OSTRAVA - M200m: Bolt, Gatlin, Crawford & Frank

Ostrava Press Release 11/2004 (May 18)

Bolt running first time in Europe, but Gatlin, Crawford and Fredericks against him

May 18: One of the biggest talents of current track and field scene has finally decided to compete for the first time in his career in Europe. Jamaican sprint sensation Usain Bolt will compete in the 200 m at IAAF Super Grand Prix Meeting Golden Spike in Ostrava, Czech Republic on Tuesday, June 8. He is holder of best times in the history for U15 (20.58), U16 (20.13) and now also for juniors as he ran fantastic 19.93 in April at Carifta Games in Hamilton(Bermuda) and still beeing only 17 years old. With this time he is leading current world lists of the year and is the first runner with sub 20 seconds time since 2002. And he still will be junior in 2005…
“I’m really looking forward to doing my first race on the European circuit in Ostrava in the IAAF Super Grand Prix meeting. I’m very pleased with the way I have started my Olympic season running 19.93sec and setting a new World junior record. I hope to perform very well in Ostrava,” he said for the organizers. His provisional plan for 2004 consits of one more race in Europe after Ostrava (Golden League in Bergen), than Jamaican trials, World Juniors and Olympics.

To make life tougher for him four strong opponents with bests of under 20 seconds will be competing too. Shawn Crawford (USA, 26 years, 19,85) showed excellent shape last week in Doha in winning the 100 m with windy 9.86. He is World Indoor Champion 2001 and bronze medal winner at World Championships 2001 in Edmonton at 200 m.
His country-mate Justin Gatlin also has great potential with running already 20.21 in spring in USA and being second in Doha with 9.92. His personal best 19.86 (2002) is also impressive and he is world indoor champion at 60 m 2003.
“It’s a stepping stone to greatness, the first step in having a great season. I’m looking for quality in my races and not quantity," said Gatlin for Golden Spike organizers.
But the biggest collection of medals is having an hero of 200 m racing, the 36 year old Frankie Fredericks (19.68) from Namibia. The world champion 1993 and silver medal winner at two Olympic games (1992, 1996) and two World championships (1995, 1997). Probably in his last season is again looking for some fast times. He started the season with solid 20.58 in Namibia.
“This was a special race at my own meeting Frank Fredericks invitational. I wanted to help young runners to achieve good times so I run first 100 m with them and then with my speed for the second half. So considering this, the time was not bad. I do not know whether it will be my last season, but for sure last Olympics. I want to run few high quality 200 m races and also some 100 m races in the small meets to be ready for Athens,” explained Fredericks.
With this runners the Czech all-comers record 20.16 held by Pietro Mennea (Italy) while winning the European Championships in 1978 will be under threat.
In the field will be also Jiri Vojtik from Czech Republic, who last weekend achieved in Germany Czech All-time bests at 150 m (15.29) and 300 m (32.31) and will be looking in this quality field to attack the national record held by Frantisek Brecka (20.61) since 1984.

Other stars ALREADY confirmed for Ostrava 2004:

Said Saef Shaheen, QAT, 3000 m SC: with aim to run 7:57 after great Asian record in windy Doha at 3000 m flat

Jan Zelezny, CZE, Javelin: in second of his only 3 competitions before Athens

Yelena Isinbayeva, RUS, Pole Vault: in world record attack?

Maria Mutola, MOZ, 800 m: aiming for a fast time

Kenenisa Bekele, ETH, 10 000 m: in Zatopek Memorial race (excellent shape recently with best 5000 m on Ethiopian soil)

Yulia Pechonkina, RUS, 400 m Hurdles: attacking the meeting record

Lorraine Fenton, JAM, 400 m: in Caribbean affair race against Tonique Williams and Christina Amertil from Bahamas

Tatyana Lebedeva, RUS in Triple Jump duel vs. Yamile Aldama, SUD

Marion Jones, USA in Long Jump of Legends vs. Heike Drechsler,GER – Fiona May,ITA - Tatyana Kotova, RUS (Jones is leading the world lists with 674 and showed in Kingston that her shape is growing)

Perdita Felicien, CAN in 100 m Hurdles: very good shape with 12.60 recently in Modesto

Felix Sanchez, DOM in 400 m Hurdles unbeaten since July 2001 running first hurdle race of the season


The organisers of Bislett Games, the first stop of IAAF Golden League in 2004 (on Friday June 11 in Bergen), will have a charter flight on June 9 from Ostrava. Interested media should contact the Bislett organisers for seats – meeting director Mr. Svein-Arne Hansen, email: sah@bislettalliansen.no

Other media interested to come to Ostrava can contact the travel agency which is cooperating with the organisers – WGT Sport Travel – Mr. Simon Hainsworth – email: simonwgt@aol.com

For more informations please visit our website: www.zlatatretra.cz (english section)

Media accreditation forms are available on the web-site in the „Media“ section.
Preliminary time-table on the web-site under Schedule.

Ticket information:
Orders via e-mail: ssk.vitkovice@volny.cz or by fax: +420 595 783 259.
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For any questions or other informations please contact:

Alfons Juck
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