Fraser-Pryce to renew 200 rivalry with Jeter
LONDON (AP) — Two-time Olympic 100-meter champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will go head to head against world champion Carmelita Jeter on Sunday as the pair renew their sprinting rivalry over 200 meters at the Diamond League meet in Birmingham.
Jamaica’s Fraser-Pryce enjoyed the better of the London Olympics, finishing one place ahead of Jeter in both events to claim gold in the 100 and silver in the 200.
However, the American took swift revenge in Birmingham last year, beating Fraser-Pryce by 0.09 seconds to win the 100.
Fraser-Pryce, who has fond memories of Birmingham after the Jamaican team stayed there before the Olympics, is determined to lay down a marker ahead of the world championships in August.
“I’ve started the season well but I know there’s more to come from me,” Fraser-Pryce said. “The 200 meters is looking very competitive already this year but I want to win at the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix in Birmingham and show that I’m still the woman to beat in the sprints going to Moscow.
“I had such a great welcome from the Birmingham public for the Jamaican team before the games, I’m really looking forward to putting on a show for the crowd and hopefully come out with a victory this year after finishing second at the meet in 2012.”
A total of 30 Olympic medalists, including 11 reigning champions, will be in action at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium and the British charge will be led by 5,000 and 10,000 champion Mo Farah.
Farah backed up his Olympic success by winning the 5,000 race at Birmingham last year and will defend his title against Ethiopian trio Hagos Gebrhiwet, Yenew Alamirew and Ibrahim Jeilan.
“2012 was an incredible year for me and I’m really looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd in the U.K. again,” Farah said. “This is another big year with the world championships just around the corner and it’s always good to perform well in Birmingham.”
World and Olympic 100 hurdles champion Sally Pearson of Australia will return to the track after recovering from a hamstring tear sustained at the Asian Grand Prix last month.
Pearson, who equaled the meet record of 12.48 seconds on her way to victory in 2011, will be running alongside Olympic silver and bronze medalists Dawn Harper-Nelson and Kellie Wells, both of the U.S.
“Winning the Olympics last year was a dream come true, it was a perfect year for me,” Pearson said. “However this is another important year with the defense of my world title in Moscow in August and I’m confident that I can run even quicker and get close to the world record of 12.21.”
All three London medalists will be fighting it out in the 400 hurdles, as Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez, American Michael Tinsley and Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson take to the start line next to reigning world champion Dai Greene of Britain.
An Olympic medal trio will also reconvene in the men’s shot put, where champion Tomasz Majewski of Poland looks to hold off Germany’s David Storl and Rees Hoffa of the U.S.