Athletics Athletics

Berlin set to host world champions


BERLIN, Germany, September 6 – Berlin is set to host several world champions, including Jamaica’s new 100m gold-medal winner Yohan Blake, at this Sunday’s ISTAF athletics meet.

The Internationales Stadionfest (ISTAF) will celebrate its 70th anniversary on Sunday and organisers are hoping for a crowd of more than 50,000 at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium.

So far, 29 medal winners from last week’s World Championships in Daegu have signalled their intention to compete, including Jamaica’s Blake, who won 100m and 4x100m relay gold in South Korea.

The 21-year-old will be up against Kim Collins, the 35-year-old former world and Commonwealth champion, and Jamaican relay team-mate Michael Frater in the sprint.

Other world champions competing will include Grenada’s 400m gold-medallist Kirani James, 19, who will be up against the fastest man over the distance this year in Jermaine Gonzales of Jamaica.

Former 800m world champion South Africa’s Caster Semenya, who lost out to Russia’s Mariya Savinova in Daegu, will pit her talents against third-placed JJ Busienei of Kenya.

In the field events, some of the world’s best throwers will be doing battle.

The women’s javelin event will be another tussle between Russian world champion Maria Abakumova, world record holder and Olympic gold medallist Barbora Spotakova of the Czech Republic and Germany’s Christina Obergfoell.

Shot-put world champion David Storl is up against Canada’s Dylan Armstrong, who has thrown the furthest this year, plus Olympic champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland.

Local hero and world champion Robert Harting will face silver medallist Gerd Kanter of Estonia in the discus.