ÅF Golden League – DKB-ISTAF Berlin Preview

AF Golden League

ÅF Golden League

The hunt for the $1 million jackpot begins in Berlin.

The IAAF’s ÅF Golden League kicks off this weekend at the DKB-ISTAF Berlin meeting.  The usual $1 million dollar jackpot (split for men and women) is up for grabs and there is a host of athletes vying for the grand prize.  All of the “contenders” will be ready to battle for the largest prize in Athletics, starting with the DKB-ISTAF meet in Berlin.

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Ethiopian world record holder Kenenisa Bekele will toe the line with a world-class field in the men’s 5000 meters.  The group assembled could spell disaster for Bekele’s dreams of a Golden League jackpot, however.  Facing Bekele will be newly crowned 10K road race world record holder Micah Kogo of Kenya and 5000-meter Olympic bronze medalist Edwin Soi of Kenya.  Kogo not only broke the world 10K record in March but he also out-kicked double world champion Bernard Lagat in the 5000 meters at the Reebok Grand Prix, and should prove to be the top candidate to defeat Bekele.

Men’s javelin will also find close competition between Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen of Norway and world leader Vadims Vasilevskis of Latvia.  However, other perennial jackpot contenders will have a much easier time through their first tests as Blanka Vlasic (Croatia/High Jump), Sanya Richards (USA/400 meters), Yelena Isinbaeva (Russia/Pole Vault), and Kerron Stewart (Jamaica/100 meters) should cruise through this initial meeting.

Although not a jackpot event, the men’s 1500 meters should also produce fireworks.  Entered are world leader Augustine Choge of Kenya, world number two performer Haron Keitany of Kenya, and perennial top performer Belal Mansoor Ali of Bahrain.  Choge (3:30.88) lit up the track in Doha earlier this year as he narrowly out-kicked Keitany (3:30.90) in the 1500 meters, and in the process laid down the fastest performance since 2007.  Would you believe it was Alan Webb (3:30.54) who was the last person to run faster?!?!

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