Gatlin to defend crown


EUGENE (Oregon): World and Olympic champions Justin Gatlin and Dwight Phillips will top the field for the Prefontaine Classic athletics meet here on May 28, USA Track and Field officials announced on Tuesday. 

PHILLIPS: Won the Athens Olympics long jump.

Gatlin, the 100m and 200m champion at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, will defend his “Pre” 100m crown. Phillips won the Athens long jump and defended his world title last year in Finland. 

“Pre has always produced fast times and great races,” Gatlin said. “I’m looking forward to running fast like I did there last year.” 

Gatlin, who won the 2005 crown in a wind-aided 9.84, will be tested by Jamaica’s Dwight Thomas and Michael Frater, the 100m worlds runner-up to Gatlin, and 2006 World Indoor Championships 60m champion Leonard Scott. 

Phillips, who won the worlds with a career-best 8.60m leap, will be opposed by 2004 Olympic runner-up John Moffitt. 

The mile field includes US star Alan Webb, 2004 Olympic runner-up Bernard Lagat and defending champion Alex Kipchirchir.  

The Kenyan won Commonwealth Games 800m gold in March at Melbourne. – AFP 

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