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World’s top athletes coming to Daegu for IAAF World Challenge

Some of the biggest names in athletics, including reigning women’s 100 meter champion Carmelita Jeter and three-time 200 meter champion Allyson Felix, are coming to Daegu for its annual Pre-Championships on Thursday.

The event started in 2005 and was upgraded last year to IAAF World Challenge status, one of the 14 races of the IAAF league series. For this year’s event, more than 220 athletes from across the world will compete in 16 events at the newly renovated Daegu Stadium, according to the organizer.

The U.S. champion Jeter will aim for her third successive title in Daegu, and her compatriot Felix will aim to break the 200 record. Olympic medalist Dawn Harper and world indoor champion Lolo Jones will meet for the first time this season in the women’s 100-meter hurdles.

In the men’s 110 hurdles, David Oliver of the United States will challenge his own record of 13.11 from last year.

The men’s 100 features a fine line-up with Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix competing against U.S. Indoor Champion Mike Rodgers and Jamaica’s Mario Forsythe.

This year’s event will act as a trial run for the 2011 IAAF World Championships, which is scheduled from Aug. 27-Sept. 4 in Daegu.

The biannual event is one of the world’s top three sporting events along with the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

The IAAF, the sport’s governing body, announced last week that 201 of the 212 IAAF member countries have registered for the Daegu World Championships. The organizer said that more than 3,500 athletes and officials, including Olympic triple-gold medalist Usain Bolt, will be competing at Korea’s first ever world athletics competition.

By Oh Kyu-wook (
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Korea Herald daum