Golden Spike Tour Hits Ostrava Thursday

The men’s 800m is loaded.

By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

The attention of the athletics world turns to Ostrava in the Czech Republic today for the 49th Zlata Tetra – Golden Spike meeting, part of the IAAF World Challenge series.  In addition to the 300m race which will feature Usain Bolt, meeting director Alfons Juck has also put together several good middle and long distance races.

On the men’s side, the 800m field boasts eight men with sub-1:46 personal bests, including last year’s fastest two-lap specialist, David Rudisha of Kenya (1:42.01 PB).  Rudisha has already run the year’s two fastest 800m times: 1:43.15 at Melbourne on March 4 and 1:43-flat in Doha on May 14.  Look for Kenya’s Boaz Lalang, this year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships silver medallist (1:44.68 PB); Canada’s Gary Reed, the 2007 IAAF World Championships silver medallist; and Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski, a finalist at last summer’s IAAF World Championships (1:43.84 PB).

There is also a very good field in the 3000m led by American Bernard Lagat, whose multiple world titles include this year’s indoor 3000m.  To get the victory Lagat, who has a 3000m personal best of 7:33.15, has to overcome reigning world cross country champion Joseph Ebuya of Kenya (7:34.62 PB), and Kenyan speedsters Isaac Songok (7:28.72 PB) and Sammy Alex Mutahi (7:33.15).  Lagat has said before that he would like to surpass Bob Kennedy’s USA record of 7:30.84 set in Monte Carlo in 1998.  Meeting director Juck has arranged three pacemakers to led the field of 16, so times should be fast.

The women will also do battle at 800m, and six competitors have sub-2:00.00 personal best times to their credit.  The field’s fastest runner is Russian Yekaterina Kostetskaya (1:56.67 PB), but Russia’s Yevgeniya Zinurova (1:58.04 PB), and Ukraine’s Tetiana Petlyuk (1:57.34), should also contend for the podium.

Finally, a small field has been assembled for the women’s 10,000m in what may turn out to be a world record attempt by Ethiopia’s Meselech Melkamu, the African record holder for the distance with a 29:53.80 personal best.  Juck has arranged for Hungary’s Anikó Kálovics, the woman who paced the Virgin London Marathon last month, to pace Melkamu.  Also entered are Portugal’s Jessica Augusto and Kenya’s Pauline Korikwiang, both making their 10,000m debuts.  The South African twins Dina Lebo and Lebogang Phalula are also entered.

More information can be found about the meeting at http://www.zlatatretra.cz/, and live results will be posted at http://www.zlatatretra.cz/results.asp?season=2010 after the meet begins in just over one hour.

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