Morceli, Bubka Highlight Nikaia Meet
NICE, France (AP) _ Noureddine Morceli and Sergei Bubka head the field at the Nikaia Grand Prix meet Wednesday, returning to the site of their world- record performances.
Morceli set a 1,500-meter mark of 3 minutes, 27.37 seconds in Nice last year. This time, he is entered in the 2,000 meters in which he set the world mark of 4:47.88 last year in Paris. The Algerian is preparing for a bid for an Olympic gold medal, a honor that has eluded him even though he has three world titles.
Morceli will get a good look at his opposition for the Olympics with Venuste Niyongabo of Burundi and Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco facing each other again in the 1,500 race.
Bubka is up against Okkert Brits of South Africa and Igor Trandekov, two of the other three men who have cleared 19 feet, 8 1/4 inches in the pole vault. Bubka set a world record in Nice in 1988.
He has set 35 world records, 17 outdoors.
The 100 meters has another showdown between the current world and Olympic champions with Donovan Bailey of Canada meeting Linford Christie of England.
Neither has approached the times that Frankie Fredericks has been doing recently. The Namibian is not in the 100.
Wilson Kipketer, the Kenya-born running who competes for Denmark is in the 800 meters. With little chance to compete in the Olympics because he doesn’t have full citizenship, Kipketer must be content showing how close he can come to Sebastian Coe’s record of 1:41.73. Kipketer did 1:42.75 in Oslo, Norway, last week.
In other events, France’s Marie-Jose Perec is in a women’s 200 that was added especially for her because she did not want to race in the 400, the event in which she has won Olympic and world titles.