In preparation for the 2013 Shanghai Diamond League meeting on May 18, three more Olympic Gold medalists and one world champion have been added to the star- studded roster for the event.
Jamaican sprinter Shelly- Ann Fraser- Pryce, British long jumper Greg Rutherford and Ethiopian distance legend Meseret Defar have joined the entry lists for the second meeting in the IAAF’s 2013 Diamond League calendar, while world sprint hurdles champion Jason Richardson will face Olympic champion and world record holder Aries Merritt.
Fraser- Pryce who retained her Olympic 100m crown in the London game, came second over 200m and picked up another Olympic Silver for Jamaica in the 4×100m relay will return to Shanghai for the first time since 2010. Hoping for a winning start to her 2013 campaign, when she aims to regain the world 100m titles she won in 2009.
The 26- year old is also the fastest woman ever with a record time of 10.70 seconds. Earlier this year, Fraser- Pryce made a successful start to indoor competition setting a new 60m personal best of 7.04.
Ethiopia’s distance legend, Meseret Defar took her second Olympic title at London 2012 when she regained the 5000m gold she’d won eight years earlier at the Athens Olympic Games.
The 29- year- old is unbeaten in Shanghai having won over 5000m at the meeting in 2005 and 2007. She currently holds world indoor records for 3000m, two miles and 5000m, and she has won five world titles in both indoor and outdoor distance race.
Rutherford enjoyed a dream season in 2012. He broke the British record in early May (2012) to top the world lists and went on to win Olympic Gold for Team GB.
4th August 2012 will forever be known as a ‘Super Saturday’ by British fans of athletics. On that day, Rutherford leapt 8.31 meters to win the Olympic gold during a 45- minute period of unprecedented success for Team GB as both Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah won the female heptathlon and the men 10,000m at the space.
However, Rutherford who won a European silver medal in 2006 will be competing in Shanghai for the first time.
Richardson will be up against his US team- mate, Merrit who beat him to Olympic gold in London last August, in Shanghai by May. Richardson was third in last year Shanghai Diamond League, one place ahead of Merrit in a contest won by Chinese favourite Liu Xiang.
Richardson went on to win the Diamond League race in New York before lowering his personal best (PB) to 12.98 seconds at the US Olympic trials. A similar timing at the Shanghai game would be a welcome early season performance for the 27- year- old American.
The duo will return to Moscow after the Shanghai games, where Richardson will defend the world 110m hurdles title.
The 2013 Shanghai Diamond League meeting will include 16 events, nine for men (200m, 400m, 1500m, 110m Hurdles, 3000m Steeplechase, High Jump, Long Jump, Discus Throw, Javelin Throw) and seven for women (100m, 800m, 5000m, 400m Hurdles, Pole Vault , Triple Jump , Shot Put).