Athletics: Defar added to NY grand prix, Robles out

Reuters, Wednesday 6 Jun 2012

Injury obstacles title-holder Robles from Saturday grand prix, Defar joins

Meseret Defar
Ethiopia's Meseret Defar (Photo: AP)

The New York grand prix meeting on Saturday lost Olympic hurdling champion Dayron Robles to injury but added another former gold medalist when Meseret Defar, the 2004 5,000 meters winner, was added to the field on Tuesday.

Defar, who set a world record in the 5,000m at the 2006 New York meet, will face fellow Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, the double Olympic champion over 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Cuba's Robles, gold medalist in the 110-metre hurdles at Beijing, withdrew because of a slight injury during training, organisers said.

Defar and world record holder Dibaba will be renewing a 5,000 metres rivalry last visited in a non-championships race in Berlin in 2006.

The grand prix held on Randall's Island will feature athletes from 42 countries including 72 Olympic or world championships medalists and 40 gold medalists.

Tyson Gay, the three-time 2007 world champion (100 meters, 200 meters, 4x100-meter relay) joined the 100m"B" race as he returns from hip surgery.

Gay, who has not competed in almost a year, is using the race as a rehabilitation start before the U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon, later this month. It will be his only race before he attempts to qualify for his second Olympic team.

Joining the field for the women's pole vault is Fabiana Murer of Brazil, the 2011 world champion.

Also added was Luguelin Santos, an 18-year-old Dominican, who ran 44.45 to win at 400m in the Fanny Blankers-Koen meet in the Netherlands last week.

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