Dervla O’Rourke will be Ireland’s lone competitor in the 2011 Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The event is part of the Diamond League and also the final major international event before the World Championships in Daegu later this month.
No Irish in action on Friday’s first day of the meet either.
Among the highlights was Cuban Olympic Champion Dayron Robles’ winning the men’s 110m hurdles in a meeting record time of 13.04. “It’s my best time this year and today was very good. It was a very important race before the world championships,” added the Cuban.
On his performance here on Friday night, watch out for new Grenada star, Kirani James, who in his first Senior event, ran the fastest 400m time of the year – 44.62 – to win over much more experienced rivals . “I’m in good shape and on the right course for the world championships,” said the 18-year-old James.
GB Olympian, Mo Farah meantime had a convincing win in the 300 metres event with a winning time of 7:40.15. Another winning Briton was Jenny Meadows, who won her first British senior title at the UK Trials in Birmingham last week. Her win at the London Diamond League meeting came in the 800m with a winning time of 1:58.61. “It has been the perfect preparation for the 800m at the world championships. It’s come at the right time,” said Meadows.
Among Dervla O’Rourke’s main competitors on Saturday will be Candice Davis of the USA, Australia’s Sally Pearson, Tifini Ofili-Porter of GB and another American Yvette Lewis with the Australian in great form this year having recently set a UK All Comers record 12.48.
A disappointment for the capacity crowd was the late withdrawal on Friday of U.S 100m star Asafa Powell who told the BBC : “”I’ve had some tightness in my groin since Budapest .I had hoped that it would have cleared by now but it’s still there. I’ve been seeking treatment but had to make the decision today to withdraw. I am focusing on Daegu and as much as I’d like to run tonight, I just can’t take the risk with the major championships three weeks away. It’s a tough decision as I always love to run in London.”
In Powell’s absence the100m race was won by Yohan Blake of Jamaica in a time of 9.95. “I was running into a headwind and ran 9.95. It’s a wonderful feeling to be compared with the likes of Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell,” said Blake.
In all more than 40 Olympic medallists and World champions are in London for the two day event – the last major international event before Daegu.
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