Athletics Athletics

Bett faces strong field in Shanghai IAAF Diamond League

Nicholas Bett celebrates after winning the World title in Beijing last year/PHOTO- IAAF
Nicholas Bett celebrates after winning the World title in Beijing last year/PHOTO- IAAF

SHANGHAI, APRIL 21- World champion Nicholas Bett heads a 400m hurdles line-up at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on 14 May that could even put the meeting’s favorite event, the sprint hurdles, in the shade.

Bett produced one of the shocks of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last year when he won gold in the one-lap hurdles final with a world-leading 47.79, breaking the Kenyan record.

The 26-year-old will be one of the favorites for the Olympic title in Rio this August but first he will return to China to kick-start his 2016 campaign in Shanghai in only his second ever IAAF Diamond League race.

And with six men in the field having bettered 48 seconds at some point in their career, this will be the toughest field that Bett has ever had to face.

The line-up contains no fewer than six world or Olympic medalists and is led by a trio of top US talents, 2005 world champion and 2015 Diamond Race winner Bershawn Jackson, Olympic silver medalist Michael Tinsley and two-time world champion Kerron Clement.

Tinsley took maximum Diamond Race points when this event was last contested in Shanghai two years ago and set a meeting record of 48.77.

The field also includes Bahamian record-holder and world bronze medalist Jeffery Gibson, two-time world silver medalist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, 2011 world bronze medalist LJ van Zyl of South Africa, Turkish record-holder Yasmani Copello and Asian Games bronze medalist Cheng Wen of China.

2016 IAAF Diamond League calendar

6 May – Doha, QAT

14 May – Shanghai, CHN

22 May – Rabat, MAR

28 May – Eugene, USA

2 Jun – Rome, ITA

5 Jun – Birmingham, GBR

9 Jun – Oslo, NOR

16 Jun – Stockholm, SWE

15 Jul – Monaco, MON

22-23 Jul – London, GBR

25 Aug – Lausanne, SUI

27 Aug – Paris, FRA

1 Sep – Zurich, SUI

9 Sep – Brussels, BEL