THIS TIMELY PREVIEW APPEARS COURTESY OF THE IAAF WHERE IT WAS PRINTED FIRST
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Saturday 13 May 2006
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – At the home meet of Olympic 400m Hurdles gold medallist Félix Sánchez, Jamaica’s Asafa Powell is slated to run the 100m, just a day after losing the World record for the discipline was - subject to ratification - when World and Olympic champion Justin Gatlin ran 9.76 in the IAAF World Athletics Tour Super Grand Prix in Doha.
Sanchez and Powell lead the star-studded line-up for the Felix Sanchez Invitational, a NACAC permit meeting, to be held this evening, 13 May at the national stadium in the Dominican capital.
After clocking 9.95 in front of his home crowd in Kingston, Jamaican last Saturday, Asafa Powell should be more than ready to dip under 10 seconds again, and will be challenged by his countryman, the 2005 World Championships silver medallist Michael Frater. The rest as they say just might be history.
Sánchez, the 2001 and 2003 World 400m Hurdles champion, will run his championship winning discipline, his first outing at the distance since pulling up in agony with the leg and foot injuries (which had dogged him all year) on 8 August in Helsinki in the World Championship final last year. The 28-year-old event will face the strong challenge of Panama’s World and Olympic finalist Bayano Kamani.
Sanchez who ran 46.19 in the 400m flat in Walnut, California, on 15 April, said “I feel much better after the injury I suffered last year (precisely here in this Grand Prix) and I hope to come back to the level I was in the international events. I am ready to run in front of my crowd.” When making his season’s debut here last year (48.40) he first sustained the calf and foot injuries in his right leg.
Tonight, Sánchez also aims to run the 400m flat with a strong field featuring Olympic silver medallist Otis Harris of the US, Jamaica’s 2002 World Cup champion Michael Blackwood and Bernard Simpson, sixth in Helsinki. Sánchez relay team-mates, Helsinki semi-finalist Arismendy Peguero and Carlos Santa will also toe the line.
Two other Helsinki medallists from the USA will be on show: Lashinda Demus in the 400m Hurdles and outdoor season leader Chaunte Howard in the High Jump. Demus, made her season debut winning with 54.20 at the Jamaican Grand Prix in Kingston a week ago.
Javier Clavelo Robinson for the IAAF