Veronica Campbell-Brown headlines in Osaka tomorrow

OSAKA, Japan — Two-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica will headline a strong field in the women’s 100 metres at the Osaka Grand Prix tomorrow.

Campbell-Brown, who won gold in the women’s 200 in Beijing and Athens, will make her 2010 debut in the 100 on the same track where she took the world title in 2007 with a time of 11.01 seconds.  American Angela Williams and Japan’s Chisato Fukushima, who has already set two national records this season, are also competing.

Campbell-Brown won the women’s 60 metre race with a time of 7.00 at the world indoor championships in Doha in March.  The Osaka meet at Nagai Stadium is the second of the IAAF World Challenge series. In the women’s 100 metre hurdles, former world champion Perdita Felicien of Canada will be up against Ginnie Powell of the United States.

Felicien recorded 12.94 into the wind at the Drake Relays last month while Powell, fifth in Doha, recorded 12.72 in Kingston last weekend.  Michael Rodgers of the United States will be the favorite in the men’s 200. Rodgers, better known for his performances in the 100, has a career best of 20.24 in the 200.  Other participants in the men’s 200 include Monzavous Rae Edwards of the United States and Japan’s Shinji Takahira.

In the men’s shot put, reigning world champion and Olympic silver medalist Christian Cantwell of the United States is favoured. He defended his world indoor title at Doha and has already thrown 21.69 metres outdoors this season.   Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang was forced to pull out of the men’s 110 metre hurdles because of an Achilles’ tendon injury. Organizers said the Athens Olympics gold medalist had a flare-up of the same injury that caused him to miss the 2008 Beijing Games.

Liu’s absence opens the door for compatriot Shi Dongpeng, who did not qualify for the final in Doha and will be making his outdoor debut of the season in Osaka.

American Bershawn Jackson, the 2005 world champion, will be the favorite in the men’s 400 hurdles.

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