2017 world javelin champion Johannes Vetter are also confirmed to compete in Ostrava.
The Golden Spike was granted an exemption from the Czech Republic’s ban on holding mass events, and the meeting is permitted to welcome 1500 fans into the stadium. - AFP