Sport

Blake, Ashmeade in Lausanne 200m showdown

...VCB pulls out of Athletissima meeting

By Paul Reid/AFP

Thursday, July 03, 2014    

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FRESH from winning National Senior titles last weekend, men's 100m champion Nickel Ashmeade and sprint hurdler Andrew Riley will lead a small Jamaican delegation at today's Athletissima meeting in Lausanne, part of the IAAF Diamond League circuit.

Five athletes are down to take part after newly-crowned national female 100m champion Veronica Campbell Brown withdrew yesterday citing a sore hamstring.

She was seen not too long after the win in the 100m on Friday night with an icepack strapped to her thigh and said in a tweet yesterday "With much disappointment, I regrettably withdrew from Asthletissima Lausanne due to a sore hamstring. I will return to the track soon."

Meanwhile, Olympic Games silver medallist Yohan Blake and Diamond League leader Ashmeade will clash in the 200m for the first time this year.

In what could be the race of the meet, the Jamaicans who were former teammates at St Jago High, will go up against Panama's Olonso Edward and France's Christophe Lemaitre.

Kemar Bailey-Cole will contest the 100m A race against St Kitts' Kim Collins and Justin Gatlin, the world's fastest man this season.

Michael Frater will run in the 100m B race.

Riley, who ran a season's best 13.27 seconds to edge Olympic bronze medallist Hansle Parchment in the final of the men's 110m hurdles on Saturday, will go after his first Diamond League win today, but will come up against the talented Frenchman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde as well as three top Americans, World Champion David Oliver, Jason Richardson and Ryan Wilson.

Meanwhile, American Tyson Gay makes his comeback to the track today after serving a one-year doping ban.

World athletics' governing body, the IAAF, announced last week that it would not appeal the reduced one-year sanction for doping served by Gay.

Gay was banned in June 2013 after testing positive for a banned anabolic steroid in two out-of-competition tests.

His ban, which was reduced from two years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) due to Gay's co-operation, ended on June 23.

And the IAAF said that it would not appeal the reduced sanction, calling it "appropriate under the circumstances and in accordance with IAAF Rules".

"Lausanne has always been one of my favourite meets, and I'm thrilled to have it be my opening meet of 2014," said Gay.

"I have run fast times here. I have been training for several months, and will be ready on July 3."

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